The issue: Assault gun ban
We say: Popular support

Some Canadian gun owners feel victimized.

One thousand and five hundred models deemed to be “assault-style” firearms were banned on May 1. 

There was no debate in Parliament, just an Order in Council – essentially a directive from the prime minister and cabinet. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement announcing the prohibition made mention of the tragic shooting rampage in Nova Scotia that had occurred almost two weeks earlier. It was a shocking event that rocked the nation. 

There are those who argue Trudeau and the Liberals are guilty of political opportunism, seizing upon the tragedy as justification for imposing the ban.

Trudeau had been arguing for the stricter gun control since 2015 and Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said in December that he was drafting a list of firearms that would be banished.

The federal government could have elected to tighten restrictions on these semi-automatic weapons and prohibit any further sales, grandfathering existing owners. 

Instead, Blair says the governing party will implement a buyback program that will cost an estimated $400 million to $600 million over the next two years. 

That may have caused some Canadians to roll their eyes. Those who endured the painfully ineffective and extremely costly gun registry debacle under Jean Chretien’s Liberals know all too well that projected expenses can be wildly inaccurate. The gun registry, put in place in 1995, was expected to carry a $2 million price tag. The program, dismantled by the Conservatives in 2012, ultimately cost closer to $2 billion.

Our government can ill afford to miscalculate that badly again now that it is being forced to prop up Canadian businesses laid low by pandemic restrictions.

Chris Hotson prepares to reload his gun during a stage as part of the NWT Action Pistol Match at the Yellowknife Shooting Range in 2018. James McCarthy/NNSL photo

The firearms community argues that law-abiding gun owners are being unfairly penalized – stopped from using their semi-automatics at the range and enjoying the privilege of firing at targets. Gun crime, they say, won’t be reduced by the ban as many illegal assault weapons and handguns pour over the Canadian border from the United States through criminal activity. On that point they are right. Border security needs be heightened to prevent the flow of smuggled firearms. 

The problem for gun enthusiasts is that Canadians, by and large, are not enthusiastic about guns. 

Only 26 per cent of Canadians own a firearm, according to Justice Canada. An Angus-Reid poll published on May 1 shows that 78 per cent of those questioned – 1,581 adult Canadians – support a complete ban on civilians owning what the government terms an ‘assault’ weapon.

The Liberal government made its decision to ban the assault-style weapons with support from the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois. 

Trudeau, like him or not, stated in regards to assault rifles: “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.”

Place that rhetoric alongside images of mass shootings in the news, such as the Nova Scotia shooting spree that took so many lives or the Quebec City mosque shooting in 2017, plus the lunacy of American “anti-lockdown protesters” brandish guns inside the state capitol in Michigan, and it’s easy to see why the Canadian gun rights lobby has such a hard time finding empathy among people who don’t own guns.    

It doesn’t matter that the Nova Scotia shooter’s guns were obtained illegally or that the protesters in Michigan didn’t harm anyone.

An overwhelming number of Canadians simply don’t like what they see.

No matter their argument, at the end of the day, gun owners are simply outgunned.


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  1. So by the logic of the Liberals anyone owning any of the guns listed in the OIC are guilty until proven innocent?
    This is political grand standing/pandering for votes at best and will do absolutely ZERO to affect crime.
    The amount wasted on this to punish owners of legally acquired property is going to put the cost over run of the failed long gun registry to shame.

  2. Trudeau, like him or not, stated in regards to assault rifles: “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.”

    Is that why our law-enforcment carry them?

  3. Any good journalist, and our government should do their research prior writing and promoting such garbage. Anyone wonder the why the government waved the bogus Angus Reid Poll (which many respondents admitted they knew little about guns or the Canadian Gun Laws) you get what you pay for. Meanwhile a federal government also did a poll that was not supportive of the lies being fed.

  4. Some of the rifles tagged are things l8ke ww2 bolt action lee enfields and their bolt action cousin. if they are going to take them down then they might just as well destroy all the Winchester lever action saddle carbine and just about any other long run as well. Not only that you tell me of a criminal who is going to do something to stop in the middle of a gun crime and say something to the affect of “oh dear me I can’t do this, my gun is illegal” the he’ll he is he is going to go ahead and pull the trigger. The government is penalizing law abidding citizens while the bad guys keep bringing in unlawful guns without fear of intervention by boarder authorities who still haven’t been given the tools they need to to stop them. Do it right government you have gone in the wrong direction again as usual.

  5. We don’t rule by majority in Canada if we did the LGBTQ movement would have been stopped before it had a chance to actually make any headway. Women would still not be able to access pro-choice facilities. The majority doesn’t get to dictate how we make our laws. Parlement properly run and evidence that this will make us actually safer or is just cheap vote buying. You can not like guns that’s fine but till they break the law Candians should have the right to practice what made this country.

  6. Bias, lies, and misinformation… You have proven yourselves to be Useful Idiots bought and paid for by the Liberal Government bail-outs and the disarm the plebs because that what the plebs want propaganda routine. Funny how the very people that miserably and disturbingly failed in so very many ways to stop this rampage (before and during and sadly future) are the ones YOU, yes you! wish to have all the guns. Fourth Estate = Fifth column. You really are pathetic.