Justin Trudeau Proposes National Suspension on Handguns in Canada, Following Shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo

“The fewer the guns in our communities, the safer everyone will be,” Trudeau said in a news conference yesterday.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during the memorial ceremony marking the discovery of 215 unmarked graves at Tkemlups Powwow Arbour in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada on May 23, 2022. Credit: Getty Images
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during the memorial ceremony marking the discovery of 215 unmarked graves at Tkemlups Powwow Arbour in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada on May 23, 2022. Credit: Getty Images

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that he would institute a nationwide freeze on handguns sales in Canada, effectively capping the market.

“What this means is that it will no longer be possible to buy, sell, transfer or import handguns anywhere in Canada,” Trudeau said. “Gun violence is a complex problem, but at the end of the day the math is really quite simple: The fewer the guns in our communities, the safer everyone will be.”

The Prime Minister’s announcement comes after a mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas last week, in which 19 children and two teachers were killed. Earlier this month, a separate, racially motivated shooting took place in Buffalo, New York, claiming the lives of ten people.

A release made public yesterday by Trudeau’s office indicated that the number of registered handguns in Canada increased by 71%from 2010 to 2020, adding, “Handguns were the most serious weapon present in the majority of firearm-related violent crimes (59 percent) between 2009 and 2020.”

The release also stated that the proposed legislation would combat gun trafficking and smuggling by increasing criminal penalties and would create a new “red flag” law enabling courts to mandate that people considered a danger to themselves or others surrender their firearms to law enforcement.

Trudeau prioritized gun control in his 2019 campaign, per CNN. He would go on to ban over 1,500 kinds of assault weapons the following year after a mass shooting in Nova Scotia — the deadliest in Canada’s history — in which 22 people were killed.

USA Today reported that, following the tragedies in Uvalde and Buffalo, a group of bipartisan senators in the United States have initiated informal talks last week to discuss gun-related deaths.