HomeUSACanada Announces First Steps for Banned Firearm ‘Buyback’

Canada Announces First Steps for Banned Firearm ‘Buyback’

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Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino announced Wednesday morning that the federal government is initiating the first steps of its Firearms Buyback Program.

In May 2020, Canada passed new laws against “assault weapons,” banning the purchase and ownership of such weapons. The law identified over 1,500 firearm models to prohibit, including AR-15s, the Ruger Mini-14, and AR-10s. Since then, federal and private stakeholders have been debating and strategizing how to confiscate these guns from Canadian citizens.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Mendicino stated, “We’re dedicated to moving forward with this program as quickly as we can, but we also have to make sure that we get the buyback program right.”

In accordance with the proposed buyback program, current retailers and owners of banned weapons must sell their firearms to the federal government or have them rendered inoperable.

Firearm Buyback Program: Phase One

Step one of the government’s Buyback Program focuses on the removal of the current stock of banned weapons from Canadian retailers. Mendicino announced Wednesday that the government allocated $700,000 and is working with the Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA) to implement the first phase of the buyback.

“This is a significant milestone,” Mendicino claimed. Of note, Mendicino explained that roughly 11,000 assault-style firearms have been identified thus far.

CSAAA Involvement

The CSAAA allegedly agreed to help identify the number and types of banned firearms that are currently stocked by businesses to streamline the program. The goal of the CSAAA in this process is to ensure sufficient representation for Canadian sportsmen as the program comes to fruition.

Further, statements from the CSAAA show mixed feelings about their involvement in the buyback.

Wes Winkle, president of the CSAAA, took to Twitter to announce that the organization endeavors to make sure retailers “are informed of their options and receive full compensation.”

Additionally, the organization made it clear that they are “vehemently opposed” to the ban on firearms.

In an interview with CBC News Network’s “Power & Politics,” Winkle said that the Association is reluctantly partnered with the government. Further, Winkle claimed that he estimates there are well over 11,000 firearms that will need to be bought and the cost will be in the billions of dollars.

Additionally, a Twitter post indicates that the CSAAA has no idea where the 11,000 number was derived from.

Further, Winkle stated, “This is the one thing that’s a little bit puzzling about the timing of the announcement is that there really is no budgetary allocation yet for this buyback and there’s also no real path forward as to the process.”

Firearm Buyback Program: Phase Two

The second step of the Buyback Program entails taking these banned firearms out of the hands of their owners. Thus far, no arrangements have been made for the initiation of this part of the buyback.

However, CSAAA has been clear that they will not have a hand in the removal of firearms from Canadian households.

Although nothing is currently in place, Mendicino stated “We’re going to do everything that we can to launch this program.”

Currently, owners of banned firearms are in an amnesty period which is set to end in October of this year.

Critics of the Firearm Buyback

There are several critics of the program including the CSAAA as well as Conservatives in the government.

Significantly, the CSAAA openly expresses its skepticism regarding the new laws’ effectiveness in reducing crime within the country. The organization has made numerous statements and responses questioning the buyback’s efficacy and explaining its assistance to the government.

Additionally, Raquel Dancho, a Conservative member of Parliament, responded to Mendicino stating, “[I’m] very disappointed with today’s announcement because not one single gun will be taken off the streets.”

Conservatives have consistently argued that strengthening law enforcement is a more effective solution for reducing crime in the country.

Recently, Dancho also retorted, “We know that tens of millions of dollars will be spent on this while our police are being starved of resources and criminals are running rampant on our streets. So, very disappointing in that regard.”

grew up in a small town in southeastern Idaho. He spent his free time exploring and developing an affection for the outdoors. While attending college he worked at a local sporting goods store. Here, he fostered his passion not only for the outdoors and hunting but also for firearms, reloading, and shooting. He takes every opportunity to get in the mountains and his love for everything firearms and outdoors continues to grow.

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