Canada Slaps Immediate Ban on Assault-Style Weapons

The country needs 'more than thoughts and prayers,' prime minister says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 1, 2020 1:53 PM CDT
Canada Slaps Immediate Ban on Assault-Style Weapons
A woman places a pinwheel in front of a mural dedicated to slain Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable Heidi Stevenson in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, last week.   (Tim Krochak/The Canadian Press via AP)

Canada is banning the use and trade of assault-style weapons immediately. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday justified the move by citing numerous mass shootings in the country, including an attack in Nova Scotia on April 18 and 19. He announced the ban of over 1,500 models and variants of assault-style firearms, including two weapons used by the gunman, as well as the AR-15 and other weapons that have been used in mass shootings in the US. "Canadians need more than thoughts and prayers," Trudeau said. The Cabinet order doesn’t prohibit owning any of the military-style weapons and their variants, the AP reports, but it does ban their use and trade. He said the order has a two-year amnesty period for current owners, and there will be a compensation program that will require a bill passed in Parliament.

In the meantime, they can be exported, returned to manufacturers, and transported only to deactivate them or get rid of them. In limited circumstances, they can be used for hunting. But "you do not need an AR-15 to take down a deer," Trudeau said. He said the weapons were designed for one purpose: to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time. Police have said the gunman in Nova Scotia used a handgun that was obtained in Canada and long guns that he obtained in the US, but they have not specifically said what guns he used. Opposition Conservative leader Andrew Scheer accused Trudeau of using the "immediate emotion of the horrific attack in Nova Scotia to push the Liberals' ideological agenda." (New Zealand did something similar after a mass shooting there.)

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