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OTTAWA, Ont. (AP) — Canada plans to temporarily ban the importation of handguns into the country without parliamentary approval, a regulatory measure set to take effect in two weeks.

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said on Friday that the change would continue until Parliament passed the permanent freeze and took effect.

The government introduced gun control legislation in May that included a nationwide freeze on the import, purchase, sale and transfer of handguns, but it has yet to pass.

The temporary injunction will prevent businesses from importing handguns into Canada, with some exceptions as in the legislation introduced in May.

As foreign minister, Melanie Joly said she has the power to ban any import or export licenses in Canada.

Government trade data showed Canada imported $26.4 million worth of handguns and revolvers between January and June, a 52 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.

But of the small number of incidents of gun violence in Canada, most have been through illegal firearms smuggled from the United States.

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