Liberals to ban assault rifles in Canada

Justin Trudeau PMO photo
Justin Trudeau

A re-elected Liberal government will ban assault weapons and strengthen gun control in Canada, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau announced in Toronto on Friday.

Gun crime in Canada is on the rise. In 2017, there were 2,500 more victims of gun violence than in 2013, and many of these incidents involved intimate partners. Today, Canada has no clear classification for assault rifles — making it legal to buy several military-style weapons. 

“Too many people have lost loved ones to gun violence. And too often, the culprit is military-style weapons designed to inflict mass human casualties — guns so dangerous that they have no place in Canada,” said Trudeau. “Thoughts and prayers aren’t going to cut it. A Liberal government will ban assault weapons in Canada.”

A re-elected Liberal government will build on the important measures we passed in Bill C-71, and continue to take serious, common-sense action to crack down on gun crime:

  • We will ban all military-style assault rifles, including the AR-15;
  • We will work with the provinces and territories to give municipalities the ability to further restrict — or ban — handguns; and
  • We will protect the rights of law-abiding hunters and pledge not to bring back the long-gun registry. Hunters do not use or need assault weapons. 

We will also take concrete steps — in partnership with our law enforcement agencies — to strengthen gun control.

  • We will prevent people suspected of posing a danger to themselves or others — including their partners or kids — from possessing or acquiring new firearms;
  • We will require that everyone importing ammunition must show proof of a valid firearms license; and
  • We will make it harder for legal weapons to fall into the hands of criminals, by further strengthening safe-storage laws.

Over the last four years, our government took strong action to reduce gun violence:

  • We reversed the gun laws introduced by Stephen Harper that made it easier to purchase and transfer a weapon;
  • We started requiring firearm retailers to conduct more extensive background checks; and 
  • We gave provinces and territories more resources to combat gun and gang violence, by investing nearly $330 million through our comprehensive, national Guns and Gangs Strategy.

“Andrew Scheer’s policy on guns was written by the gun lobby. He has an agenda that will make it easier for criminals to get their hands on assault rifles,” said Trudeau. “It is shameful. It’s time to end gun violence in Canada.”

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