May 4, 2020

Approximately two weeks after Canada’s deadliest mass shooting in its history, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared a ban on “military style assault weapons.”  The shooting occurred over a span of two days in April when a lone gunman murdered 22 people in Nova Scotia, Canada.  The shooter did not have a firearms license and used semi-automatic rifles believed to have been smuggled into Canada from the United States.  On May 1, Prime Minister Trudeau announced the new policy, banning at least two of the rifles used by the gunman.

The law immediately bans the use, purchase, sale, transportation and import of approximately 1,500 assault weapon models.  Specifically, the recently passed legislation prohibits the following:

  • Nine (9) types of firearms, by make and model, including their variants, specifically:
    • M16, AR-10, AR-15 rifles and M4 Carbine
    • Ruger Mini-14 rifle
    • M14 rifle
    • Vz58 rifle
    • Robinson Armament XCR rifle
    • CZ Scorpion EVO 3 carbine and pistol
    • Beretta CX4 Storm carbine
    • SIG Sauer SIG MCX and SIG Sauer SIG MPX carbine and pistol
    • Swiss Arms Classic Green and Four Seasons series
  • All firearms with a bore of 20mm or greater, and those firearms capable of discharging a projectile with a muzzle energy greater than 10,000 Joules
  • Upper receivers of M16, AR-10, AR-15 and M4 pattern firearms. 

Prime Minister Trudeau announced that the government was in the process of introducing the assault weapon ban before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the government’s agenda.  However, the attack in Nova Scotia re-focused the government on its goal to institute the new policy, a long-time campaign promise of the Prime Minister. 
 To protect those Canadian citizens who own rifles that are now prohibited, the Canadian Government instituted an Amnesty Order until April 30, 2022.  This Order allows those already in legal possession of the prohibited firearms to take steps to comply with the ban without threat of prosecution.  The Canadian Government also announced its plan to establish a Government buy-back program which will allow citizens to sell their prohibited firearms to the Government to comply with the ban.  The details of this buy-back program have not been announced.

Renzulli Law Firm, LLP will continue to monitor the newly enacted weapon ban in Canada, including any new developments concerning the buy-back program.  If you have any questions concerning the new Canadian policy, please contact John F. Renzulli or Christopher Renzulli.