Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will introduce legislation to put a “freeze” on buying and selling handguns in the nation. The law would not ban ownership of short barreled firearms, but would make it illegal to purchase or sell one. It would, in essence, keep the number of hand guns currently in Canadian circulation at the current level.
“Other than using firearms for sport shooting and hunting, there is no reason anyone in Canada should need guns in their everyday lives,” Trudeau told reporters. “As we see gun violence continue to rise, it is our duty to keep taking action.”
The law would also limit rifle magazines to five rounds and remove firearms licences from anyone convicted of a domestic abuse or criminal harassment charge. It’s the most ambitious effort by Trudeau’s government to limit Canadians’ access to guns.
Canadians do not have a constitutional right to firearms and while guns are popular in rural parts of the country, enjoys a far lower rate of gun violence than the U.S. has. Even without Trudeau’s proposals Canada has stricter laws around gun ownership, with more extensive background checks and requirements that guns be stored locked and unloaded.
But gun violence in Canada is rising, with a 2020 mass shooting that killed 22 people garnering international headlines. 1,500 different types of assault-style weapons were banned within days of that attack.