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Tipsheet

Canada Withdraws Proposed Measures Banning Certain Types of Rifles, Shotguns

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Canada has withdrawn proposed amendments to pending gun control legislation, Bill C-21, that would have banned specific types of rifles and shotguns after opponents of the law said it targeted hunters and farmers.

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Reportedly, the amendments were added to a gun control package unveiled by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government last year after a mass shooting at a school in Uvalde, Texas. The package targeted so-called “assault-style” weapons.

Reportedly, the legislation would have banned these weapons under a Criminal Code rather than through gun regulation, which would have made it difficult for future governments to reverse (via CBC):

The government is scrapping clauses that effectively would have banned any rifle or shotgun that could accept a magazine with more than five rounds — whether it actually has such a magazine or not.

The government also intended to ban long guns that generate more than 10,000 joules of energy, or any gun with a muzzle wider than 20 millimetres — two rules that would have rendered many firearms illegal.

"As we’ve said time and time again, the government's intent is to focus on AR-15s and other assault-style weapons,” Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said in a statement, according to CBC. "Hunting isn’t just a proud Canadian tradition, it’s a way of life for communities across this country. Bill C-21 isn’t about targeting hunters. It’s about certain guns that are too dangerous in other contexts.”

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However, the government will move forward with a handgun sales ban, crackdowns on gun smuggling, and automatically will revoke firearm licenses held by domestic abusers, CBC added.

According to the Wall Street Journal, indigenous leaders also pushed for the amendments to be withdrawn, as it threatened the livelihood of their communities. Currently, gun owners in Canada are required to have a license to buy and possess a firearm and buy ammo. Licenses have to be renewed every five years and are obtained by the police. Reportedly, there are 2.2 million license holders and 1.2 million firearms registered. 

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