Canada Bans More Than 1,500 Assault Weapons After Mass Shooting

(Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government is banning more than 1,500 types of assault weapons after one of the deadliest mass shootings in Canada’s history.

It will now be illegal to buy, sell, import or use the military-grade guns in the country, effective immediately, Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa.

Canada Bans More Than 1,500 Assault Weapons After Mass Shooting

A 51-year-old man killed 22 people in a rampage in rural Nova Scotia on April 18 and 19. Thirteen of the victims were shot, while another nine died in fires. The gunman was shot and killed by police.

“Today we are closing the market for military-grade assault weapons in Canada,” Trudeau said. “These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest amount of people in the shortest amount of time. There is no use and no place for such weapons in Canada.”

Gun owners will have a two-year amnesty period to turn over their firearms in exchange for payment. Details of the buyback program need to be determined by Parliament, Trudeau added.

Trudeau said his government had planned to roll out the new laws in late March, a timetable that was derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic. His Liberal Party made stronger gun control part of its platform during October’s election campaign.

Recent polls suggest Canadians overwhelmingly support the policy. Nearly four in five support a ban on civilians owning assault-style weapons, according to new polling from the Angus Reid Institute.

The opposition Conservatives said they opposed the move. “Justin Trudeau is using the current pandemic and the immediate emotion of the horrific attack in Nova Scotia to push the Liberals’ ideological agenda and make major firearms policy changes. That is wrong,” Andrew Scheer, the party’s leader, said in an emailed statement.

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