As of today, gun owners will no longer be allowed to sell, transport, import or use such weapons in this country.
“To date, the assault weapons market in Canada has been closed,” said Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair. ” Enough is enough. Banning these firearms will save Canadian lives. “
Watch: Federal Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair on the ban on assault weapons in Canada:
Trudeau said there will be a two-year amnesty period to allow those who already own these firearms to comply with the ban. Trudeau has promised to pass legislation in the coming months to provide “fair compensation” to those who own these firearms.
The Liberal Party promised some sort of buy-back program in the last election, which could cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.
A complete list of firearms that have been banned is available in the Canada Gazette.
The ban will be promulgated by regulations approved by Cabinet decree – not by law. Trudeau said the government was ready to deliver on this election promise months ago before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the legislative agenda.
“These weapons were designed with one goal and one goal: to kill the greatest number of people in the shortest possible time,” said Trudeau. “There is no use or space for such weapons in Canada. “
Although he recognizes that most gun owners are law-abiding citizens, he said hunters do not need this type of firepower.
Watch: Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer reacts to the Liberal government’s new gun regulations:
“You don’t need an AR-15 to shoot a deer,” he said.
The term “style of aggression” has no legal definition in Canada. The Firearms Act also does not currently classify “military style” firearms – this term should be defined in the new regulations.
Generally speaking, an assault weapon is a semi-automatic firearm with an ammunition magazine, designed to fire quickly. There is already a legal limit – five rounds – on the maximum size of a magazine.
All Canadians must comply with the law by April 2022, said Justice Minister David Lametti adding that gun owners who did not have their firearms prohibited at the time – there may be penalties under the Criminal Code.
Although there is an amnesty, firearms cannot be used anywhere today. Lametti said gun owners could return the guns to the manufacturer or export them for sale by 2022.
A government official speaking at a technical briefing to journalists said that the number of these now banned firearms currently in circulation is unknown.
There are 105,000 firearms currently classified as “restricted” which will now be classified as “prohibited”.
The main models being prohibited:
- M16, AR-10, AR-15 and M4 rifles
- Ruger Mini-14 rifle
- US Rifle M14
- Vz58 and CZ858 carbines
- Robinson Armament XCR air rifle
- CZ Scorpion EVO 3 rifle and pistol
- Beretta Cx4 Storm Rifle
- SIG Sauer SIG MCX and SIG Sauer SIG MPX Rifles and Pistols
- Swiss Arms Classic Green and Four Seasons rifles
The government official said that at the end of the two-year amnesty, the gun owners must have the gun, or they could ask that the gun be “protected”. Details on the grandfather process will be released at a later date, said the official.
Today’s ban does not cover handguns, the weapon of choice for gang members. Blair promised Friday to pass a law across the board to give municipalities the power to ban these guns.
The gun ban comes less than two weeks after the Nova Scotia massacre of firearms, an incident that Trudeau called “the deadliest unleashing in the history of our country.”
“These tragedies are still going on. They shape our identity, they stain our consciousness, they make adults children and the heartbreaking truth is that they happen more often than they have done before, “said Trudeau of the mass shootings.
“Their families deserve more than thoughts and prayers. Canadians deserve more than thoughts and prayers. ”
Heidi Rathjen graduated from École Polytechnique de Montréal – scene of the 1989 Montreal massacre – and coordinator of Poly Remembers, a gun control group. She applauded the government’s ban.
“The Liberal government is finally keeping its promise to control guns,” she said. “The ban is comprehensive. The circulation and use of these weapons will be severely restricted during the two-year amnesty.
“We hope that the Trudeau government will show the same political courage when it reforms the existing faulty classification system to make this ban permanent. “
The president of the Coalition for Gun Control, Wendy Cukier, said a ban like this was long overdue. She said that many Canadians have lost their lives as a result of gun violence while the country waits for this kind of ban to be issued.
“It has been a long wait. This is an important step for Canada and an important step forward. We are counting on all parliamentarians to support a mandatory buy-back program and to maintain this permanent ban, ”she said.
Nova Scotia shooter used illegal firearms
The RCMP have confirmed that the Nova Scotia shooter used firearms obtained illegally in Canada and from American sources to commit his crimes. He was not allowed to possess firearms.
Eyewitnesses said he used a number of weapons during his attacks, including a kind of long-barreled rifle and a handgun. The RCMP has described at least one of its firearms as an “assault-type” weapon.
Critics argue that this type of ban is aimed at licensed gun owners rather than criminals, who often turn to the black market for guns to commit crimes.
Rod Giltaca, CEO of the Canadian Coalition for Gun Rights, said the gun community was “devastated” by Friday’s development.
“The only people who will lose their guns in this action are the gun owners. No criminal will register or surrender a single gun, “he said in a statement. “This decision is considered entirely political. “
Illegal firearms from American sources are used in 70 to 90% of all gun related crimes.
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer has dismissed the government’s ban as “symbolism of the substance,” saying it does nothing to target smugglers or those who illegally modify firearms.
“We know the liberal approach is to ask law-abiding gun owners to obey more laws – it’s lazy and ineffective,” Scheer said in an interview. “It’s easy but lazy. “
“Doing this at a time when Canadians are very concerned about this pandemic is completely unacceptable. Now is not the time to make these major political changes, especially when they have proven so ineffective. “
When asked if the government would do more to monitor the border, Trudeau replied that more was in the works. Blair dodged the question when asked about CBC reports of the low number of firearms seized at the border.
The M16, M4, AR-10 and AR-15 rifles were used in the mass shooting of Sandy Hook, in New Zealand, Las Vegas and Orlando. There are an estimated 83,572 in Canada.
The Ruger Mini-14, the type of firearm used in shooting at École Polytechnique, is also on the list. There are an estimated 16,859 in Canada.
The M14 rifle used in the Moncton shooting should also be banned. There are approximately 5,229 in Canada.