Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a move to implement a “national freeze” on the sale of handguns across Canada.
In a bid to “protect communities,” Trudeau has announced a freeze on the ownership of handguns, stating that the move comes following recommendations from doctors and law enforcement experts.
“Two years ago, our government banned 1,500 models of assault-style weapons. We also expanded background checks to keep firearms out of the wrong hands,” said Trudeau in a press conference Monday. “Now, as we see gun violence continue to rise, it is our duty to keep taking action.”
At the press conference, the prime minister announced plans to put forward legislation to implement the national freeze, noting that the government will increase maximum criminal penalties and provide greater tools for police to investigate crimes involving firearms.
“As a further part of this new legislation, we're also fighting gun smuggling and trafficking by increasing maximum criminal penalties and providing more tools for law enforcement to investigate firearm crimes,” he said. “We'll require the permanent alteration of long gun magazines so they can never hold more than five rounds. These are actions that doctors, experts, and chiefs of police have been calling for for years, and we're acting on their advice.”
“I also want to thank the advocates, many of whom are here today, for your tireless efforts,” said Trudeau, adding that the government has made significant investments into the RCMP’s ability to intercept illegal firearms across the U.S. border.
“Our agencies intercepted nearly double the number of firearms than the year before,” noted Trudeau. “We'll continue doing more to support law enforcement as they tackle the illegal gun market.”
"The vast majority of gun owners use them safely and in accordance with the law, but other than using firearms for sport shooting and hunting, there is no reason anyone in Canada should need guns in their every day lives, and Canadians certainly don't need assault-style weapons that were designed to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time,” he continued. “Canadians are united in wanting more done to keep communities safe and prevent suicides and gender-based violence, and that's exactly why we're here today.”
“The consequences are real,” Trudeau added. “Today, we're joined by families and friends of victims of gun violence including the mass shootings at Polytechnique, on the Danforth, and at the Quebec City Mosque. Losing a child to gun violence should never happen.”