Canada to ban the importation of handguns
Sylvie Claire / August 6, 2022
I am proud to announce that our government has decided to ban the importation of handguns, announced Marco Mendicino, the Minister of Public Security, at a press briefing.
It is a temporary ban applied as of August 19 to individuals and businesses until the national freeze comes into effect, it says in a press release. Bill C-21 could come into force in the fall.
These weapons have only one purpose, to kill people, said Mr. , during a visit to Etobicoke, a suburb of Toronto.
The group PolySeSouvient, which represents survivors and families of victims of gun violence, hailed this as an important and innovative measure that will undoubtedly slow the expansion of the Canadian handgun market until the bill is passed.
Despite all the measures Ottawa has put in place to try to reduce gun violence, experts remain skeptical of their effectiveness, pointing to the smuggling of weapons from the United States as the real problem.
In fact, on Wednesday, the Canada Border Services Agency announced two major seizures in western Canada of ghost guns, which have no serial numbers and are difficult to trace.
From January 1, 2019, through June 30, 2022, CBSA Pacific Region seized 581 firearms at ports of entry and in international mail shipments.
The announcement comes months after Justin Trudeau unveiled a proposed national freeze on handgun ownership in May after the recent killings in the United States, which killed 21 people at a Texas elementary school and 10 at a New York State supermarket.
Mr. Trudeau's statement prompted Canadians to flock to gun stores, with lines visible in front of the stores and rapid sell-offs of inventory.
According to government estimates, there are more than one million handguns in Canada, for a population of 38 million people. Some 2,500 stores sell handguns in the country.
The measure also comes in the context of an increase in gun-related crimes: this week, three homicides were committed within 24 hours in the Montreal area.