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Canada Bans Assault Weapons in Wake of Lethal Mass Capturing

OTTAWA — Almost two weeks after the deadliest mass capturing in Canada’s historical past, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday launched a direct ban on what he described as “military-style assault weapons.”

“These weapons had been designed for one goal and one goal solely: to kill the most important variety of individuals within the shortest period of time,” Mr. Trudeau mentioned. “There is no such thing as a use and no place for such weapons in Canada.”

The ban implies that Canadians will now not have the ability to personal rifles just like the AR-15, the military-style weapon utilized in a number of mass shootings in the USA together with these in Newtown, Conn.; Orlando, Fla.; and Parkland, Fla.

By introducing the ban, Mr. Trudeau partly fulfills a gun management promise he made throughout final yr’s federal elections. He mentioned the federal government had been within the technique of introducing an assault weapons ban when its agenda was overturned by the coronavirus pandemic.

In making the announcement, Mr. Trudeau famous a number of gun killings and repeatedly cited the capturing rampage in rural Nova Scotia that left 23 individuals lifeless, together with the gunman.

The gunman’s arsenal included two fashions banned on Friday, mentioned Invoice Blair, the nation’s public security minister.

The killer didn’t have a firearms license and plenty of of his weapons and rifles had been smuggled into Canada from the USA, based on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, highlighting one issue Canada could face in imposing the brand new measure. The U.S. federal authorities has not barred assault weapons since a earlier ban expired in 2004.

The swift response by Mr. Trudeau to the killings in Nova Scotia stands in distinction to that of officers in the USA, the place repeated efforts to resume the now-lapsed assault weapons ban have failed.

The Canadian authorities has drawn up an inventory of about 1,500 gun fashions coated by the brand new ban. It estimates that about 100,000 such semiautomatic rifles at the moment are legally owned by Canadians.

Mr. Trudeau mentioned the federal government will introduce laws to purchase again the rifles, one other a part of his marketing campaign promise, at a future date. Till then, homeowners have been given two years to maintain their rifles though they will now not use them, commerce them or promote them besides to patrons outdoors Canada with a allow. Gun retailers can return any of the weapons they now have in inventory to producers.

Whereas handguns and automated weapons are tightly restricted in Canada, most rifles and shotguns have been extra loosely regulated. The earlier Conservative authorities shut down a registry for such weapons that had been arrange after a person gunned down 14 younger girls and injured 13 others in 1989 on the École Polytechnique engineering faculty in Montreal.

That database was beset by technical issues and was deeply unpopular in rural areas. Mr. Trudeau has resisted calls from gun management teams to revive it.

Mr. Trudeau mentioned on Friday that his deliberate laws may also embrace a measure that may enable cities to ban handguns inside their boundaries, one other of his marketing campaign pledges.

Andrew Scheer, the chief of the Conservative Celebration, repeated his longstanding opposition to any ban and buyback of military-style weapons, noting that many mass killers, together with Gabriel Wortman in Nova Scotia, and different criminals use unlawful firearms introduced in from the USA.

“It’s straightforward however lazy authorities to ask the individuals who comply with all the principles to comply with extra guidelines,” Mr. Scheer informed the Canadian Broadcasting Company. He additionally criticized Mr. Trudeau for introducing the measure by means of a cupboard order whereas Parliament will not be assembly in regular periods due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Wendy Cukier, the president of the Coalition for Gun Management, mentioned that the majority mass shootings in Canada have concerned legally owned rifles and mentioned there’s proof that the supply of military-style weapons could make such killings extra probably.

“Most mass shooters are legislation abiding till they don’t seem to be,” she mentioned.

What motivated the 13.5-hour killing spree in Nova Scotia by Mr. Wortman, a denture fitter, stays unknown. It began within the tiny summer season group of Portapique when Mr. Wortman assaulted his companion and tied her up. She escaped and he started capturing individuals inside and out of doors of their properties whereas he additionally set fireplace to a number of buildings, together with a few of his personal properties.

After the police arrived shortly earlier than midnight on April 18, they discovered two reproduction Royal Canadian Mounted Police cruisers registered to Mr. Wortman on fireplace and situated a 3rd at his full-time residence in Halifax. That led the police to consider, they mentioned, that he could have dedicated suicide and was in one of many burning buildings.

However after hiding within the woods all night time, Mr. Wortman’s companion informed police that he was touring in a fourth reproduction police automotive that didn’t have license plates. Investigators subsequently found that he had eluded them by driving by means of a farm discipline after which hiding in one other city the place he resumed his killing spree within the morning.

He was ultimately shot and killed after pulling right into a fuel station whereas driving a automotive belonging to one of many victims.

Ms. Cukier acknowledged that the federal government should regularly replace its record to stop producers from circumventing the ban by modifying present fashions and reintroducing them as new weapons. Her group, she mentioned, will advocate that future laws focus extra on a system during which gunmakers should get approval to promote particular weapons fairly than on steps to ban the weapons.

And whereas her group typically takes stances that oppose these of the Conservatives, she agreed that extra have to be completed about smuggled weapons.

“There are lots of issues that should occur,” she mentioned. “Most Canadians don’t know the extent to which our legal guidelines have been eroded.”

Alan Drummond, who has lengthy pushed for extra gun controls by means of the Canadian Affiliation of Emergency Physicians, praised Mr. Trudeau and members of his cupboard for his or her unequivocal statements about the necessity to ban assault weapons.

“What struck me was absolutely the readability and conviction,” he mentioned.

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