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Canada Sets Plans to Ban Handgun Imports

The Canadian government is planning to ban the import of handguns into the country, the latest in a series of gun-control measures under Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The move comes after the government introduced a bill in May that would implement a “national freeze” on buying, importing, selling and transferring handguns — effectively capping the number of such weapons already in the country at the current level, but not banning them outright, reports the Washington Post. The new measure will allow Ottawa to ban handgun imports without having to wait for Parliament, which is on a summer break until September, to pass legislation.


It’s expected to go into effect in two weeks, shortening the window for gun stores to amass merchandise. Local media have reported that handgun sales have skyrocketed since Trudeau’s government announced the freeze, prompting some lawmakers to express concern about a run on handguns from legal gun owners looking to stock up before the legislation passed. Toronto’s police chief said in November that roughly eighty percent of the firearms involved in gun violence in Canada’s most populous city come from the United States, which he noted has a significant gun culture, making it a “very difficult” issue to address. The government legislation also includes “red flag” laws that would allow judges to remove firearms temporarily from people deemed to be a danger to themselves or others, the removal of gun licenses from people who have committed domestic violence and stiffer penalties for gun smuggling and trafficking.