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To put a break on the rising arms-related violence, Canada has imposed a temporary ban on the import of restricted handguns from 19 August, on Friday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is currently on a vacation, took on Twitter to make the announcement. “As of August 19th, the importation of handguns will be banned in Canada. The ban will remain in effect until the national handgun freeze" says his tweet.

 

The move has come to support the gun control legislation that was proposed in May this year. The government had introduced the legislation, Bill C-21, that seeks to freeze the use, purchase, and sale of handguns in Canada.

If passed, the new law will “prevent individuals from bringing newly acquired handguns into Canada and from buying, selling, and transferring handguns within the country," according to a release from the prime minister’s office at the time.

The bill was introduced in response to the heart-wrenching case of shooting 19 children and two teachers at a school in Uvalde, Texas on 24 May. However, the bill could not be passed during that session making no major change in the firearm license scenario in Canada.

On the contrary, the news of a bill to bring a national freeze on handguns had its repercussion. The nation witnessed a rise in the sale of arms as people began rushing into shops to buy guns before the implementation of the national freeze.

Now, the bill is expected to pass by parliament in September after its Summer break. Therefore, the government temporarily banned the import of handguns to prevent gun sellers from raising their inventories. This will help in attaining the ultimate aim of the handgun freeze in Canada, which may come into effect soon.

Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino has described the measure of “a temporary import ban on the importation of restricted handguns" as the ultimate way to keep Canadians safe. He also informed that the restriction will remain in place till the national freeze comes into force.

 

“Today’s announcement is further proof that we are using all tools at our disposal to fight gun crime in this country. It is a key pillar of our plan to address it, along with investments in prevention, action at our borders, a ban on assault-style weapons, and Bill C-21 - Canada’s most significant action on gun violence in a generation," Mendicino said.

It is worth noting, that firearms laws in Canada are way stricter than that in the USA, but Canada's gun homicide rate is far more than many other developed countries.

A Canadian government's press release stated that law enforcement agencies are fully committed to bringing down the illegal arms trading on the border. The agency seized more than double the number of firearms at the border in 2021, compared to 2020. The number of seized arms was also the highest in recent years.

Despite the government's crackdown on illegal trading, Canada's firearms import reached $26.4 million between January and June this year, which was a straight 52% hike compared to the same period in 2021.

Inputs from HT desk

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