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Trudeau Changes the Subject, Announces Assault Rifle Ban

Blackface revelations have dominated reelection campaign
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2019 4:35 PM CDT
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during an announcement promising to ban all military-style assault rifles as part of a broader gun-control plan that will also take steps towards restricting and banning handguns in Toronto on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019.   (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP)

(Newser) – Returning to other campaign issues after dealing with the response to revelations that he had worn blackface years ago, Justin Trudeau said Friday that he would support a ban on military-style assault rifles. The plan would cover the AR-15 and start a buyback program for legally purchased assault rifles, Fox reports. "We know you do not need a military-grade assault weapon, one designed to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time, to take down a deer," Trudeau, who is running for reelection as Canada's prime minister, said in Toronto. Cabinet members, legislators, and Liberal candidates joined him onstage. "Gun violence in Canada is rising," he tweeted, "and we're doing something about it."

The blackface flap, for which Trudeau has apologized, has largely drowned out his campaign. President Trump had stayed on the sidelines but was asked about it Friday in an Oval Office press conference. "I just don't know what to tell you," Trump said, per Vice. "I was surprised by it." Trudeau walked down a street Friday in east Toronto, posing for photos and campaigning on behalf of the district's Liberal member of Parliament, who is in a close race. Most residents seemed pleased to see him, per Reuters, but he heard from others. "Where's your blackface, man?" one woman called. (Read more Justin Trudeau stories.)

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