WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday new legislation that will ban handgun sales.
- The Canadian government will also implement a mandatory buyback program for “assault-style weapons” if the legislation passes.
- The move comes following the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced new legislation to “implement national freeze on handgun ownership” throughout the country.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, the prime minister explained that the bill will make it impossible “to buy, sell, transfer, or import handguns anywhere in Canada.”
“We recognize that the vast majority of gun owners use them safely and in accordance with the law, but other than using firearms for sport shooting and hunting, there is no reason anyone in Canada should need guns in their everyday lives.”
If the legislation passes, the government will also implement a mandatory buyback program for “assault-style weapons” that will take effect later this year, Canadian Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino said. He called the bill Canada’s “most significant action on gun violence in a generation.”
“The first AR-15s and other assault-style firearms will start to be bought back by the end of this year,” Mendicino said. “It’s going to be hard, but we’re going to get it done.”
The move comes less than one week after the Uvalde elementary school shooting in Texas. The teen gunman used an AR-15 assault weapon to kill 21 people, including 19 children. The legislation also includes measures to fight gun smuggling and trafficking and strengthen border security measures.
According to Mendicino, there is about 55,000 new handgun registration annually in Canada over the last ten years.
The new proposed bill also aims to create new red flag laws that will allow courts to recover firearms and suspend licenses for those who pose a threat to themselves or others. The Canadian government would also require long-gun magazines to be “permanently altered,” to never hold more than five rounds, and “ban the sale and transfer of large-capacity magazines under the Criminal Code.”
The deadliest mass shooting in Canada happened in April 2020 when a shooter opened fire around parts of Nova Scotia, leaving 22 people dead.