Assault-style firearms may be banned in Canada as proposed by government

The Canadian government has proposed a ban on assault-style firearms that will be put in place once the current piece of legislation before Parliament is passed. The scheme, announced by Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino on Monday, aims to ensure that guns are correctly classified before they are sold on the Canadian market.

Speaking at a press conference, Mendicino emphasized that the government is not targeting law-abiding gun owners and hunters. Instead, the ban is aimed at protecting families, children, and communities. The government plans to recreate a firearms advisory committee that will provide recommendations on the classification of guns already on the market. The committee will include rural and northern residents, Indigenous people, gun control advocates, law enforcement officials, and industry leaders.

Guided by the recommendations of the committee, the government will increase the classifications of firearms for the ban. Mendicino said that the committee would be convened quickly and asked to provide advice to the government by this summer. The government is taking measures to ensure that future administrations will have a hard time legalizing assault-style firearms again.

The Liberals had withdrawn a gun bill amendment in February that would have spelled out in law the various models to fall under an assault-style firearm ban. The amendment was intended to solidify in legislation a May 2020 regulatory ban of some 1,500 firearm models and variants, as well as 482 others flagged subsequently. However, the move was met with criticism from Conservative MPs and some firearm advocates who argued that the definition would prohibit many commonly used hunting rifles and shotguns.

Gun-control advocates have criticized the new plan, arguing that it proposes a watered-down definition that applies only to future models and can be easily circumvented. They also expressed disappointment that the government is dropping its plan to ban the additional 482 assault-style models identified last year, leaving them in circulation and available for purchase.

The proposed ban on assault-style firearms is a significant step towards ensuring the safety of Canadians. It remains to be seen how effective the new regulations will be and whether they will go far enough to prevent gun violence. Nonetheless, the move is a positive step that should be welcomed by all those who care about the safety and well-being of Canadians.

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