Canada is reportedly considering an outright ban on all handguns and so-called “assault weapons.”
According to this, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent a letter to Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blairand Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale ordering a new study into a full handgun ban and what that would look like in terms of policy and legislation.
"You should lead an examination of a full ban on handguns and assault weapons in Canada, while not impeding the lawful use of firearms by Canadians," the mandate letter reads.
The letter is reportedly in response to two recent shootings -- one in a busy Toronto street in July, and another last year at a Quebec City mosque -- that left multiple people dead. The Globe and Mail reports a full handgun ban is a measure Trudeau's been exploring as a new platform for some time.
Canada already has incredibly strict gun control laws compared to the United States. While shotguns and some rifles are listed as “unrestricted” firearms (largely for hunting purposes), other “restricted” guns – including many rifles and all handguns, as well as their ammo – require government permission to own. Other guns are listed as “prohibited,” including all automatic weapons as well as sawed-off shotguns, rifles, and handguns with shorter barrels or those that fire .25 or .32 caliber rounds.
Canada also mandates users have a government-issued license to own any gun, restricted or not. The license requiresaspiring gun owners to – get ready – be at least 18 years old, file an application, pay an $80 fee, take a complex safety course and pass multiple tests, complete a government background check, undergo a minimum 28-day waiting period, complete a series of interviews and remain subject to regular screening.
Owning a restricted gun, such as a handgun, requires further training and government permission.