- On May 30, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau announced new gun control legislation.
- The law includes a freeze on handguns and measures to fight gun smuggling and trafficking.
- Mass shootings in the US, including one in Uvalde, Texas, have reignited debates over gun control.
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The Canadian government introduced new legislation that would more strictly regulate gun ownership, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday.
There would be a national freeze on handguns, he said.
"It will no longer be possible to buy, sell, transfer, or import handguns anywhere in Canada," Trudeau told reporters at a news conference in Canada's capital, Ottawa. Canadians who already own handguns would be able to keep them, he added.
The proposed legislation also includes measures to fight gun smuggling and trafficking by increasing criminal penalties and strengthening border control, as well as plans to strip licenses from people involved in acts of domestic violence or criminal harassment like stalking, according to a press release from Trudeau's office.
If passed, the bill would also require some magazines to be altered so that they can never hold more than five rounds.
The bill proposed by Trudeau's Liberal Party, is expected to pass, the New York Times reported.
This is the latest move by the Canadian government to strengthen gun regulations.
In 2020, the government banned over 1,500 types of "military-style assault firearms." The ban came shortly after the deadliest shooting in the country's history, which left 22 dead in a rural area of Nova Scotia.
One of the firearms banned by the Canadian government in 2020 was the assault rifle AR-15, the weapon used in many mass shootings across the US. The 18-year-old who shot and killed 19 children and 2 teachers in an Uvalde, Texas, elementary school used an AR-15.
The Canadian government also promised to move forward with a mandatory buyback of the over 1,500 weapons it banned in 2020, which is slated to begin before the end of the year.
The new Canadian legislation comes as a series of deadly mass shootings in the United States have reignited debates over gun control.
The Uvalde shooting, on May 24, followed a tragedy in Buffalo, New York. On May 14, a gunman opened fire on 13 people at a grocery store, leaving 10 dead. Both shootings are now among the 30 deadliest shootings in US history.
The US prohibited semi-automatic rifles for a decade, but the ban was not renewed when it expired in 2004.
When semi-automatic weapons were banned, mass shootings in the US fell slightly. They rose again when they were put back into the market — although there is not strong evidence to suggest that the presence of the ban or its end caused the change in shootings, PolitiFact reports.
"We need only look south of the border to know that if we do not take action firmly and rapidly it gets worse and worse and gets more difficult to counter," Trudeau said at the news conference Monday.