AGENCIES, Toronto: Following the shooting carnage by a lone gunman who killed at random 22 people in Canada a few days ago that left the country shell shocked, the government has promptly stepped in with a new set of gun laws designed to prevent any such recurrence.
According to the new laws that take effect today (Saturday), licensed gun owners will no longer be allowed to sell, transport, import or use weapons in this country that have been identified by the government. The list includes around 1,500 makes and models of military-grade “assault-style” weapons. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a ban on Saturday.
“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.”
The ban will be enacted through regulations approved by an order-in-council from the Cabinet and not through the legislation route. Trudeau said the government was ready to enact this campaign promise months ago, before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the legislative agenda.
“These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time,” Trudeau said. “There is no use and no place for such weapons in Canada.”
PM Justin 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 “fair compensation” for the surrendered weapons.
Interestingly, the term “assault-style” has no legal definition in Canada. The Firearms Act also does not currently classify firearms as “military-style” — that term would have to be defined in the new regulations.