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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces ban on assault-style firearms

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces ban on assault-style firearms

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 02 May 2020, 06:12 pm

Ottawa/IBNS: Weeks after the country's worst mass shooting by a gunman in Nova Scotia claiming 22 lives, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday announced the ban of over 1,500 models and variants of assault-style firearms.

These models represent nine categories of firearms and two types identified by characteristic. Some of their components are also prohibited.

The newly prohibited firearms and components cannot be legally used, sold, or imported, he said.

“Because of gun violence, people are dying, families are grieving, and communities are suffering. It must end. Assault-style firearms designed for military use have no place in Canada. By removing them from our streets, we will limit the devastating effects of gun-related violence and help make our country safer,” he said.

According to a government communique, owners must also continue to safely store them, and may only transfer and transport them under limited circumstances. These measures will remove dangerous firearms designed for military use from our communities, and help ensure that Canadian families and communities no longer suffer from gun violence, he said.

There will be a transition period of two years to protect owners of newly prohibited firearms from criminal liability while they take steps to comply with these new rules. This two-year amnesty order under the Criminal Code is in effect until April 30, 2022.

There are exceptions under the amnesty for Indigenous peoples exercising Aboriginal or treaty rights to hunt, and for those who hunt or trap to sustain themselves or their families. These exceptions will allow for the continued use of newly prohibited firearms in limited circumstances until a suitable replacement can be found. By the end of the amnesty period, all firearms owners must comply with the ban.

The Government of Canada intends to implement a buy-back program as soon as possible to safely remove these firearms and to introduce legislation as early as possible, working with Parliament and through public consultation.

In the Nova Scotia tragedy on April 18-19, the 51-year-old assailant, Gabriel Wortman, gunned down 13 people  and set fires that claimed nine others.

Media reports quoting police said he had used a handgun that was obtained in Canada and long guns that he obtained in the U.S. 

He began his assault with his girlfriend first (she survived hiding in the woods) and the final toll rose up to 22 over a time span of 12 hours,  across central and northern Nova Scotia.  
 
Quick Facts by Canadian Govt: 

In Canada, there are currently over 100,000 restricted firearms among the models that are now prohibited. This number does not include other newly-prohibited models that were not subject to registration requirements.

An individual should not deliver a firearm to a police station without first making arrangements with a police officer for a safe and scheduled delivery or pick up. Individuals should not surrender their firearm while physical distancing requirements are in effect during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Firearms owners must keep their firearms securely stored in accordance with the storage requirements until more information on the buy-back program is available.

A Criminal Code amnesty is in place until April 30, 2022, to protect lawful owners from criminal liability and to enable them to comply with the law. Under the amnesty, the newly prohibited firearms can only be transferred or transported within Canada for specific purposes.

Unless you are an Indigenous person exercising treaty rights to hunt or a sustenance hunter, you can only transfer or transport in accordance with the amnesty, such as to:
have them deactivated by an approved business
return them to a lawful owner’s residence
export them lawfully
surrender them to police without compensation

(Reporting by Suman Das)