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The Canadian government announced on Friday August 5 that it would ban the importation of handguns in an attempt to curb gun violence in the country.
L'” temporary ban “will be applied from August 19 to individuals and businesses, “ until the entry into force of the national freeze “, specifies Marco Mendicino, the Minister of Public Security, in a press release. This Bill C-21 could come into force in the fall. These weapons have only one goal, to kill people », Underlines Marco Mendicino, during a trip to Etobicoke, in the suburbs of Toronto.
This announcement comes a few months after Justin Trudeau unveiled a plan in May for “national handgun ownership freeze” after the recent killings in the United States: the killing in theUvalde school in Texas last May, a massacre that left 21 dead, including 19 children, and the racist massacre that left ten dead, mostly African-Americans, in Buffalo, New York. A statement by the Prime Minister who had then pushed Canadians to rush to arms stores, with lines visible in front of these businesses and rapid flows of stocks. According to government estimates, there are over one million handguns in Canada, for a population of 38 million people.
The group PolySeSouvient, which represents survivors and families of victims of gun violence, hailed a “ important and groundbreaking measure that will undoubtedly slow the expansion of the Canadian handgun market pending the passage of the bill “.
REMINDER: According to @StatCan_eng, only 6% of violent crimes involving firearms are linked to a criminal organization or a street gang. According to statistics from @grcrcmppolice68% of weapons seized by police across the country (incl. 40% of handguns) come from 🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/407Yiyceg3
— PolySeSouvient / PolyRemembers (@Polysesouvient) August 5, 2022
Armed violence that persists
Despite all the measures put in place by Ottawa to try to reduce armed violence, experts remain skeptical about their effectiveness, pointing to the smuggling of weapons from the United States as the real problem. The measure also comes in the context of an upsurge in crimes related to firearms: this week, three homicides were committed within 24 hours in the Montreal region.
On Wednesday, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced two major seizures in western Canada of “ ghost guns which do not have a serial number and are difficult to trace. From January 1, 2019 to June 30, 2022, CBSA Pacific Region seized 581 firearms at ports of entry and in international mail shipments.