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UPDATE! Canadian Liberals Reshape Gun Ban

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Canadian Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino announced Monday that the government is changing the terms of its firearm ban, the CBC reported.

Mendicino said that the ban will not expand the list of firearms that are designated as illegal. Alternatively, a new committee would review which firearms, manufactured after the C-21 ban, should be removed from the current market.

According to Mendicino, the less stringent regulations would still meet its goal of reducing gun violence while being considerate of Indigenous and rural firearm needs.

Canadian Firearm Ban Evolution

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised in 2019 to ban “assault weapons.” In 2020, the government passed a law, C-21, which would enact that promise. C-21 includes a list of over 1,500 firearm models that would be prohibited in due time.

Since C-21, Canadian Liberals have been dead set on creating a broad definition and an all-inclusive list to ban several additional common-use firearms.

In response, indigenous communities, Members of Parliament representing rural districts, and gun-rights advocates vehemently opposed these amendments. Their concerted efforts led to the abandonment of the proposed amendments in February.

The New Government Proposal

However, this week Mendicino announced the new definition of “assault weapons” and promised regulations to ban large-capacity magazines — which can be used to transform hunting rifles into “weapons for mass shootings.” He claimed this will have an impact.

Further, Mendicino claimed, “By doing these things, we are taking a comprehensive approach.”

Additionally, MP Peter Julian, a proponent of the new plan, explained, “We see the government moving in a direction that we have pushed them in.”

However, critics claim the government is breaking its promise to make the country safer.

Is the Announcement Better for Gun Owners?

Monday’s announcement makes no change to the initial list of firearm models which are banned under the 2020 law. However, the almost 500 firearms Liberals tried to add to the list up until February remain legal, for the time being.

Additionally, the plan adopts a definition of “assault weapon” as any firearm, excluding handguns which is “capable of discharging center-fire ammunition in a semi-automatic manner and that is designed to accept a detachable cartridge magazine with a capacity greater than five cartridges of the type for which the firearms was originally designed.”

Further, the new plan forms a committee to review firearms currently for sale in Canada and allows for the addition of new models to the 2020 ban provided they are manufactured after the C-21 law was put in place. Conservatives warn that the committee will be used to continue restricting citizens’ rights in the coming years.

Raquel Dancho, a critic of the firearm ban, emphasized, “Make no mistake, today’s announcement is simply the original amendments in a ‘new’ package.”

“Hunters, farmers, Indigenous Canadians, and sport shooters will not be fooled,” he added.

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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