The Canadian government officially enacted regulations on Friday banning the sale, purchase, and transfer of all handguns within the country, part of an ongoing effort to reduce gun violence within Canada.
In a press release, the office of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that, going forward, "people cannot buy, sell, or transfer handguns within Canada, and they cannot bring newly acquired handguns into the country." This national handgun ban was first proposed by Trudeau this past May following the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas in which 19 children were killed. The ban was introduced alongside Bill C-21, a slate of parliamentary amendments that would amount to the strongest gun control legislation in Canada in 40 years.
While Bill C-21 continues to be debated in the House of Commons, the national handgun ban is now in effect immediately, a move lauded by the prime minister. "Canadians have the right to feel safe in their homes, in their schools, and in their places of worship," Trudeau said. "With handgun violence increasing across Canada, it is our duty to take urgent action to remove these deadly weapons from our communities. Today, we're keeping more guns out of our communities, and keeping our kids safe."
Despite Canada having a low rate of mass shootings overall, gun violence, in general, has been on the rise. According to USA Today, there has been a 70 percent increase in handguns in Canada since 2010.