Gun stores in Canada are reportedly seeing a surge in sales after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would push for a freeze on handguns.
Mr. Trudeau on May 30 announced the pause, which would apply to future sales or transfers and could become law by the fall.
“We thought there would be a bit of a run on handguns but we didn’t expect this,” J.R. Cox, who owns The Shooting Edge ranges in Calgary and Toronto, told the Global News. “All the stores in Calgary were just crazy.”
Gun shop owners from Ottawa to the West Coast reported a similar trend.
“You get a lot of people that, as soon as they announce new gun control measures, everyone wants to go in and buy a gun,” Dan Shemley, warehouse manager of Great North Precision Canada in British Columbia, told CBC News.
As the U.S. debates gun laws in the wake of horrific shootings in New York and Texas, Canada is taking aggressive steps. It moved to expand background checks and ban 1,500 types of military-style firearms.
Canada also wants to crack down on guns smuggled in from the U.S., but the pause on handguns is the headline-grabbing move.
“We are capping the number of handguns in this country,” Mr. Trudeau said. “It will be illegal to buy, sell, transfer or import handguns anywhere in Canada.”