TORONTO (AP) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has introduced legislation that would put a national freeze on importing, buying or selling handguns.
Trudeau said Monday that the government will cap the market for handguns. The government says the bill would also allow for the removal of gun licenses from people involved in acts of domestic violence or criminal harassment, such as stalking.
The government also plans to fight gun smuggling and trafficking by increasing criminal penalties, providing more tools to investigate firearms crimes and strengthening border measures.
Trudeau has long had plans to enact tougher gun laws. The introduction of the new legislation comes after mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, N.Y., this month.
U.S. President Joe Biden grieved with the shattered community of Uvalde on Sunday, mourning privately for three hours with anguished families of the 19 schoolchildren and two teachers killed by a gunman.
At Robb Elementary School, Biden visited a memorial of 21 white crosses — one for each of those killed — and first lady Jill Biden added a bouquet of white flowers to those already placed in front of the school sign. The couple then viewed individual altars erected in memory of each student, the first lady touching the children’s photos as they moved along the row.
As Biden departed church to meet privately with family members, a crowd of about 100 people began chanting “do something.” Biden answered, “We will,” as he got into his car. It was his only public comment during roughly seven hours in Uvalde.
Biden later tweeted that he grieves, prays and stands with the people of Uvalde. “And we are committed to turning this pain into action,” he said.
The visit to Uvalde was Biden’s second trip in as many weeks to console a community in loss after a mass shooting. He traveled to Buffalo, New York, on May 17 to meet with victims’ families and condemn white supremacy after a shooter espousing the racist “replacement theory” killed 10 Black people at a supermarket.
Both shootings and their aftermath put a fresh spotlight on the nation’s entrenched divisions and its inability to forge consensus on actions to reduce gun violence.