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Canada bans assault weapons after its worst ever mass shooting

Justin Trudeau tells Canadians: ‘You don't need an AR-15 to bring down a deer’

Justin Trudeau said his government will ban more than 1500 types of weapons, effective immediately. Bloomberg
Justin Trudeau said his government will ban more than 1500 types of weapons, effective immediately. Bloomberg

Less than two weeks after the deadliest mass shooting in its history, Canada has banned assault style weapons.

"Canadians deserve more than thoughts and prayers,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, declaring an immediate ban on the use and trade of assault-style weapons on Friday.

Twenty-two people were killed in the shooting rampage in Nova Scotia on April 18 and 19.

The ban includes the AR-15 family of weapons, which have been used in several high-profile mass shootings in the US, including the Sandy Hook shooting in New Jersey in 2012, but efforts to ban the weapon in the US have failed.

"You don't need an AR-15 to bring down a deer…Effective immediately, it is no longer permitted to buy, sell, transport, import or use military-grade assault weapons in this country,” Mr Trudeau said.

Canada’s ban also covers other military-style assault rifles.

Mr Trudeau said the weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time.

Mr Trudeau tweeted that the blanket ban will encompass 1,500 types of assault-style weapons, stressing that they “have no place in our communities”.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, Canada ranks second after the United States in civilian-owned guns but has strengthened its restrictions since a mass shooting in 1989 left 15 dead.

The ban allows a two-year amnesty period for owners before depositing their assault-style weapons, and offers "fair compensation”.

In outlawing the weapons, Canada joins countries like New Zealand and the United Kingdom that do not allow civilians to own assault weapons.

New Zealand enacted its ban on military-style semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles after the Christchurch mosque shooting that left 51 dead.

Updated: May 3, 2020 05:38 PM

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