canada: In wake of Texas shooting, Canada tables bill to ban handgun sales – Times of India

OTTAWA: Canada’s government introduced legislation on Monday 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.
PM Justin Trudeau told reporters the new measures were needed as gun violence was increasing. “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,” 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 US but while its gun homicide rate is less than one-fifth the US rate it is higher than that of other rich countries and has been rising. In 2020 it was five times Australia’s rate. The rate in each of 2020 and 2017 was the country’s highest since at least 1997, according to Statistics Canada. Canada banned the sale and use of some 1,500 models of assault weapons, like the AR-15 rifle, two years ago in the wake of a mass shooting in Nova Scotia in which 22 people were killed.
While the Liberals have a minority of seats in parliament, the legislation could pass with the support of the left-leaning New Democratic Party. The legislation would prevent anyone subject to a protection order or who has engaged in domestic violence or stalking from obtaining or keeping a firearms licence. It will also require long-gun magazines to be permanently altered so they can never hold more than five rounds and will ban the sale and transfer of large-capacity magazines.

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