In Toronto, which has been the scene of much illegal gang violence and shootings, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau announced that if elected he would ban military style "assault" guns along with other firearms restrictions (Sean Kilpatrick)

Liberals propose ban on ‘military-style’ guns, tighter restrictions on others


As the so-called “blackface” scandal still dogs him, today on the election campaign trail the leader of the outgoing Liberal government, Justin Trudeau announced his party’s policy on firearms.

He proposed that if re-elected the Liberals would ban so-called military style “assault rifles”, presumably referring to modern sport rifles.  He also announced there would be a buyback programme.

In making the announcement, Trudeau said, “You don’t need a military-grade assault weapon, one designed to take down the most amount of people in the shortest time, to take down a deer.”

The modern sport rifle is popular and widely used by Canadian hunters. (CCFR)

He also announced an increase on controls to remove firearms from potentially dangerous individuals, such as in cases of domestic violence, along with further requirements for safe storage of firearms, and controls on firearms marketing. An additional proposal was to allow municipalities to institute their own bans or restrictions on handguns.

During the announcement Trudeau also claimed that “Liberals are for tougher gun laws, and Conservatives are for weaker gun laws”

Reaction was swift

The Conservative Party responded in a statement saying,

“For four years Justin Trudeau has failed to address gun crime, and suddenly today Trudeau has decided there is a need to target law-abiding gun owners. Criminals do not register their firearms, and they will not comply with these new rules. Justin Trudeau’s approach also fails to introduce stricter penalties for criminals who smuggle guns across the border and into Canadian cities. Trudeau’s plan will also force police to target law-abiding citizens, wasting valuable resources and distracting law enforcement from stopping violent criminals.”

The statement went on to describe a number of policies to instead target violent crime in a policy they call “A Safer Canada”. This includes such things as ending automatic bail for gang members, identify gangs within the criminal code, ensure a smuggled guns means a jail sentence, and provide more support to keep young people from joining gangs.

Reaction on other fronts was also quick in coming.

Tony Bernardo, executive director of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association stated, ”It’s disappointing but typical for the Liberals to attack Canada’s 2.2 million lawful firearms owners whenever they get into deep trouble (…) the go-to “whipping boy” of the Liberal party- guaranteed to deflect attention away from the latest Liberal scandals. Trudeau’s announcement raises more questions than answers. The Liberals have been unable to define what a “military-style assault weapon” is, or their role within crime. Trudeaus hyperbolic rhetoric is purely designed to whip up public sentiment against our community and deflect from his own electoral problems, despite the statistical evidence that firearms owners are the most law-abiding people in our country”.

Tony Bernardo is the executive-director of the gun owner advocacy group, the Canadian Shooting Sports Association.. PHOTO: CSSA

While there is no official Canadian definition for “assault rifle”, Bernardo and others, including the Canadian police magazine Blue Line, define assault rifles as having fully automatic capability. Sales and possession of such firearms have been banned in Canada since 1977.

On the other side of the deeply dividing gun debate , Heidi Rathgen of the gun-control lobby group Poly Remembers, issued a statement as well.  “We are mostly happy but also disappointed. The commitment to ban on assault weapons is great news, full stop. The emphasis on buyback programs as opposed to only grandfathering existing weapons is very positive.(…) As for handguns, the intent to hand over responsibility for further restrictions to municipalities is a disappointment. As we’ve repeatedly said, banning handguns in some but not all municipalities would not only be inadequate, considering the risks involved, but it would also be inefficient”

Heidi Rathgen,, co-ordinator of Poly Remembers, says she is both pleased and disappointed, (Doug Husby-CBC)

The Green party has proposed sweeping bans on so-called “assault guns” and handguns. The New Democratic Party wants to give cities the power to ban handguns, but also says the root causes of gang violence should be addressed.

The only agreement so far is that more information and details are needed on the Liberal proposals. Responding to a question during the announcement, Trudeau said more details would be coming

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6 comments on “Liberals propose ban on ‘military-style’ guns, tighter restrictions on others
  1. Avatar Lorne Strachan says:

    Many of the violent criminal acts are perpetrated by young people. The Youth Criminal Justice act needs to be changed. When it was created the young people were not running around shooting up neighbourhoods ore each other. These events need to be considered in changing the act to reflect these criminal acts.

  2. Avatar Spencer Dixon says:

    Just over 40 years ago (Nov. 1, 1979) the AR 15 rifle was taken off of the restricted list. It was properly classified as a general purpose sporting rifle readily available at Woolco or any other store with a decent sized sporting-goods section, usually behind a counter between the fishing rods and hockey sticks/baseball bat areas. The standard 556/223 cartridge is too light to be legal for deer but is well suited for coyote, longer-range gopher control or just low recoil target shooting.

    Somehow over that 40 years this tool that has not changed has, through the magic of media misinformation and emotional appeals to those without real experience, become some sort of super scary weapon of mass destruction. Today there was an announcement put out that this once common tool is now sooo dangerous that even people that have undergone training, thorough background screening and are subject to daily criminal background checks can’t be trusted to own one.

    The rifle didn’t change but since criminals won’t obey the laws we already have more restrictions have to be put on legal owners so “SOMETHING” is being done.

  3. Avatar Eric Masell says:

    Criminals will always find a way to have access to guns. The amount of “stolen guns” to the amount of smuggled guns used is unprecedented. We need money to go to our borders, our police officers who are investigating gangs and guns. Like England you can ban firearms but you will always have firearms related death at the hand of those that don’t care what the law says. I will always respect the law and my privilege of hunting for food for my family. I could never imagine harming another human on purpose or by accident with my firearms. The only dangerous firearm is the one in the wrong criminal hands not us. We are vetted more often and more deeply then criminal offenders. When a police officer see’s my PAL they see that I’m not a criminal. That I’ve had my background checked. In a sense a piece of mind. That’s my 2 cents!


  4. Avatar T R Smith says:

    This is nothing more than a desperate attempt by the Liberals to deflect attention away from their growing list of scandals and criminal behaviour.

    Let’s look at the facts surrounding this. Criminals rarely use legally procured firearms and use (almost exclusively) illegal smuggled pistols or sawed off shotguns for their purposes. Neither of these are even remotely close to the semi automatic rifles that Trudeau have promised to seize from legal owners. In fact, one would have to go back over 30 years to find the single instance of an Armalite Rifle (AR) used in the commission of a crime.

    Actual assault rifles were declared prohibited under Bill C51 in the fall 1977 session of the House. They’ve been banned for over 40 years. This is a very important fact that lobby groups like PolySouviant and others keep glossing over and the Liberals seem to deliberately omit from their narrative.
    There are provisions in our Criminal Code for additional sentencing for any crimes committed with a firearm. You don’t hear about these sections of the Criminal Code because the prosecution uses them as leverage to secure easy convictions through plea deals. The government would have been far better to charge the Crown to stop using plea deals to bargain away firearms charges in exchange for easy convictions. They could have enacted legislation to prevent the judiciary from turning those who have been arrested on firearms charges back loose on the street on a “promise to appear”.

    Rest assured that those owners (and their families) will remember this during this election. It’s not just the 2.5 million owners that the government alienated here – it’s the families of those owners as well.

  5. Avatar Lee Mack says:

    I thought Paul Martin was bad this guy over rules him by a landslide!

  6. Avatar J Drapeau says:

    Everything Mr Trudeau says about guns is either a distortion, exaggeration, or outright not true.

    Im not a Conservative, but nothing makes me want to vote Conservative more than hearing Trudeau speak, whether spouting untruths, virtue signalling, or apologizing

    The ultimate hypocrite