Canada’s legislation to reduce gun violence receives Royal Assent
Ottawa: Canada’s Firearms Act has received Royal Assent, immediately bringing into force a series of measures to combat gun crime.
These measures include a national handgun freeze, emergency weapons prohibition orders, and increased penalties for firearms smuggling and trafficking, Xinhua news agency reported, citing a news release issued on Friday by Public Safety Canada.
Since 2009, handguns have been the most used weapon in firearm-related violent crimes in Canada. With the passing of this legislation, the national freeze on the sale, purchase, and transfer of handguns has been codified in legislation, restricting the transfer and importation of handguns into Canada, the release said, noting that the handgun freeze came into effect by regulations made on October 21, 2022.
To address risks to victims, including of gender-based and intimate partner violence where a firearm is present, the new laws will allow any individual to apply to the court for an emergency weapons prohibition order against a person who possesses firearms and poses a danger to themselves or others, the release said.
Other significant changes to address the criminal use of firearms have immediately come into force, including increased maximum penalties for weapons smuggling and trafficking offences from 10 to 14 years, the release said.
Other measures will come into force 30 days following royal assent, including the enactment of new offences related to the possession and distribution of computer data for use in illegal firearms manufacturing, for example by 3D printing “ghost guns,” and the classification of illegally made firearms as prohibited, the release said.