Canada to temporarily ban import of handguns

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OTTAWA — Canada said on Friday it would temporarily ban the import of restricted handguns from Aug. 19 in a move intended to fast-track rules proposed in gun control legislation announced in May.

The import ban would stay in place until a national freeze on handguns comes into force, the Canadian government said in a statement.

Canada has much stricter gun laws than the United States, but Canadians are allowed to own firearms providing they have a license. Restricted or prohibited firearms, like handguns, must also be registered.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ruling Liberal government introduced legislation to implement a national freeze on the sale and purchase of handguns, among other measures in a gun control package that is yet to clear a parliamentary process.

The Canadian parliament is currently on summer break until September.

“The import ban announced today will help to keep guns stay off our streets as we work towards implementing Bill C-21, reducing gun violence in the immediate term,” Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said in a statement. (Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Ottawa; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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