Washington, May 30 (EFE).- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Monday proposed a complete freeze on the sale and purchase of new firearms after an 18-year-old gunman shot dead 19 students and two teachers at a school in the United States.
Trudeau introduced a bill in parliament that would tighten gun control in Canada and freeze private ownership of all short-barrelled firearms by making it illegal to buy them.
“Through this legislation, we will move forward with a national freeze on handgun ownership. In other words, it will no longer be possible to buy, sell, transfer, or import handguns anywhere in Canada once this bill becomes law,” the prime minister tweeted.
He said that “one Canadian killed by gun violence is one too many,” justifying the ban on 1,500 types of military-style assault firearms.
“I have seen all too well the tragic cost that gun violence has in our communities across the country. Today, we’re proposing some of the strongest measures in Canadian history to keep guns out of our communities and build a safer future for everyone.”
Trudeau said the proposed legislation would increase criminal penalties to combat gun smuggling and trafficking and provide authorities with more tools to investigate firearms crimes.
It would criminalize the modification of magazines to prevent them from holding more than the legal limit of carrying more than five bullets in long-gun magazines.
“We will make sure that people involved in acts of domestic violence or criminal harassment have their firearms licences taken away. And we will make sure that those who are considered a danger to themselves or others have to surrender their firearms to authorities.”
The Trudeau government, in 2020, announced the ban of over 1,500 models and variants of assault-style firearms, including the AR-15, a type of rifle used by Salvador Ramos, the attacker at the Uvalde school in Texas.
The government on Monday said that it would introduce a buyback program “to offer fair compensation to affected owners and businesses.”
The number of registered handguns in Canada increased by 71 percent between 2010 and 2020, reaching approximately 1.1 million, the government data showed.
Handguns were the most serious weapon present in the majority of firearm-related violent crimes (59 percent) between 2009 and 2020.
The massacre in the Texas school has reignited the perennial debate on tougher gun control laws in the United States, where Democrats are pushing to pass background checks for gun buyers but Republicans are opposed to the measure.
They believe mass shootings should be addressed as a security and mental health issue. EFE