Canada Is Proposing Stricter Gun Control Including A 'National Freeze On Handguns'

Trudeau says they're "some of the strongest measures in Canadian history." But they don't go as far as Mayor Plante wanted.

Senior Editor
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces new gun control legislation.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces new gun control legislation.

In the aftermath of a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which left 19 students and two teachers dead, the Government of Canada is proposing new gun control legislation that would impose what the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) calls a "national freeze on handguns."

If passed, the legislation, Bill C-21, would ban the importation of "newly acquired" handguns, as well as the sale, purchase or transfer of handguns by individuals domestically.

"One Canadian killed by gun violence is one too many," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement. "I've seen all too well the tragic cost that gun violence has in our communities across the country."

"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.”

The legislation would also enable officials to revoke the firearm licenses of people "involved in acts of domestic violence or criminal harassment, such as stalking," and institute what the government calls a "red flag" law empowering judges to order people "considered a danger to themselves or others" to surrender their guns.

Finally, the government is promising additional criminal penalties and "more tools" for law enforcement to combat firearm smuggling.

Separately from Bill C-21, the government says it will require a five-round cap on long-gun magazine capacity.

The proposed legislation stops short of banning handguns nationwide despite repeated calls for such action by Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante.

"I welcome the strong signal sent today by the Government of Canada," Plante wrote on Twitter following the announcement of the proposed gun control measures, which she called "a win for safety in Montreal and in all cities across the country."

"We hope that the step taken today by the Canadian government will lead us to a complete ban on handguns and their removal from our streets and from the hands of young people."

Thomas MacDonald
Senior Editor
Thomas is MTL Blog's Senior Editor. He lives in Saint-Henri and loves it so much that he named his cat after it. On weekdays, he's publishing stories, editing and helping to manage MTL Blog's team of amazing writers. His beats include the STM, provincial and municipal politics and Céline Dion. On weekends, you might run into him brunching at Greenspot, walking along the Lachine Canal or walking Henri the cat in Parc Sir-George-Étienne-Cartier.
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