The Authorities of Alberta has accused the federal authorities of planning to “ban authorized firearm possession altogether” after the Liberals quietly launched a shock eleventh hour modification that might represent the most important gun prohibition in Canadian legislative historical past.
In committee final week for a pending gun management invoice, Liberal MP Paul Chiang launched an modification that might successfully criminalize hundreds of thousands of firearms presently in use with Canadian hunters.
The modification proposes to ban “a firearm that could be a rifle or shotgun, that’s able to discharging centre-fire ammunition in a semi-automatic method and that’s designed to just accept a removable cartridge journal with a capability better than 5 cartridges of the sort for which the firearm was initially designed.”
Additionally tabled was a 478-page modification banning 1000’s of further Canadian firearms by identify. This included the SKS, a Soviet-designed surplus rifle that has lengthy been a favorite of Canadian hunters, with round 200,000 estimated house owners.
Altogether, the amendments represent a blanket ban on virtually all varieties of Canadian semi-automatic firearms; principally, any gun configured to load a brand new spherical after every pull of the set off.
It’s additionally a large growth of a gun management invoice that was initially pitched principally as a strategy to forestall the sale of Canadian handguns. Literature accompanying the primary draft of Invoice C-21 made no point out of plans to focus on legally owned lengthy weapons.
Semi-automatic rifles and shotguns are extraordinarily widespread as Canadian looking arms, which is why firearms advocates say the ban would doubtless apply to hundreds of thousands of weapons presently in energetic use with Canadian hunters and sport shooters.
“The vast majority of Canada’s 2.2 million licensed firearms house owners will now be criminalized, ought to these amendments to Invoice C-21 turn out to be regulation,” learn a Tuesday assertion by Tony Bernardo, govt director of the Canadian Taking pictures Sports activities Affiliation.
Tracey Wilson with the Canadian Coalition for Firearms Rights known as it the “largest gun ban in Canadian historical past.”
One of many solely semi-automatic firearms spared by the ban is shotguns that make use of “tube” magazines, a firearm mostly used for duck looking. Because the tube isn’t a “removable” journal, it dodges the ban.
“Due to their ubiquity, a ban on these semi-automatic duck weapons would create a big backlash, so it’s not shocking that the Liberals have steered fastidiously away from banning them,” Canadian firearms professional Andrew Somerset mentioned in an electronic mail to the Nationwide Publish.
Nonetheless, the impact is that Canadian duck hunters would nonetheless be capable of fireplace off 5 rounds with out manually reloading between pictures, however most caribou and deer hunters couldn’t. A number of tube-fed semi-automatic shotguns had been additionally included within the 478 pages of further banned firearms tacked onto the laws.
Somerset additionally famous a simple loophole to the ban, because it solely covers firearms with “removable” magazines. “What occurs when some enterprising soul manufactures and markets a bigger journal?” he mentioned.
However with many Canadian looking rifles successfully being banished to gun safes by the modification, the impact could be that Canadian hunters would principally be restricted to firearms utilizing pumps, lever or bolts to manually load cartridges into the chamber earlier than every pull of the set off.
“Banning and shopping for again rifles which are used for looking and sport capturing will solely have an effect on law-abiding, RCMP-vetted Canadians who depend on wild sport to feed their households or take pleasure in a day on the capturing vary,” Jesse Zeman, govt director of the B.C. Wildlife Federation, mentioned Thursday.
Proper now, most semi-automatic rifles and shotguns are categorised as “non-restricted” firearms; which means that licensed house owners can carry them inside a car or within the bush supplied they observe sure precautions.
The proposed amendments would flip semi-automatic weapons into “prohibited” firearms; which means that they’d should be stored locked up always at a house handle registered with the RCMP.
The firearms might solely be fired at licensed gun ranges, and any transportation of the gun would require the proprietor to first search an “authorization to move” with the Mounties.
Failure to do any of this might end result within the proprietor being stripped of their licence and any firearms of their possession – together with these not coated by the ban.
Conservative public security critic Raquel Dancho has emerged as probably the most vocal opponent of the proposed amendments.
“That is the most important assault on hunters within the historical past of Canada that I’m conscious of,” she informed reporters on Wednesday. “They’re going after Grandpa Joe’s looking rifle as an alternative of gangsters in Toronto.”
The provincial governments of each Alberta and Saskatchewan additionally explicitly got here out in opposition to the amendments this week, even vowing authorized motion.
“These amendments do nothing to focus on unlawful firearms use and additional present the disconnect between the federal Liberal authorities and authorized firearms house owners in Saskatchewan and throughout Canada,” learn a press release by Saskatchewan premier Scott Moe.
Alberta’s Minister of Justice Tyler Shandro known as the transfer proof that “the federal authorities is clearly looking for to ban authorized firearm possession altogether.”