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Canada bans import of handguns: minister

#Canada #bans #import #handguns #minister

Canada announced Friday it will ban handgun imports beginning August 19, as part of a broader proposed freeze following high-profile mass shootings in the United States.

Such weapons “have one purpose and one purpose only, which is to kill people,” Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino said at a news conference announcing the move.

Global Affairs Canada added in a statement that the ban on businesses and individuals is a temporary measure intended to apply “until the national freeze takes effect,” which is expected to happen by the fall.

The announcement was welcomed by arms control group PolySeSouvient, who described it as an “important and innovative measure that will undoubtedly slow the expansion of Canada’s handguns market pending the passage” of the arms freeze.

Experts remain skeptical about the effectiveness of Ottawa’s gun control measures, citing gun smuggling from the neighboring United States as the real problem.

On Wednesday, the Canada Border Services Agency announced two large seizures of “ghost weapons” in western Canada that have no serial numbers and are difficult to track down.

From January 1, 2019 to June 30, 2022, the CBSA Pacific Region seized 581 firearms at ports of entry and in international mail.

Friday’s announcement comes months. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled a proposal for a national freeze on handgun ownership in May.

The freeze was announced after two particularly high-profile mass shootings in the United States — at a Texas elementary school that killed 21 people, mostly children; and at a supermarket in upstate New York, where a gunman aimed at African Americans killed 10 people.

Trudeau’s testimony prompted Canadians to flock to gun deals and quick inventory sell-offs.

According to government estimates, there are more than 1 million handguns in Canada of 38 million people.

Around 2,500 stores sell handguns in the country.

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