Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a national ban on handguns, among other measures targetting law-abiding firearm owners.
Bill C-21 includes various gun control measures including reducing the size of magazines to only hold five rounds and banning the sale of large capacity clips.
“(The) national freeze on handguns (would) prevent individuals from bringing newly acquired handguns into Canada and from buying, selling, and transferring handguns within the country,” a press release stated on Monday.
“In addition to this new legislation, the Government of Canada will 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 under the Criminal Code.”
Additionally, the Trudeau Liberals want to take away the firearms licences of anyone “involved in acts of domestic violence or criminal harassment, such as stalking.”
Trudeau said his government would also spend $6.6 million to address “intimate partner violence, gender-based violence, and self-harm.”
“One Canadian killed by gun violence is one too many,” said Trudeau. “I’ve seen all too well the tragic cost that gun violence has in our communities across the country. Today, we’re proposing some of the strongest measures in Canadian history to keep guns out of our communities and build a safer future for everyone.”
According to Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, the law is part of the government’s strategy to “promote safe and responsible gun laws” and prevent gun crime.
“The legislation we introduced today is part of our comprehensive strategy to promote safe and responsible gun laws, invest in law enforcement to stop organized crime and illegal gun smuggling at the border, and to invest in communities to address root causes and prevent gun crime from occurring in the first place. This legislation will help to reduce gun violence and keep Canadians safe,” said Mendicino.
Numerous law enforcement experts have criticized the Trudeau government’s move to ban handguns as an ineffective proposal that would not lower the amount of gun violence.
“People can’t be naive to the realities of how it works with organized crime and smuggling,” said the President of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police Adam Palmer.
“There will always be an influx of guns from the United States into Canada… Heroin is illegal in Canada, too, but we have heroin in Canada.”
The government’s announcement comes only days after the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously struck down life without parole sentences for mass shooters in Canada.
The Trudeau government also introduced legislation last year to remove mandatory minimum sentences for various firearms offences.