Canada bans military-style assault rifles 12 days after mass shooting

Monday, 04 May, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is banning a range of assault-style guns, with an order that takes effect immediately.

He noted that those guns are designed for one goal only, to kill the most amount of people in the shortest amount of time.

Using "regulations" it says that from today onward the thousands of legal owners of such firearms can not buy, sell, trade, use, or transport them. A survey released by Angus Reid found that 78 per cent of Canadians support a ban on military-grade assault weapons.

She doesn't agree with the prime minister's argument that a ban is justified in response to numerous mass shootings, from Ecole Polytechnique in 1989 to the recent killings in Nova Scotia.

Twenty-two people were killed in the shooting rampage in Nova Scotia on April 18 and 19.

Addressing the public on Friday, Trudeau said that "the vast majority of gun owners use them safely, responsibly, and in accordance with the law", and that the use of firearms was tradition in many families.

Gun enthusiasts, meanwhile, are "enraged and infuriated" and promising legal challenges, said Tony Bernardo, executive director of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association.

He announced the ban of over 1,500 models and variants of assault-style firearms, including two guns used by the gunman as well as the AR-15 and other weapons that have been used in a number of mass shootings in the United States.

The Nova Scotia shooter didn't have a gun license and thus possessed all of his weapons illegally, a fact Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer seized upon in blasting Trudeau's move.

"This big step in nationwide gun control is long overdue, and hopefully will foster an atmosphere here in B.C. that will help keep potential victims of gender-based violence out of harm's way".

In addition, the government will ban.50-calibre rifles, a category made up largely of high-powered sniper weapons, and firearms with calibres of more than 20 millimetres. "But you do not need an AR-15 to bring down a deer".

Matt Gurney, writing in the National Post, said the Liberal legislation "banned" some guns, ignored others and called it a day, without making Canadians any safer. This news comes on the heels of the deadliest mass shooting in Canadian history.

Almost four in five support a ban on civilians owning assault-style weapons, according to new polling from the Angus Reid Institute. Trudeau said some form of compensation would also be put in place but the firearms can also be exported and sold after a proper export license is obtained.