Canada’s Green Party is calling for a sweeping ban on handguns and assault weapons.
In a release Wednesday, the party says it is looking for a Canada-wide ban on semi-automatic assault rifles and all handguns, except those used for sport and by police.
The party also wants a confidential buyback program to compensate legal gun owners who surrender their weapons, and to encourage owners of illegal weapons to do the same.
But a firearms advocacy group says parts of the announcement are misinformed.
“Restricted firearms are restricted to sporting ranges already,” said Blair Hagen, the executive vice president of the National Firearms Association.
Restricted firearms are a category of guns that include handguns, and certain rifles, some deemed as such by Criminal Code Regulations.
“Its unfortunate as they don’t understand how Canadians own and use firearms,” said Hagen.
Hagen goes on to say it is difficult to own many kinds of assault rifles in Canada, and that some are under that restricted classification.
He says that fully automatic firearms that the Green’s want banned are already heavily regulated and virtually impossible to own.
The release from the party also touches on gun violence in Canadian cities, and the need to stop illegal firearms entering Canada from south of the border.
Justin Trudeau met with Toronto’s mayor on Tuesday to look at ways to combat the city’s recent spike in gun violence.
But the liberals have not commented on a complete handgun ban.
“Gun violence is on the rise in major Canadian cities and that tells us we have a problem. We need to act now,” said party leader Elizabeth May in the statement.
“Smuggling across the U.S. border, the conduit for many of the handguns that end up on our streets. It’s crucial that we work with each of the U.S. border states and invest in tougher measures to stop the movement of illegal firearms.”
That point is something Hagen and his organization agree on.
“We do support security of Canada’s borders in regards firearms issues” said Hagen.
“But we are worried about the emphasis on lawful owners.”
The federal green party was also not available for comment on this story.