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P.M Trudeau announces effective immediate ban on 1,500 types of ‘assault-style’ firearms.

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Published on May 01, 2020 with No Comments

Public safety minister has drafted a list of firearms to be banned — including weapons used in mass shootings.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced a ban on some 1,500 makes and models of military-grade “assault-style” weapons in Canada, effective immediately.

Starting today, licensed gun owners will no longer be allowed to sell, transport, import or use these sorts of weapons in this country.

“As of today, the market for assault weapons in Canada is closed,” Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said. “Enough is enough. Banning these firearms will save Canadian lives.”

Trudeau said there will be a two-year amnesty period to allow people who already own these firearms to comply with the ban. Trudeau promised to pass legislation in the coming months to provide “fair compensation” to people who own these firearms.

The Liberal Party promised some sort of buyback program in the last election, something that could cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

full list of the firearms that have been banned is available through the Canada Gazette.

The ban will be enacted through regulations approved by an order-in-council from cabinet — not through legislation. Trudeau said the government was ready to enact this campaign promise months ago, before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the legislative agenda.

The term “assault-style” has no legal definition in Canada. The Firearms Act also does not currently classify firearms as “military-style” — that term would have to be defined in the new regulations.

Generally speaking, an assault-style weapon is a semi-automatic firearm with a large ammunition magazine, built to fire quickly.

Criminal sanctions

All Canadians must be in compliance with the law by April 2022, Justice Minister David Lametti said, adding that gun owners who have not disposed of their banned firearms by that point could face sanctions under the Criminal Code.

While there is an amnesty period, the firearms cannot be used anywhere as of today. Lametti said firearms owners may return the firearms to the manufacturer or export them as part of a sale between now and 2022.

“These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only … to kill the largest amount of people in the shortest amount of time,” Trudeau said.

While he acknowledged that most firearms owners are law-abiding citizens, he said hunters don’t need this sort of firepower.

“You don’t need an AR-15 to bring down a deer,” he said.

This ban does not cover handguns, the weapon of choice for gang members. Blair promised Friday to enact legislation down the line to give municipalities the power to ban these firearms.

The firearms ban comes less than two weeks after the Nova Scotia gun massacre, an incident Trudeau called “the deadliest rampage in our country’s history.”

“These tragedies reverberate still. They shape our identity, they stain our conscience, they make adults out of children and the heartbreaking truth is they’re happening more often than they once did,” Trudeau said of such mass shootings.

“Their families deserve more than thoughts and prayers. Canadians deserve more than thoughts and prayers.”

Heidi Rathjen is a graduate of École Polytechnique in Montreal — scene of the Montreal massacre of 1989 —and coordinator of Poly Remembers, a gun control group. She applauded the government’s ban.

“The Liberal government is finally delivering on its top gun control promise,” she said. “The ban is comprehensive. The circulation and use of these weapons will be severely restricted during the two-year amnesty.

“We hope the Trudeau government will display the same political courage when it proceeds with the reform of the current flawed classification system in order to make such a ban permanent.”


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