Canada’s government introduced legislation on Monday (May 30) to implement a “national freeze” on the sale and purchase of handguns as part of a gun control package that would also limit magazine capacities and ban some toys that look like guns.
The new legislation, which resurrects some measures that were shelved last year amid a national election, comes just a week after a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers in their classroom in Uvalde, Texas.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters the new measures were needed as gun violence was increasing.
“These are actions that doctors, experts and chiefs of police have been calling for, for years, and we’re acting on their advice.” he said.
The handgun freeze would contain exceptions, including for elite sport shooters, Olympic athletes and security guards. Canadians who already own handguns would be allowed to keep them.
Canada has stronger gun legislation than the United States but while its gun homicide rate is less than one-fifth the U.S. rate it is higher than that of other rich countries and has been rising. In 2020 it was five times Australia’s rate.