HERTFORD, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gives a press conference in the media centre at the NATO summit held in the Grove hotel in on December 4, 2019 in Hertford, England. France and the UK signed the Treaty of Dunkirk in 1947 in the aftermath of WW2 cementing a mutual alliance in the event of an attack by Germany or the Soviet Union. The Benelux countries joined the Treaty and in April 1949 expanded further to include North America and Canada followed by Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. This new military alliance became the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). The organisation grew with Greece and Turkey becoming members and a re-armed West Germany was permitted in 1955. This encouraged the creation of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact delineating the two sides of the Cold War. This year marks the 70th anniversary of NATO. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
Trudeau orders an immediate freeze on the sale of handguns in Canada
By Giulia Heyward/NPR
(Ottawa) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is placing a nationwide freeze on the sale, purchase and transfer of handguns, effective immediately.
The handgun freeze is the latest in an ongoing battle among Canadian lawmakers over gun control measures. In parliament, legislators are still debating the passage of a bill, introduced in May, that would be one of the strongest pieces of gun control legislation in decades. The new handgun freeze is an “immediate action” the Trudeau administration said it is taking as conversation around the bill continues.
“When people are being killed, when people are being hurt, responsible leadership requires us to act,” Trudeau said at a news conference on Friday, announcing the new measure. “Recently again, we have seen too many examples of horrific tragedies involving firearms.”
Update: People can no longer buy, sell, or transfer handguns within Canada – and they cannot bring newly acquired handguns into the country.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) October 21, 2022
In addition to a ban on handgun sales, it is also now forbidden to bring newly acquired handguns into Canada. The freeze is being met with elation from gun reform groups who welcomed the immediate action.
“Reducing the proliferation of handguns is one important example of the evidence-based measures Canada needs to reduce gun violence and save lives,” Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns tweeted in response to the news.
But the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights argues that placing stricter legislation on guns does not decrease gun violence.
Shootings in Canada are on the rise, although the rate of violent deaths by firearms there is still a fraction of those in the U.S. Trudeau began steadily introducing gun reforms after one of Canada’s deadliest shootings in history two years ago. The prime minister banned 1,500 models of assault-style firearms and variants of AR-15 rifles in 2020.
“Our goal, over time, is to see the amount of handguns, in our communities, reduced,” Trudeau said at Friday’s news conference.