The federal government has announced that it has banned more than 1,000 types of assault-style firearms, saying the move has the support of the majority of Canadians and something that will help reduce gun violence.
Guns covered in the ban include the AR-15 and the Ruger Mini 14.
Coming only weeks after a mass shooting in Nova Scotia that claimed the lives of 22 people, the ban included the selling, transport, importation and use of the weapons anywhere in Canada.
The ban will include a buy-back program and a two-year amnesty for persons already owning assault weapons.
Whether banning the firearms will actually lead to fewer Canadians dying or being injured in gun violence remains to be seen.
What is known is that the ban promises to heighten the gun control debate in Canada and make firearms a political hot-button issue from now until at least the next federal election.
For his part Prime Minister Trudeau calls the ban good for residents in rural and urban communities from coast-to-coast.
“These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest amount of people in the shortest amount of time.”
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair agrees with his leader, saying, “The market for assault weapons in Canada is closed. Enough is enough. Banning these firearms will save Canadian lives.”
Out-going Conservative leader Andrew Scheer has been quick to call the ban nothing more than a political ploy by the Trudeau Liberals.
“We know the Liberal approach is to ask law-abiding firearms owners to follow more laws,” said Scheer. “Doing this at a time when Canadians are very concerned about this pandemic is completely unacceptable.”
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says, "Ottawa is singling out law-abiding Canadians who purchased their property legally, have owned these items safely for years, and who have committed no crimes."
This new ban has already become a political football to be kicked around for the next many months.
Unfortunately what it won’t do is increase the enforcement of gun laws already in place in Canada.
Dan Singleton is an editor with The Albertan.