Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced last week that, in the wake of the largest mass shooting in Canada’s history, the Liberal government would be unilaterally outlawing at least 1,500 “assault-style” firearms, “effective immediately,” including, it now seems, shotguns, hunting rifles, airsoft guns, and even gun-related websites.
Assault weapons have been banned in Canada since the late 1970s, but back in late April, a Nova Scotia man, disguised as a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, went on a thirty-mile rampage using “assault-style” weapons to murder at least 22 people, including his longtime girlfriend.
In a speech last week, Trudeau “announced the ban of over 1,500 models and variants of assault-style firearms, including two guns used by the gunman as well as the AR-15 and other weapons that have been used in a number of mass shootings in the United States,” according to the Associated Press.
Canada has no Second Amendment, so the government can ban weapons without running afoul of enumerated Constitutional rights. But it seems Canadian government officials weren’t particularly clear — or were intentionally vague — about the definition of an “assault weapon” and, according to a list published Monday, the list of banned guns includes 10- and 12-gauge shotguns — a necessity for hunting in many of Canada’s more remote locales — hunting rifles, a BB gun, and even the website AR15.com.
“The Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA) and the Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA) said their legal experts have concluded Public Safety Minister Bill Blair ‘banned almost every modern 12-gauge and 10-gauge shotgun in Canada with removable chokes because they exceed the maximum bore diameter of 20 mm,'” Canadian conservative website, the Western Standard reported.
“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister Bill Blair looked Canadian gun owners in the eye last Friday and said they would not take guns suitable for hunting away from us,” CSAAA said in a statement, adding that millions of these “common hunting firearms” are in Canadian homes, making hunters — including hunters who must kill animals to survive — criminals under Canadian law.
The group also said that “many large bore hunting rifles – some more than 100 years old and valued at more than $100,000 have become prohibited,” even none of the guns in question are “semi-automatic,” or “military style.”
The list also bans AR15.com, a gun owners’ forum, and airsoft rifles that bear a strong resemblance to “military style” weapons, including the Blackwater BW-15 Carbine, a BB gun.
To be fair, the list also bans missile launchers, rocket launchers, and any military style artillery, in case those weren’t already illegal under Canadian law.
It took no more than two days for Canada’s gun laws to target the wrong person, as well. A woman, dressed up as a Stormtrooper for a Star Wars-themed “May the 4th” promotion, was tackled to the ground and arrested over her toy blaster gun after an onlooker reported a person with a “weapon” to local law enforcement. GlobalNews.ca reports that the Alberta government is looking into whether the police, in that case, used excessive force.
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