At a May 1 press conference, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took a brief break from COVID-19-related announcements to say that the federal government is moving forward on a promised ban on military-grade weapons in Canada.
The announcement comes 12 days after Canada’s deadliest mass shooting to date, during which a suspect gunned down 22 people, including an RCMP officer, over several hours in rural Nova Scotia.
At the press conference, Trudeau said a ban on approximately 1,500 models of military-grade “assault-style” is now in effect.
Trudeau said that military-grade, assault-style weapons are “designed to kill the largest number of people in the shortest period of time.”
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“There’s no use and no place for such weapons in Canada. For many families, firearms are part of traditions and the vast majority of gun owners use them safely, responsibly and in accordance with the law. You don’t need an AR-15 to bring down a deer.”
Trudeau said that starting now, Canadians will no longer permitted to buy, sell, transport, import or use military-grade assault weapons in the country.
Acknowledging that Canadians will need time to surrender these weapons safely, Trudeau said there will be a two-year amnesty period for people who already own such firearms.
The Prime Minister also promised to pass legislation to provide “fair compensation” for people who own firearms affected by the ban.
Cover photo courtesy of The Canadian Press