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Canada bans assault-style firearms

In a huge blow to the Canadian shooting industry, its government has taken the decision to ban a wide range of “assault-style weapons.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has introduced the ban after the April Nova Scotia shooting, where 22 people were killed.

The ban is effective immediately but there is a two-year amnesty period for law-abiding gun owners to comply.

“These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only — to kill the largest amount of people in the shortest amount of time,” Mr Trudeau said in a recent address. “You don’t need an AR-15 to bring down a deer,” he continued.

Mr Trudeau campaigned for a ban during last year’s election and his government has already expanded background checks. There are fears in the gun community that his next target will be handguns.

Canadian firearms groups are warning that up to two million common hunting rifles are now illegal.

The Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA) and the Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA) has said its legal experts have concluded Public Safety Minister Bill Blair “banned almost every modern 12-gauge and 10-gauge shotgun in Canada with removable chokes because they exceed the maximum bore diameter of 20mm.”

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister Bill Blair looked Canadian gun owners in the eye last Friday and said they would not take guns suitable for hunting away from us,” said the CSAAA, in a statement.

“Minister Blair is either too inept to comprehend the scope of his regulations… or he lied to the government and Canadians.

“In the legal opinion of our firearms legal team – headed by Edward Burlew LLB, one of the foremost experts in Canadian firearms law – Blair banned almost every modern 12-gauge and 10-gauge shotgun in Canada with removable chokes because they exceed the maximum bore diameter of 20 mm as defined in SOR/2020-96.”

It is estimated there are between 1.5 and two million of these common hunting firearms in Canada.

As well, many large bore hunting rifles – some more than 100 years old and valued at more than $100,000 – have become prohibited. None of these firearms are semi-automatic or “military style.” They encompass common bolt-action rifles such as the .460 Weatherby, break-open single and double rifles. These firearms are captured because the powerful cartridges they shoot – designed to humanely dispatch the largest game animals. PURE hunting rifles.

“Canada’s firearms industry body, the CSAAA, is advising retailers to stop sales of ‘large hunting calibre, non-semi-automatic rifles’ such as the Weatherby Mark V .460 as these rifles exceed the 10,000 Joules energy restriction.”

Lawrence Keane is senior vice-president for government and public affairs, assistant secretary and general counsel to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, (NSSF), the firearm, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry’s trade association for the USA. The USA is a neighbour of Canada’s but Canada, unlike the US, doesn’t have gun ownership enshrined into its constitution.

“Prime Minister Trudeau said in 2019, he and his Liberal Party would give municipalities the ability to further restrict, or outright ban semiautomatic modern sporting rifles and handguns,” said Mr Keane. “That was after the murders committed by a mentally unstable man in Toronto and the attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand.

“Now, he’s delivered a list that covers nearly every modern sporting rifle from Adams Arms to ZVI’s OP96 and 99, which are actually bolt-action rifles. It also includes mortars and grenade, rocket and anti-tank missile launchers. That still wasn’t enough for Canada’s chief gun grabber. The list includes semiautomatic rifles that even US Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) doesn’t seek to ban in her proposed gun bans – like the Ruger Mini-14. It’s largely considered a ‘ranch gun’ that doesn’t have the cosmetic features gun control advocates list as criteria.

“Prime Minister Trudeau isn’t done, either. He indicated he’s going after handguns next. He wants to allow municipalities to pass their own handgun bans and require mandatory storage laws. He stopped short of offering a timeline.

“We know there is more to do on strengthening gun control in this country which is why we’re going to be moving forward when Parliament allows it with stronger measures around borders, stronger measures around safe storage,” Trudeau said. “Measures around handguns to permit municipalities to ban handguns within their city limits.”

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