Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a ban on “military-style” assault weapons in the country. This includes the buying, selling, transporting, or use of these guns.
“There is no use and no place for such weapons in Canada,” Trudeau said.
The Canadian government has prohibited 1,500 models and variants of these “military grade” assault weapons, which the prime minister said were designed for one purpose, “to kill the largest number of people, in the shortest amount of time.”
David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, explained that an amnesty order will be in place, effective until April 30, 2022, in an effort to take “reasonable steps” for owners to deactivate or remove these guns from their possession.
Lametti said the conditions of the amnesty order state that anyone in possession of a “military-style” assault weapons can no longer use them, they cannot be imported or sold, but can be legally exported with a valid export permit. They also must be stored appropriately and a business owner may return the firearm to its manufacturer.
Trudeau said the next steps, including an eventual buy-back program, will require moving forward with legislation in the House of Commons. He added the framework will be flexible to adapt to different models of these “military-style” guns.
Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, said these guns “belong on the battlefield, not on our streets.”
He added that the “overwhelming majority” of gun owners are law abiding, but these weapons “have been used in Canada to kill innocent people.”
“Public safety must always be our first priority,” Blair said.
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland stressed that these weapons are not for hunting but have been manufactured “to kill people and to look like they can kill people.”
“These guns make it easier to commit mass murder,” Freeland said. “The culture around their fetishization makes our country inherently more dangerous for the people most vulnerable, and that is women and girls.”
The Deputy Prime Minister expressed specific concerns about gender-based violence, adding that by moving forward with this new regulation, “we are putting feminist ideas into practice.”