Canada: In the week following the shooting in Texas, Justin Trudeau proposes a freeze on handguns

Less than a week after the Texas school shooting that rocked America, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced (May 30) a proposed handgun possession freeze. Indeed, this measure would prohibit the import and sale of firearms.

The school shooting in Texas, USA, took place on May 24.

Trudeau’s bill will have to be passed by Parliament. The ruling Liberals currently hold a minority of seats.

“We are introducing legislation to implement a nationwide freeze on handgun ownership,” Trudeau said at a news conference, joined by dozens of families and friends of gun violence victims.

“This means that it will no longer be possible to buy, sell, transfer or import handguns anywhere in Canada,” he said. “In other words, we are capping the handgun market.”

In April 2020, the Canadian government banned 1500 types of firearms. This step came after the country’s worst mass shooting. Twenty-three people died in the tragedy.

The government statistics agency reported last week that gun-related violent crime accounts for less than three percent of all violent crime in Canada.

But since 2009, the per capita rate of guns being pointed at someone has nearly tripled, while the rate at which a gun was fired with the intent to kill or injure has increased fivefold.

Nearly two-thirds of gun crimes in urban areas involved handguns.

Canadian police often point the finger at the smuggling of firearms that takes place across the border with the United States. They say it’s the main source of illegal handguns in Canada.

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino estimated there were about one million handguns in this country, a significant increase from a decade ago.

Trudeau commented: “People should be free to go to the supermarket, their school or their place of worship without fear. People should be free to go to the park or a birthday party without worrying about what might happen from a stray bullet.

“Gun violence is a complex problem,” he said. “But at the end of the day, the math is really, really simple: the fewer guns there are in our communities, the safer everyone will be.”

(With agency contributions)

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