Friday, March 31, 2023

Canada introduces law to curb handgun sales, bans lookalike toys

OTTAWA, May 30 (Reuters) – Canada’s government introduced legislation on Monday to implement a “national freeze” on the sale and purchase of handguns as part of a gun control package, which would also limit the ability to magazine and Will ban some toys that look like guns.

The new law, which revives some measures postponed amid a national election last year, comes a week after a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers in his classroom in Uvalde, Texas.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters the new measures were needed because gun violence was on the rise.

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“We only need to look south of the border to know that if we don’t act resolutely and swiftly it gets worse and worse and even more difficult to combat,” he said.

There will be exceptions to the handgun freeze, including elite sports shooters, Olympic athletes and security guards. Canadians who already have handguns will be allowed to keep them.

Officials do not expect a run on handguns in anticipation of the freeze, as they are already heavily regulated, one official said at a briefing.

Canada has stronger gun laws than the United States, but while its gun homicide rate is less than a fifth of the U.S. rate, it is higher than other wealthy countries and is increasing. In 2020, it was five times Australia’s rate.

According to Statistics Canada, the rate in each of 2020 and 2017 was the country’s highest since at least 1997.

Canada banned the sale and use of about 1,500 models of assault weapons, such as the AR-15 rifle, two years ago in the wake of the mass shooting in Portapique, Nova Scotia – a move some firearms owners say they will take to court. contesting elections. Speaking with Trudeau, Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino confirmed the “imminent launch of an early phase” of a program to buy back and compensate owners of such weapons.

While the Liberals have a minority of seats in parliament, legislation could be passed with the support of the left-leaning New Democratic Party.

The employed law will prevent anyone subject to a safety order or who is engaged in domestic violence or pursued from obtaining or possessing a license for firearms.

It would also require permanent replacement of long-gun magazines so that they never exceed five rounds, and ban the sale and transfer of large-capacity magazines.

The new laws would also ban some toys that look like real guns, such as airsoft rifles. Last week, Toronto police shot and killed a man carrying a pellet gun. read more

Justice Minister David Lametti told reporters, “Since they look like real firearms, the police should treat them like real ones. This has had sad consequences.”

Canadian Police Association president Tom Stamatakis welcomed some of the moves, such as “red flag” provisions in domestic violence, and said he would like more information on enforcement and resources for measures such as the handgun freeze.

He fully supported the crackdown on counterfeit guns, which he described as a “big challenge”.

“You can’t differentiate between what is a replica firearm and what is an actual firearm, especially when these incidents involving replica firearms often happen in very dynamic, rapidly evolving situations.”

Rod Giltka, head of the Canadian Coalition for Firearms Rights, said the handgun freeze was “absurd”.

He said officers were not using pre-existing tools to combat gun violence, such as listing people as references on gun license applications.

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Reporting by Ismail Shakeel in Ottawa and Anna Mehler Pepperney in Toronto, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Richard Pullin

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Nation World News Desk
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