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Canada to ban imports of handguns ahead of national freeze on handgun sales

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Seized firearms are displayed during a Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Crime Stoppers news conference at Royal Canadian Mounted Police headquarters in Surrey, British Columbia, on Monday, May 17, 2021.

Darryl Dyck, The Canadian Press via Associated Press

Canadian leaders announced on Friday plans to ban the import of restricted handguns into the country ahead of legislation introduced to freeze the sale of handguns across Canada.

The country introduced new gun control measures in May just a week after 19 children and 2 teachers died in a mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

With the Canada parliament on break until September, the legislation implementing the handgun freeze hasn’t been officially passed.

The import ban will go into effect Aug. 19 and will limit the amount of handguns in the country before the handgun freeze is implemented.

Since Canada announced the new gun control measures in May, sales for handguns have skyrocketed, according to Toronto Star.

In November, Toronto’s city mayor said 80% of guns used in gun violence incidents come from the United States according to The Washington Post.

“The biggest problem we have in the city is the volume of guns coming across border,” Toronto Police Chief James Ramer told The Washington Post.

About $28.2 million in revolvers and pistols had been imported to Canada in 2021 with two-thirds of that coming from the United States.

The handgun freeze contains certain exceptions, according to Reuters, for elite sport shooters, Olympic athletes and security guards. Citizens who already own a handgun will be allowed to keep them.

Other gun control measures announced will ban the sale of large-capacity magazines, require long-gun magazines to be altered to carry no more than five rounds and ban someone subject to a protection order or who has engaged in domestic violence from having a firearms license.

Canada previously banned the sale and use of AR-15s and other assault weapons two years ago after a mass shooting in Portapique, Nova Scotia.