gun ban canada

Canada bans 1,500 models of military-grade assault-style guns

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today revealed the details of new gun control measures that will be enacted across the country immediately.

"Every one of us remembers the day when we realized that even in Canada, a man with a gun could irrevocably alter our lives for the worst," he said in his daily press briefing, during which he announced the new Cabinet order banning 1,500 different models of military-grade assault-style firearms.

Guns like the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, Ruger Mini-14, M14 semi-automatic, Beretta CX4 Storm and CSA-VZ-58 — all of which have been used to kill innocent people in past rampages — are now deemed prohibited.

"These weapons were designed for one purpose, and for one purpose only: to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time. There is no use and no place for such weapons in Canada," he said.

The PM referenced shooting sprees that have shaken the country in recent memory, such as the one at Montreal's École Polytechnique in 1989; in Mayerthorpe, Alberta in 2005; Montreal's Dawson College in 2006;  Moncton, New Brunswick in 2014; La Loche, Saskatchewan in 2016; the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City in 2017; Toronto's Danforth in 2018; Fredericton, New Brunswick in 2018; and the tragedy in which 22 were killed in rural Nova Scotia less than two weeks ago.

Under the new law, no one is permitted to buy, sell, transport, import or use any of the listed firearms within Canada, though it is not technically illegal to own them.

Anyone who is currently lawfully in possession of any of the forbidden models will be given two years to comply with the ban, and the federal government will be implementing a buyback program to compensate those looking to get rid of their weapons.

Though Trudeau acknowledged the practical and traditional uses that some Canadian residents may have for firearms, such as hunting, he aptly pointed out that "you don't need an AR-15 to bring down a deer."

In the heated debate on the topic that has ensued after today's announcement, some — including Leader of the Opposition Andrew Scheer — pointed out that those who intend to use such guns for nefarious purposes may continue to acquire them illegally, regardless of whether a ban is in place (though, logically, a ban may reduce access to these types of weapons in the country).

Stricter gun control statutes were part of the Liberal party platform during re-election last fall, led in part by Minister of Public Safety and former Toronto Chief of Police Bill Blair, whom Trudeau commended in his statement today.

The new legislation follows Bill C‑71, enacted by Trudeau's government in July 2019, which made small changes to the existing Firearms Act, among other codes, such as strengthening background checks for would-be gun owners and rules for transporting weapons.

New Zealand is one country that has recently made a similar move to ban semi-automatic weapons after a shooter attacked a mosque in Christchurch, on its South Island, killing 51 and injuring 49 last year.

Lead photo by

Igor at work/Wikimedia Commons


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