Canada is taking strict action on military-grade weapons following the devastating shooting in Nova Scotia. The Prime Minister announced a firearm ban in Canada today and it is effective immediately. For people who own the now banned weapons, there is a bit of a grace period though.
On May 1, Justin Trudeau announced that Canada is banning 1,500 models and variants of military-grade weapons by way of regulations.
He noted that those guns are designed for one purpose only, to kill the most amount of people in the shortest amount of time.
Effective immediately, military-grade assault weapons are not allowed to be used, bought, sold, transported or imported in Canada.
Trudeau said that shootings are happening more often than they used to.
"It needs to stop," he said.
These actions taken by the government are not meant to interfere with lawful gun activity in Canada like firearms used for hunting.
However, the PM and other ministers in the conference also highlighted that these types of firearms aren't designed for recreational purposes like hunting or even in farming.
"You don't need an AR-15 to bring down a deer," Trudeau said.
From May 1 until April 30, 2022, Canadians who lawfully own these newly prohibited weapons have two years to comply with the new laws due to an amnesty period.
That means they won't face criminal charges for having them; however, it is illegal to use them.
David Lametti, the minister of justice and the attorney general, noted that once the amnesty period is over all Canadians must be in compliance.
While Trudeau previously revealed that firearms legislation couldn't be introduced in parliament right now due to the ongoing pandemic, this new law is different.
This military-grade assault weapons ban is through regulations, which is a tool the government can use without having to go through parliament.
To have a buy-back program or other measures, there would need to be legislation.
During the press conference, Trudeau named mass shootings that have happened in Canada from the École Polytechnique massacre in 1989 all the way to the rampage in Nova Scotia on April 18 and April 19.
"These tragedies reverberate still," he said.