Trudeau announces ban of 1,500 variants of military-grade assault weapons in Canada

Trudeau announces ban of 1,500 variants of military-grade assault weapons in Canada
Elaine Thompson / Canadian Press
PM Justin Trudeau says the federal government is banning a range of assault-style guns, with an order that takes effect immediately.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced the ban of 1,500 models and variants of military-grade assault weapons in Canada.

During a press conference on Friday, Trudeau revealed that, effective immediately, it is no longer permitted to buy, sell, transport, import or use these military-grade weapons.

“There is no use and no place for such weapons in Canada,” said Trudeau during a daily address to the nation.

Trudeau pointed out that there will be a two-year amnesty period for gun owners to give them time to comply with the ban. He also said that a buy-back program with fair compensation is in the works, but will require a bill passed in Parliament.

Trudeau cited numerous mass shootings, from Ecole Polytechnique in 1989 to the killings in Nova Scotia last week, as the reasons for the move.

“Every one of us remembers the day when we realized that, even in Canada, a man with a gun could irrevocably alter our lives for the worse,” said Trudeau. “We remember how our sense of safety was shaken, our world view was changed.”

After listing off a number of tragic Canadian mass shootings, Trudeau said that these incidents are happening more often than they once did.

“With each passing year, more families are ripped apart by tragedy, more parents are struggling to explain the inexplicable to their kids and more teenagers are growing up in a world where gun violence is normalized,” said Trudeau. “It needs to stop.”

The ban comes two weeks after the deadliest mass shooting in Canada’s history, where 22 people were killed during a rampage in Nova Scotia on April 18 and 19.

The models and variants being banned “we’re designed for one purpose and one purpose only, to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time,” according to Trudeau.

Trudeau acknowledged that for many families, including Indigenous people, firearms are part of tradition. He outlined that many gun-owners use them safely whether it be for hunting, sport, collecting or for work, however, he distinguished that these activities can be performed without the use of military-grade weapons.

“You don’t need an AR-15 to bring down a deer,” added the prime minister.

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair echoed these sentiments, saying that the government has seen guns that have no use in sport shooting have been a growing part of the Canadian market.

Stricter controls on firearms were a promise in the Liberals’ election campaign platform last fall.


Graham CoxGraham Cox

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!