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Canada bans assault style weapons after mass shooting

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau said on Friday that the country is banning the use and trade of assault-style weapons immediately.

Trudeau cited numerous mass shootings in the country, including the killing of around 22 people in Nova Scotia on April 18 and 19.

He announced the ban of over 1,500 models and variants of assault-style firearms, including the AR-15 and other weapons that have been used in a number of mass shootings in the US.

Canadians need more than thoughts and prayers Trudeau said.

The cabinet order doesn’t forbid owning any of the military style weapons and their variants. But it does ban the use and trade in them.

PM said the order has a two-year amnesty period for current owners, and there will be a compensation program that will require a bill passed in parliament.

In the meantime they can be exported returned to manufacturers and transported only to deactivate them or get rid of them, in certain limited circumstances, they can be used for hunting.

You do not need an AR-15 to take down a deer, Trudeau said. So effective immediately it is no longer permitted to buy sell transport import or use military-grade assault weapons in this country.

PM Trudeau said the weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only; to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time.

There is no use and no place for such weapons in Canada, he said.

Mass shootings are relatively rare in Canada. But PM Trudeau said they are happening more often.

PM noted he was nearby when in Montreal when gunman Marc Lepine killed 14 women and himself at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique college in 1989. The Ruger Mini-14 Lepine used is among weapons included in the ban.

As of today the market for assault weapons is closed. Enough is enough, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said.

Trudeau has said his government would introduce further gun control legislation prohibiting military style assault weapons. A measure that had already been planned before the covid-19 pandemic interrupted the current parliamentary session.

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