Trudeau-Gun Ban

Prime Minister Trudeau announcing his party’s plan to ban new categories of firearms.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government on Friday banned 1,500 different makes and models of what called “military-style” and “assault-style” guns in Canada.

The ban comes into effect immediately and was ordered by the cabinet without any bill or debate in parliament.

Guns like the M16, M4, AR-10 and AR-15 rifles will be banned. It is estimated there are now 125,000 of these guns – purchased legally – which are now illegal. Licensed gun owners will no longer be allowed to sell, transport, import or use the guns.

Missiles and rocket launchers also made the banned list. First Nations members that hunt with these rifles are exempt.

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

He said hunters do not need “military-style” weapons.

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

It was already illegal to hunt deer or other game with AR-15s prior to the new ban.

There will now be a two-year “amnesty” program for gun owners while the government comes up with a compensation package for a “buy-back” program.

 Previously legal gun owners will be allowed to export the weapon or send them back to the manufacturer.

The move comes after the worst mass killing in Canadian history April 18-19 where Gabriel Wortman killed 22 people in Nova Scotia. Thirteen had been shot to death while nine died in fires Wortman set. Critics say the Liberals are using the tragedy to push through their new gun ban.

Wortman used illegal weapons from both Canada and the U.S. including one the RCMP said “could be described as a military-style assault rifle.”

Trudeau said the victims’ families “deserve more than thoughts and prayers.”

“This chapter in our history cannot be rewritten, but what happens next is up to us. We can stick to thoughts and prayers alone, or we can unite as a country and put an end to this,” Trudeau said.

The move has outraged gun enthusiasts and Tory leadership candidate Peter MacKay.

“As a Nova Scotian, I am outraged that Justin Trudeau is using our tragedy to punish law-abiding firearms owners across Canada. As Prime Minister, I can guarantee to all Canadians that I will never take advantage of a tragedy like this to push a political agenda,” MacKay tweeted.

Fellow leadership candidate Erin O’Toole said: “Let’s be clear – this isn’t about preventing crime. It’s about dividing Canadians. They want to divide rural versus urban Canadians. They want to divide Canadians who hunt or enjoy sports shooting versus those who don’t.”

Calgary MP Michelle Rempel Garner tweeted: “This ban does nothing to prevent firearms violence. Call every Liberal MP and protest. Call every CPC Leadership candidate and ask them to commit to repealing this.”

Tony Bernardo, of the Canadian Sport Shooting Association told the Western Standard will be taking legal action.

“It is simply not legal to use a order-in-council to overturn something that is legal,” he said.

As for the timing coming so close to the Nova Scotia slayings, Bernardo said the government “was perhaps deflecting from their handling of the Covid-19 mess and the fact we are getting trillions of dollars in debt.”

Trudeau said his government was “on the verge” of introducing the legislation when Parliament was suspended in March.

“We have every intention of moving forward on that measure and potentially other measures when the Parliament returns,” he said at a press conference.

The federal government has campaigned on a pledge to ban “assault rifles” and “military-style” guns across the country quickly – despite the fact they haven’t defined what constitutes one yet, or have been already banned since the 1970s.

Defying crackdown, hundreds march against lockdowns in Calgary

Blair has said gun ownership is a privilege, not a right.

— more to come

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

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News Editor & Calgary Bureau Chief

Dave Naylor is News Editor & Calgary Bureau Chief of the Western Standard based in the Calgary Headquarters. He served as City Editor of the Calgary Sun & covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years.

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