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Canadian P.M. Justin Trudeau Introduces Freeze On Gun Ownership After Texas School Shooting

Gun reform has been a slow-moving process in the U.S., but neighboring Canada quickly introduced stronger gun laws in response to the tragic mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, last week that took the lives of 19 elementary-age children and two teachers.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday that if passed, the new regulations would enact a national freeze on handgun ownership.

“What this means is that it will no longer be possible to buy, sell, transfer or import handguns anywhere in Canada,” Trudeau said at a Monday news conference. “In other words, we’re capping the market.”

Fines and maximum prison sentences will be the consequences for those who don’t comply. The Prime Minister also presented a military-style rifle buyback program.

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“Gun violence is a complex problem, but at the end of the day the math is really quite simple: The fewer the guns in our communities, the safer everyone will be,” the Prime Minister said.

The measures the Canadian government put forth contrasts with the progress in Congress. The House Judiciary Committee is planning to meet on Thursday to make final edits to the “Protect Our Kids Act,” with hopes that the full House will vote next week. The bill is likely to face strong opposition in the evenly split Senate. Though some Republicans have voiced a desire to pass bipartisan gun measures, it may not be enough to generate 10 Republican votes to avoid the filibuster.

“Unfortunately, the reality is in our country [gun violence] is getting worse and has been getting worse over the past years,” Trudeau added as he announced the proposals. “We need only look south of the border to know that if we do not take action, firmly and rapidly, it gets worse and worse and more difficult to counter.”

Rose Carter

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