Trudeau government to allow municipalities to ban "assault style" guns

Canada introduces new gun buy-back program as firearms legislation tabled

Gun control activists in Canada reacted with "anger and dismay" on Tuesday to the Trudeau government's proposed legislation to toughen the country's gun laws, accusing the Liberals of backtracking on their promise to remove all newly blacklisted firearms from circulation.

The buy-back program will be voluntary and gun owners may choose to keep their weapons, however, under the new legislation it would be illegal to use, transport or resell the outlawed guns and gun owners will be required to complete a new licensing process.

Many gun-control advocates have called for a national handgun ban, warning that leaving it up to municipalities would create an ineffective patchwork of regulations.

Blair emphasizes that this would only apply to banned weapons.

The Canadian government is introducing an assault weapon buy-back program in a follow-up to last year's sweeping regulatory ban, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Tuesday.

"They can not be used legally as firearms", Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said at a news conference, calling the federal plan "overwhelmingly the most effective way" to deal with the outlawed firearms.

He says municipalities will now be allowed to pass bylaws restricting the possession, storage, or transportation of these weapons.

"We are backing up the cities with serious federal and criminal penalties to enforce these bylaws, including jail time for people who violate these municipal rules", said Trudeau.

During his presentation, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair reminded Canadians gun ownership in Canada is a privilege and not a right.

"We thought we had won in the fall of 2019 when the Liberals announced with much pomp and circumstance that they would ban and buyback all of these killing machines".

Some gun owners strongly oppose the ban of about 1,500 firearm models and variants altogether and seek to overturn it through the courts. They lied. They lied to us.

Asked if the optional buyback was a calculation meant to ease opposition from the gun lobby, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, "Obviously, there are political elements in this". Those, such as gun collectors, who want to keep their weapons, must store them in a safe way and will be held responsible if criminals end up with them.

"We are not targeting law-abiding citizens who own guns to go hunting or for sport shooting.The measures we're proposing are concrete and practical", he said at a news conference in Ottawa.

Protect Canadians from gun violence by creating new offences for altering the cartridge magazine component of a firearm and depicting violence in firearms advertising, introducing tighter restrictions on imports of ammunition, and ensuring the prohibition of imports, exports, sales, and transfers of all replica firearms.

The group, Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns (CDPG), welcomed the new Liberal measures.

"This is a comprehensive bill that, if enacted, will save lives", said Dr. Najma Ahmed, co-Chair of CDPG and trauma surgeon at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.



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