The Canadian government on Friday announced a ban on assault-style rifles, including those used in a recent mass shooting that left nearly two dozen dead.
“These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest amount people in the shortest amount of time,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.
“There is no use and no place for such weapons in Canada. Effective immediately, it is no longer permitted to buy, sell, transport and import or use military-grade assault weapons in this country.”
The announcement comes nearly two weeks after the deadliest mass shooting in Canada’s history. On the weekend of April 18, Gabriel Wortman shot and killed 22 people across six cities.
Authorities said the 51-year-old gunman, who disguised himself as law enforcement, was targeting his former partner in the shooting spree. He was armed with two semi-automatic rifles and several semi-automatic pistols.
It’s unlikely the new ban announced on Friday, which includes a two-year “amnesty period,” would have prevented the violent event earlier this month. The shooter, who did not have a license for his firearms, allegedly obtained his weapons illegally in the United States and Canada.
Trudeau noted measures strengthening gun control were prepared ahead of the deadly shooting and before parliament was suspended on March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s something on which there is a large consensus by Canadians who want to see less violence and fewer deaths from gun violence in this country,” he said.
According to Canadian newspaper the Globe and Mail, the ban will cover the Ruger Mini-14 and the AR-15, a weapon often used in mass shootings in the United States. The CZ Scorpion, the Swiss Arms Classic Green, the Beretta Cx4 Storm, the Robinson Armament XCR and the Sig Sure SIG MC are also several other firearms included in the ban.
It covers 1,500 models and variants of firearms.
According to a small arms survey taken in 2018, Canada has one of the highest per capita gun ownership rates in the world, with an estimated 34.7 firearms for every 100 people.
In comparison, the United States boasts 120 guns per 100 people.