OTTAWA, May 30 (Reuters) - Canada's government introduced legislation Monday to implement a "national freeze" on the sale and purchase of handguns as part of a gun control package that would also limit magazine capacities and ban some toys that look like guns.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters the new measures were needed as gun violence was increasing.
The handgun freeze would contain exceptions, including for elite sport shooters, Olympic athletes and security guards.
Authorities do not expect a run on handguns in anticipation of the freeze, in part because they are so heavily regulated already, an official said in a briefing.
The rate in each of 2020 and 2017 was the country's highest since at least 1997, according to Statistics Canada.
Rod Giltaca, the head of the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights, said the handgun freeze was "absurd.".
Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Ottawa and Anna Mehler Paperny in Toronto, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien and Richard Pullin. »