Since a ban on numerous firearms took effect in May 2020, Canadians have only turned in 160 to the government — a stunningly tiny number, considering the original government estimation of there to be some 90,000 to 105,000 outlawed firearms in Canada.
“Only 160 firearms that the Liberal government prohibited more than a year and a half ago have been deactivated or surrendered, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP),” iPolitics reported Friday.
“The Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) can confirm that, as of Dec. 9, 2021, 18 firearms (formerly classified as restricted) affected by the May 1, 2020, Order in Council (OIC) have been deactivated,” RCMP headquarters spokeswoman Sgt. Caroline Duval told iPolitics.
“In addition, there have been 142 OIC-affected firearms recorded as surrendered to a public agency for destruction since May 1, 2020,” she added.
The RCMP seemed to suggest Canadians are merely waiting for a long-promised gun buyback to be created by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau before complying.
“If an individual or business were to relinquish a newly prohibited firearm or device before the implementation of the buyback program, they won’t be eligible for compensation once the program is announced,” RCMP told iPolitics last week. “Government officials are currently in the process of refining requirements and developing program design and implementation options for a buyback program.”
A report from The Reload cited numerous issues with Canada’s plan to collect now-outlawed legally purchased firearms from citizens, noting of gun owners’ general “hesitancy” to hand them in (emphasis added):
The announcement comes as the April 2022 deadline for the “assault weapon” confiscation order rapidly approaches. The Canadian government’s plan to collect the affected weapons has been rife with problems since it was announced. Consulting fees and enforcement planning have resulted in a bloated budget before even a single weapon has been “bought back,” and a concrete plan for the buyback program is yet to be finalized. It now appears affected gun owners are hesitant to give up their guns. … With such a low rate of gun owners relinquishing their weapons up to this point, further doubt has been cast on the feasibility of making gun owners comply by the April 30, 2022 deadline.
“If a significant number do not turn in their guns over the next four months, the government will have to decide whether to take criminal action against Canadian gun owners for keeping guns they legally purchased,” The Reload added.
In the U.S., prominent Democratic politicians have not shied away from their support for gun bans and buyback programs. Notably, Vice President Kamala Harris, while running in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, “explicitly advocate[d] for the confiscation of what she estimated to be tens of millions of legally owned firearms,” The Washington Free Beacon reported.
“We have to have a buyback program and I support a mandatory gun buyback program,” Harris said at an event in October 2020. “It’s got to be smart. We’ve got to do it the right way but there are five million [assault weapons] at least, some estimate as many as 10 million, and we’re going to have to have smart public policy that’s about taking those off the streets but doing it the right way.”