Canadian individuals and businesses can no longer import or issue restricted handguns after a temporary ban issued by the federal government went into effect on Friday.
The move, announced earlier in August, is part of a Liberal government’s mandate to cap the number of handguns in the country, aiming to reduce firearm-related violence.
“Permits for import-restricted handguns into Canada will no longer be issued to individuals or businesses, subject to narrow exceptions that mirror those in Bill C-21,” reads a government statement.
“With stores unable to restock their shelves, these measures will slow the run on handguns until the national handgun freeze proposed in Bill C-21 comes into force.”
The ban is part of a gun-control plan unveiled by the Trudeau government in May that would automatically void the gun licences of convicted criminals.
That includes people who commit domestic violence or engage in criminal harassment. Ottawa also wants to increase maximum gun smuggling and trafficking penalties to 14 years, up from 10.
“This temporary ban is further proof that we are using all the tools at our disposal to fight gun crime,” said Marco Mendicino, Canada’s minister of public safety, in a statement.
“It is a key pillar of our plan to address it, along with investments in prevention, action at our borders, a ban on assault-style weapons and Bill C‑21: Canada’s most significant action on gun violence in a generation.”
Regulations won’t come into force until this fall, and legislative measures needed for the complete gun-control ban have yet to be approved by Parliament.