Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a total ban Friday on “military-grade assault weapons.”
Trudeau began his daily Ottawa coronavirus news conference with the news. The prime minister has often promised to ban assault weapons, including during the last federal election that returned Trudeau to power with a minority government.
“Effective immediately, it is no longer permitted to buy, sell, transport, import or use military-grade assault weapons in this country,” Trudeau said. (RELATED: Trudeau Government To Study Total Handgun And Assault Weapons Ban)
The prime minister described the sweeping regulations as “closing the market” on these weapons in Canada. He has also discussed banning all handguns, but he avoided discussing that option Friday.
Trudeau talked about confiscating the roughly 100,000 existing firearms affected by the order at some future time through a “fair and effective buyback program.” Approximately 1,500 different weapons will be considered “military-grade” by the ban.
Canadian Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said a “non-permissive amnesty” will be established in order for Canadians who currently possess the now-banned weapons will be able to possess their firearms for two years but will be unable to use it or sell it. (RELATED: Trudeau Faces Growing Caucus Opposition To Gun Control)
The ban will be enacted through a government order-in-council, the equivalent in the United States of an executive order.
Trudeau’s decision to act comes after the recent mass shooting in Nova Scotia, where an assailant dressed up like a police officer and killed 22 people in their homes. Trudeau said an incident like this demonstrates how “a man with a gun could irrevocably alter our lives for the worse.”
Referring to other mass shootings in Canada, Trudeau said these incidents “shape our identity” and “stain our conscience,” and are becoming increasingly frequent.
Nicolas Johnson, the editor of TheGunBlog.ca, told the Daily Caller on Friday that he expects gun owners to fight the new policy.