On Sunday, the third anniversary of the shootings in Parkland, Florida, Joe Biden called on Congress to pass his gun and magazine ban, saying that there’s “no time to wait.” The next politician to put pressure on Democrats in Congress may not be an American, however.
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau’s government is set to unveil details of his own gun ban and “buyback” today, almost a year after he first announced that that modern sporting rifles were now forbidden to purchase or own.
The legislation is expected to detail how owners of these firearms can surrender them to police and obtain financial compensation. The rates of compensation the government will pay for each rifle is expected to be listed in regulations that will accompany the bill.
Owners of prohibited rifles will still have the option to hang on to them subject to strict conditions on storage — a point that has riled gun-control advocates who want to see mandatory confiscation of firearms they believe to be military in nature.
Firearms advocates have argued that the reclassification was too broad and focused on the appearance and not the function of many semi-automatic rifles the government deemed to be military in nature.
Note that Trudeau’s gun ban bears a strong resemblance to Biden’s own proposal. Legal gun owners are expected to hand over their now-banned guns to the federal government in exchange for a cash stipend, unless they in essence keep their firearms at a gun range or outside of their home.
Under Biden’s own gun ban, legal gun owners would have to hand over their firearms to the federal government in a compensated confiscation scheme, or else register each newly-banned item under the National Firearms Act. Once you tell the government what guns and magazines you own (and potentially pay $200 per item to register them with the government), Biden promises that you’ll be able to keep them.. at least until the Democrats pass another gun ban outlawing them completely.
The biggest difference between Trudeau’s gun ban and Biden’s (besides the fact that our right to keep and bear arms is enshrined in our Constitution) is the fact that the Canadian gun ban will likely cover less than 1-million firearms throughout the country. Here in the United States, there are well over 20-million modern sporting rifles and 150-million ammunition magazines that would be banned under Biden’s proposed legislation.
With Trudeau announcing the details of his own “buyback”, expect another round of headlines and opinion pieces demanding that Democrats do the same here at home. Biden just said that Congress can’t wait on gun controls, and there’ll be even more pressure for Democrats to act once the specifics of the Canadian gun ban and “buyback” have been released to the public.
I continue to believe it’s a political mistake of epic proportions for Biden and Democrats to try to implement their gun ban while Americans are buying firearms in record numbers and millions of us have embraced our Second Amendment rights for the first time over the past year, but clearly the anti-gun politicians and their gun control allies see it differently. They’re not thinking of the mid-terms or the political consequences of banning the most commonly sold center-fire rifles in the country along with more than 100-million ammunition magazines. They’re focused on the fact that this is their best chance to enact a gun ban in decades, and they want to strike while the numbers are in their favor.
With the American press sure to laud Trudeau for his “bold” yet “commonsense” compensated confiscation of legally-acquired firearms, the anti-gun forces in American politics will view this as an opportune time to get started on their own gun ban. Biden and Democratic leaders in Congress are still wrestling to get a COVID-related stimulus bill passed, but it’s looking more and more likely that once that’s finished gun control, including Biden’s gun ban, will be the next focus for Biden, Kamala Harris, Chuck Schumer, and Nancy Pelosi.
The bill has now been tabled in the House of Commons, and it’s as bad as you’d expect. Not only is there no grandfather clause allowing current legal gun owners to maintain possession of the arms banned by the Canadian government, but the gun control bill would also allow municipalities across the country to ban handguns as well.
Trudeau said the measures will be backed up with serious penalties to enforce these bylaws, including jail time for people who violate municipal rules.
Many gun control advocates have pressed for a national handgun ban, warning that leaving it up to municipalities would create an ineffective patchwork of regulations.
The bill will also increase criminal penalties for gun smuggling and trafficking, and enhance the capacity of police and border officers to keep illegal firearms out of the country.
It also creates new offences for altering the cartridge magazine of a firearm and introduces tighter restrictions on importing ammunition.
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said the legislation, tabled Tuesday morning in the House of Commons, will not allow the owners of the prohibited firearms will not be allowed to bequeath them to others, or to continue to use them under “grandfathering” policies.
He said those who choose not to sell their weapons back to the government will be held responsible if the weapons “end up in the hands of criminals.”
“Gun ownership in this country is a privilege, not a right,” Blair said.
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