News & Politics

It Begins: Trudeau BANS 'Assault-Style' Firearms Including... Wait for It... 'Shotguns'

It Begins: Trudeau BANS 'Assault-Style' Firearms Including... Wait for It... 'Shotguns'
(Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press via AP)

On Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a ban on 1,500 firearms that takes effect immediately. Referring to them as “assault-style” weapons, Trudeau will enact his ban through orders, bypassing the Canadian Parliament. Once again, the government punishes law-abiding citizens for the outrageous acts of a criminal who found a way around laws against him owning guns. The new order will also apply to shotguns, and they’ve proposed bans on handguns as well.

The CBC reports:

Starting today, licensed gun owners will no longer be allowed to sell, transport, import or use these sorts of weapons in this country.

“As of today, the market for assault weapons in Canada is closed,” Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said. “Enough is enough. Banning these firearms will save Canadian lives.”

Trudeau said there will be a two-year amnesty period to allow people who already own these firearms to comply with the ban. Trudeau promised to pass legislation in the coming months to provide “fair compensation” to people who own these firearms.

In announcing his ban, Trudeau relied on typical liberal arguments, saying, “These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time. There is no use and no place for such weapons in Canada.”

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Under this new rule, owners of guns on the banned list will have two years to dispose of them or export them via a sale. Non-compliance could lead to sanctions under the Criminal Code.

The CBC report indicates that the list of newly banned guns likely includes any semi-automatic weapon with a magazine. The Canada Gazette has a full list of guns banned by the new order, but that site had crashed as of this writing. The CBC reports that shotguns are included on the list:

A government official speaking on background at a technical briefing for journalists said the number of these now-banned firearms currently in circulation is unknown.

Some of the firearms being prohibited are currently classified as “non-restricted” — mostly firearms like shotguns — meaning licensed owners do not have to register them with the police. (The long-gun registry was abolished by the previous Conservative government.)

There are 105,000 firearms currently classified as “restricted” that will now be classified as “prohibited.”

The government official said that, at the end of the two-year amnesty, gun owners must dispose of the firearm or they may be able apply for the firearm to be “grandfathered.” Details on the grandfather process would be released at a later date, the official said.

They also report that the new ban does not include handguns, or as they put it, “the weapon of choice for gang members.” However, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair did promise new rules in the coming weeks allowing municipalities to ban handguns.

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The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have confirmed that the shooter in the Nova Scotia rampage in April used guns already illegal in Canada, and did not possess the required license to own firearms. The CBC reports that 70 to 90 percent of all crimes in Canada are committed with illegal guns from the U.S., but that the Canadian government has failed to enforce the laws already on the books.

Notably, the Canadian government does not define the term “assault-style weapon.”

Jeff Reynolds is the author of the book, “Behind the Curtain: Inside the Network of Progressive Billionaires and Their Campaign to Undermine Democracy,” available now at Jeff hosts a podcast at You can follow him on Twitter @ChargerJeff.


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