Canada's Trudeau announces 'national freeze' on handgun ownership, mandatory gun buyback legislation

The legislation would make it impossible to "buy, sell, transfer or import handguns in Canada," Trudeau said

Updated: May 30, 2022 - 6:42pm

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday unveiled legislation that would force Canadians to turn over their "military-style assault weapons" in a government buyback program and create a "national freeze" on handguns.

The legislation comes a week after a gunman used an AR-15 to kill 19 Texas elementary school students and two teachers  

Trudeau's Bill C-21 would also take away the firearms licenses of those involved in domestic violence incidents or criminal harassment, including stalking.

"The government will also require long-gun magazines to be permanently altered so they can never hold more than five rounds, and will ban the sale and transfer of large capacity magazines," Reuters reported.

"The day this legislation goes into effect it will no longer be possible to buy, sell, transfer or import handguns in Canada," Trudeau told reporters.

Canada already has much more stringent gun laws than the United States, and Trudeau's legislation is expected to pass.

It could apply to tens of thousands of guns, and the buybacks are likely to begin by the end of 2022, The New York Times reported. 

"Other than using firearms for sport shooting and hunting, there is no reason anyone in Canada should need guns in their everyday lives," the prime minister said