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Canadians deserve to feel safe in their communities. That is why the Government of Canada has a comprehensive plan that gets firearms off our streets and more resources into our communities. A central part of this is the recently introduced Bill C-21. The bill addresses the alarming role of guns in gender based violence, gets tough on organized crime and most significantly introduces a national freeze on the sale, transfer and ownership of handguns, anywhere in Canada.
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety, today announced a temporary import ban on the importation of restricted handguns. This will help bring the ultimate impact of the national handgun freeze into force sooner. This temporary ban means that individuals and businesses will no longer be able to import handguns into Canada, subject to narrow exceptions that mirror those in Bill C-21. These restrictions will take effect on August 19th, 2022, and will last until the national freeze comes into force.
No single program or initiative can tackle the challenge of gun violence on its own. That is why Bill C-21 and the national freeze on handguns are two of the many elements in the Government’s comprehensive plan to keep Canadians safe. This begins at our borders, where we’ve added resources to fight smuggling and stop guns from coming into Canada. We’re also investing in prevention programs to tackle the root causes of gun crime and stop it before it starts. Finally, we banned assault-style weapons like AR-15s, and will soon begin a buyback program to get these weapons of war out of our communities once and for all.
“We know that one Canadian killed by gun violence is one too many. As a government, it is our duty to ensure that Canada remains one of the safest places to live in the world. The import ban announced today will help to keep guns stay off our streets as we work towards implementing Bill C-21, reducing gun violence in the immediate term.
- Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs
“My top priority as Minister is keeping Canadians safe in their communities. Today’s announcement is further proof that we are using all tools at our disposal to fight gun crime in this country. It is a key pillar of our plan to address it, along with investments in prevention, action at our borders, a ban on assault-style weapons and Bill C-21 – Canada’s most significant action on gun violence in a generation.”
- Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety