Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday that the proposed Liberal handgun freeze would not be punishing legal handgun owners, and anyone who says so is pushing "misinformation and disinformation."
Trudeau made the comments on Tuesday after critics pointed out that the vast majority of handgun crime in Canada is committed using illegal, smuggled handguns from the United States. In 2020, 000007 percent of Canadians were killed with guns, compared to .00014 percent of Americans in the same year.
"I think we need to be careful about misinformation and disinformation in this. We've explicitly and specifically not targeted law-abiding firearms owners because those who currently own and operate handguns safely, store them safely, are not at all targeted by this legislation," he said.
"We're simply saying that we're freezing the market and in the future it will not be possible to buy, sell transfer, or import handguns in Canada. There's been too many tragedies, Canadians need to see safer communities, and this is a comprehensive, multistep path towards that."
On Monday, Trudeau announced that he would be putting forward legislation that would implement 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."
"As a further part of this new legislation, we're also fighting gun smuggling and trafficking by increasing maximum criminal penalties and providing more tools for law enforcement to investigate firearm crimes," he said.
"We'll require the permanent alteration of long gun magazines so they can never hold more than five rounds. These are actions that doctors, experts, and chiefs of police have been calling for for years, and we're acting on their advice.
Trudeau said that investments have already been made to strengthen the RCMP's capacity to intercept guns coming across borders, saying that efforts are working.
"Our agencies intercepted nearly double the number of firearms than the year before," he said. "We'll continue doing more to support law enforcement as they tackle the illegal gun market."
"The vast majority of gun owners use them safely and in accordance with the law, but other than using firearms for sport shooting and hunting, there is no reason anyone in Canada should need guns in their every day lives, and Canadians certainly don't need assault-style weapons that were designed to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time. Canadians are united in wanting more done to keep communities safe and prevent suicides and gender-based violence, and that's exactly why we're here today."
"The consequences are real," Trudeau continued. "Today, we're joined by families and friends of victims of gun violence including the mass shootings at Polytechnique, on the Danforth, and at the Quebec City Mosque. Losing a child to gun violence... should never happen."