The Canadian federal government implemented a national handgun freeze on Friday that prohibits the sale, purchase and trade of all handguns.
The freeze took immediate effect as part of Ottawa’s plan to limit firearms in response to a recent spike in gun-related crimes, according to CBC. Citizens with legally acquired handguns in their current possession can still maintain ownership of their firearms and use their registered handguns, but all transactions transferring the ownership of handguns is now strictly prohibited.
Today, the federal government is using special powers to regulate handgun sales, enacting a freeze. Instead of waiting to pass Bill C21, these new measures are intended to help quell rising gun violence across Canada. we spoke to Minister Marco Mendicino with more. #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/51fRYdpYXC
— CTV Your Morning (@YourMorning) October 21, 2022
Very limited permissions and exceptions relating the exchange of handgun ownership will be honored. The import and export of handguns to museums and the movie industry are among the few that can continue outside of the perimeters of the new “freeze,” according to CBC.
The Canadian government’s Bill C-21 is currently before Parliament, but legislation has not yet been passed. Bill C-21 would allow for the automatic removal of gun license from anyone that was found guilty of committing a domestic violence crime or those who engage in criminal harassment such as stalking, according to CBC. (RELATED: Jamaican Regulator Bans Music Glorifying Drugs, Crime And Gun Violence)
National crime data revealed that handguns were the firearms most frequently used in firearm-related violent crimes between 2009 and 2020, according to CBC.
Firearms rights groups and the opposition Conservatives have strongly criticized the freeze, saying it will target law-abiding citizens and businesses. They argue the issue with gun violence is rooted in illegal and smuggled guns, citing that a legal gun ban won’t address the root of the problem, according to CBC.