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Canada introduces legislation to ban handgun sales

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government introduced a law on Monday that would put a halt to buying, importing or selling handguns.

“It will be illegal to buy, sell, transfer or import handguns anywhere in Canada,” said Trudeau.

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Canada cracks down on gun ownership

The move to put a cap on the number of handguns in the country comes as the latest in a string of gun regulations imposed by the Canadian government. The county has already expanded background checks and has plans to ban 1,500 types of firearms by the end of 2022.

The new measure comes in the wake of the mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York earlier this month.

“In Canada, gun ownership is a privilege not a right,” said Canada’s Minister of Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair, according to News10 NBC. “This is a principle that differentiates ourselves from many other countries in the world, notably our colleagues and friends to the south.”

Blair noted that guns are often smuggled illegally into Canada from the U.S.

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Guns can hold no more than five rounds

The government said it will require rifle magazines to be permanently altered so they cannot hold more than five rounds at a time. The sale and transfer of large-capacity magazines would also be panned under Canada’s Criminal Code.

Additionally, the government said the new bill would allow gun licenses to be revoked from people involved in incidents of domestic violence or criminal harassment.

The bill would also create a “red flag” law allowing courts to require people considered a danger to themselves or others to hand over their firearms to police.

Trudeau acknowledged his government believes the vast majority of Canadian gun owners are responsible but that the level of gun violence in the country is unacceptable. He said that, except for sport shooting and hunting, “there is no reason anyone in Canada should need guns in their everyday lives.”

Trudeau said his government recognizes the announcement of the bill could cause a rush to buy guns, therefore, it wants Parliament to pass the legislation as soon as possible.

Related: Central NY veteran ‘very disappointed’ with state of gun violence in U.S.