Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Toronto this week announcing promises to ban more guns.
Earlier this year, Bill C-71, sponsored by Liberal Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale, became law. Among other things, the bill instituted more thorough background checks, more thorough record keeping for businesses, and treatment for a mental illness “that was associated with violence” would make people ineligible for a gun license.
According to the Canadian Press, Trudeau promised to ban assault rifles including outlawing the AR-15
“We know you do not need a military-grade assault weapon — one designed to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time — to take down a deer,” Trudeau said.
The announced proposal included a buyback program for “all legally purchased assault rifles,” along with a two-year amnesty as the program is established.
Trudeau “pledged to work with provinces and territories to empower municipalities to further restrict or ban handguns,” according to the Canadian Press story.
Gun bans have been a relevant political topic in Toronto. Among other incidents last year, a gunman killed two people and wounded 13. Mayor John Tory has advocated for handgun bans while Ontario Premier Doug Ford has opposed them.
According to a release from the Canadian Shooting Sports Association, Trudeau didn't say how the buy back program or how a plan involving municipalities would be implemented.
“It’s disappointing, but typical for the Liberals to attack Canada’s 2.2 million lawful firearms owners whenever [the Liberals] get into deep trouble,” said Tony Bernardo, executive director of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association.
Arguments in favour of gun bans note the bans could keep guns away from criminals, and harsh penalties could deter gun crime.
Arguments against gun bans note much crime in Canada is committed by people with smuggled firearms, guns are already subject to much regulation and law-abiding gun owners are unduly politicized for political gain.