May 1 (UPI) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday announced his government will ban hundreds of models and variants of assault-style weapons, giving citizens two years to comply with the order.
Partly as a response to the shooting attack last month in Nova Scotia that killed 22 people, Trudeau said he sees the mandate as “closing the market” in Canada for about 1,500 dangerous weapons.
Some firearms on the banned list include M4, AR-10 and AR-15 rifles, Trudeau said, and the government will use a federal buy-back program to remove some in private possession.
“People are dying, families are grieving, and communities are suffering,” the prime minister said in announcing the ban Friday. “It must end.
“Assault-style firearms designed for military use have no place in Canada. By removing them from our streets, we will limit the devastating effects of gun-related violence and help make our country safer.”
Some critics argue that the law would not have stopped last month’s attack and would only punish law-abiding gun owners. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the Nova Scotia shooter, Gabriel Wortman, had used firearms he obtained illegally from the United States.
The RCMP also said Wortman used a variety of weapons, only one of which would be banned under Trudeau’s order.
“We know the Liberal [Party] approach is to ask law-abiding firearms owners to follow more laws — that’s lazy and ineffective,” Andrew Scheer, the leader of Canada’s opposition Conservative Party, answered Friday. “It’s easy but lazy.
“Doing this at a time when Canadians are very concerned about this pandemic is completely unacceptable. Now is not the time to make these major policy changes, especially when they’ve proven so ineffective.”