Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a ban on assault-style, semi-automatic weapons in Canada effective immediately. Seven days after a series of shootings in the country killed 13 people, Trudeau said the public “deserve more than thoughts and prayers.”
The sale, transport and use of more than 1,500 assault-style rifles are now illegal in Canada, Common Dreams reported. Trudeau said that owners will have until April 2020 to get rid of such guns. He also confirmed that the government is working to pass legislation to “compensate people who already own the weapons,” Common Dreams reported.
“This is a milestone for Canada and an important step forward,” Wendy Cukier, president of The Coalition for Gun Control, said. “We are counting on all parliamentarians to support a mandatory buy back program and to keep this ban permanent.”
The shootings, which took place on April 18 and 19 in Nova Scotia, were “the deadliest rampage” in Canadian history, Trudeau said. The gunman, who acted alone, used multiple weapons, which were illegally obtained in the United States and Canada, and then set several fires that resulted in nine deaths.
While Canadian gun control advocates said it was “a long wait” for such reforms, Trudeau passed the new ban without going through legislature.
“These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time,” Trudeau said. “There is no use and no place for such weapons in Canada.”