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Canada bans the importation of handguns

Written by Javed Iqbal

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TORONTO – The Canadian government plans to ban the importation of handguns into the country, according to an official, the latest in a series of gun control measures to be implemented under Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The move, to be announced on Friday, comes after the government tabled a bill in May that would implement a “national freeze” on the purchase, import, sale and transfer of handguns – effectively limiting the number of such weapons already in the country. current level, but does not ban them outright.

The new measure would allow Ottawa to ban handgun imports without having to wait for Parliament, which is on summer recess until September, to pass that legislation. It is expected to take effect in two weeks, the official said, shortening the window for gun shops to collect merchandise.

Local media have reported that handgun sales have skyrocketed since the Trudeau government announced the freeze, prompting some lawmakers to express concern about a handgun drive by legal gun owners looking to stock up before the legislation is passed.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly on the matter. Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino and Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly are scheduled to make an announcement “about the government’s ongoing efforts to keep our communities safe from gun violence” at a Catholic school in Etobicoke, Ontario, on Friday at 6 p.m. 10.30 am.

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Gun control enjoys broad support here. But critics say the focus on restricting gun ownership unfairly targets law-abiding owners while doing little to eradicate the root problem: guns smuggled across the border illegally.

Toronto’s police chief said in November that about 80 percent of the firearms involved in gun violence in Canada’s most populous city come from the United States, which he noted has a significant gun culture, making it a “very difficult” problem to solve.

“The biggest problem we have in the city is the amount of guns coming across the border,” Chief James Ramer said.

The government legislation, known as C-21, also includes “red flag” laws that would allow judges to temporarily remove firearms from people deemed a danger to themselves or others, removing gun licenses from people who have committed domestic violence and increased penalties for arms smuggling and trafficking.

Canada imported more than $28.2 million in revolvers and pistols in 2021, according to government data, with two-thirds of that amount coming from the United States. Total imports were up 7.7 percent from a year earlier, but down from a recent high of $34.7 million in 2018.

Canadian trauma surgeons called for gun control. Gun groups had an NRA-like reaction.

Mass shootings are relatively rare here compared to the United States, but the number of firearm-related homicides has increased since 2013, according to Statistics Canada data.

The National Bureau of Statistics reported that more than 60 percent of gun-related violent crime in urban centers in 2020 involved handguns. But it also said there were “many gaps” and limitations in the data, including on “the source of firearms used in crime” and “whether a gun used in crime was stolen, illegally purchased or smuggled into the country.” No province requires investigators to send weapons used in crimes for tracing.

The Canada Border Services Agency said it seized 1,203 firearms from 2021 to 2022. In May, a Yorkshire terrier named Pepper foiled an attempt to smuggle 11 handguns across the border from Michigan to Ontario using a six-rotor drone.

Some 2.2 million people in Canada are licensed firearm ownersreported the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 2020, and more than 1.1 million firearms are registered.

Canada Announces Immediate Ban on ‘Military Grade’ Assault Weapons

Trudeau’s government promised stricter gun control measures during the federal election campaign last year.

In 2020, Trudeau announced a ban on 1,500 makes and models of “military-style assault weapons,” after a Gunman posing as a police officer rampaged through Nova Scotia over two weekend days, setting fire to structures and killing 22 people including a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer in Canada’s deadliest mass shooting.

Last week, the government outlined how much it is proposing to compensate gun owners who hand in those guns under a mandatory buyback program.

During hearings in a public inquiry this year into the “causes, context and circumstances” of the Nova Scotia attack, evidence was presented about the origin of the shooter’s large cache of weapons.

Gabriel Wortman, a dentist, did not have a gun license and obtained his guns illegally. The commission heard there were “two and potentially three” instances where police received information about his access to firearms. Little, if anything, was done according to testimony.

Gunman ravages Nova Scotia in Canada’s deadliest mass shooting

Several of the guns were traced and brought to gun shops in Maine. A friend there told police that Wortman took one or more of the guns without his knowledge or permission, while giving the shooter a Ruger P89 “as a token of appreciation” for his help with “tree removal and other small jobs around his residence.”

An AR-15 came from a gun store in California, but Wortman first saw it at a gun show in Maine and another person bought it for him. Witnesses told police after the shooting that Wortman would take the firearms apart and roll them up in the cargo bed of his pickup truck to smuggle them across the border.

Wortman was shot dead by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at a service area in Enfield, Nova Scotia, ending his rampage. Police have not charged any of the people who helped him obtain the weapons, including those who may have broken US laws.

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Javed Iqbal

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