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Canada to ban handguns; plans sweeping changes in arms control
GLOBAL IMPACT OF TEXAS SCHOOL SHOOTING: A new law will ban handguns in Canada. It will also prohibit toy guns, and help inhibit criminal harassment, gun smuggling and trafficking. The new Bill will be easily passed in parliament with majority support.

OTTAWA, June 1: The Government is bringing a law to ban handguns across Canada as part of a larger plan towards arms control. The law will also limit magazine capacities and ban toys that look like guns.

Prime Minster Justin Trudeau told a news conference in Ottawa on Monday that he's introducing a "national freeze" on handgun sales in his country to curb the increase in homicides. The proposed ban would apply to buying, selling, transferring and importing of handguns in Canada.

"We cannot let the guns debate become so polarized that nothing gets done. We cannot let that happen in our country. 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 to a birthday party without worrying about what might happen from a stray bullet," Trudeau said.

“One Canadian killed by gun violence is one too many. 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,” he said.

The announcement comes in the wake of the global outrage over the mass shooting of children in a school in Texas, US. Nineteen children were killed in the shooting at the elementary school in Uvalde.

Canada had in 2020 initiated a legislation banning assault-style (military type) firearms, offering a gun buyback programme to those who were already possessing the weapons. There were 743 homicides in 2020, the highest number since 1991. The number of registered handguns in Canada increased by 71% from 2010 to 2020.

Canada had already expanded the background checking procedures for issuance of firearms licence.

The new Bill, which will be easily passed in parliament with majority support, also includes other measures like taking away firearms licences of gun owners involved in acts of domestic violence or criminal harassment, such as stalking, countering gun smuggling and trafficking.

There will also be a 'red flag' provision by which individuals considered a danger to themselves or others will be told to surrender their firearms. The law enforcement agency will protect the safety of the individual applying for the 'red flag' surrender.

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