Ottawa, CANADA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent ban of “military grade assault weapons” in Canada also prohibited most weapons traditionally used for subsistence hunting and competitive shooting, as well as airsoft rifles and a gun enthusiast website.
“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,” Trudeau said when he announced the new weapons ban on May 1, according to ABC News.
The Prime Minister said the ban went into effect right away and applied to 1,500 models of various guns.
“Effective immediately, it is no longer permitted to buy, sell, transport, import or use military-grade assault weapons in this country,” Trudeau said.
He said there would be a two-year amnesty period during which Canadians who already owned the newly-banned weapons would be expected to turn them in to the government, ABC News reported.
Trudeau promised gun owners would receive “fair compensation” for turning in the offending weaponry.
Officials have called the gun grab an effort to “strengthen gun control” after 22 people were murdered in Nova Scotia in April during worst mass shooting in the country’s history, according to The Guardian.
Canadian Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair said after Trudeau’s announcement that the guns they had banned were not designed for hunting or sport shooting, according to a press release from the National Rifle Association.
Blair said the banned weapons were “guns that were designed for soldiers to kill other soldiers…guns that belong on a battlefield and not on our streets.”
But the list of banned weapons included most 10- and 12-gauge shotguns that are used for hunting in the more remote areas of Canada, as well as numerous firearms used in competitive shooting, according to the National Post.
Nelline Cronje, a competitive shooter from Prince Edward Island, said Trudeau’s “emotional” gun ban was a detriment to both her hobby and her wallet, The Telegram reported.
Cronje, a member of the Women Shooters of P.E.I., said the weapons she needed to compete in International Practical Shooting Confederation events had been banned.
“You need a shotgun, a pistol, and an AR-15-type firearm for those competitions. It’s sad, really,” she told The Telegraph. “It’s an inanimate object. It depends on who handles it. The safety depends on the handler; it’s totally the handler’s responsibility.”
The expansive and seemingly random list of banned weapons also included airsoft rifles that look like “military style” rifles, the Blackwater BW-15 Carbine BB gun, and an AR-15 gun owner’s website, according to the list published by the National Post.
The Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA) and the Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA) put out a joint press release on May 5 that said 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 L.L.B., 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,” the groups said. “It is estimated there 1.5 – 2 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,” the press release continued. “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.”