Canada backs down on overly-broad rifle ban

AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis

Canada doesn’t have a Second Amendment. As a result, they don’t enjoy the protection provided by that handful of words. In essence, the government there acts like there is not right to keep and bear arms, and has said as much in the past.


As such, it was no surprise that the government in Ottawa was targeting not just AR-style rifles with a new round of gun banning, but a lot of other rifles as well.

Without some way of preserving the right to keep and bear arms, that right was in jeopardy.

Luckily, it seems the government blinked.

Canada’s Liberal government repealed on Friday elements of its gun-control legislation that proposed banning rifles and shotguns widely used by hunters, farmers and indigenous communities.

The surprise decision emerged after the plan to target thousands of rifles and shotguns sparked widespread opposition from the governing Liberals’ political allies on gun control, indigenous leaders and gun-rights advocates.

In the fall, Liberal lawmakers introduced amendments that broadened the proposed firearm ban to include thousands of rifles and shotguns. Critics warned the wider ban threatened the livelihood of indigenous and rural communities, whose members rely on hunting for a livelihood and sustenance.

The government on Friday withdrew its wider firearm ban. Marco Mendicino, Canada’s public safety minister, said the government’s focus is on prohibiting assault-style weapons, “not guns commonly used for hunting. Hunting isn’t just a proud Canadian tradition. It’s a way of life for communities across this country.”


Now, this is ultimately good news for our friends in Canada, but it’s not exactly great news. The right to keep and bear arms is still under assault.

However, this kind of lays out a way to combat those efforts.

See, even though Canada’s elections work quite differently than ours do, they still require officials to have popular support if they wish to remain in office. That means that any wildly unpopular effort will eventually need to be scuttled or else they may well lose their jobs in the next election.

Yet popular support can be gained with a broad public relations effort, one outlining just how wrongheaded some of these anti-gun efforts actually are.

If enough popular support for these measures is lost, then lawmakers in Canada will have to abandon their plans to further infringe on people’s right to keep and bear arms. Do it enough and some of those past infringements will start to be taken down by officials trying to stay in the public’s good graces.

This also illustrates how we can defeat anti-gun measures. Something none of us have done a good job of–and really, it’s an uphill battle with our media–is rally people to our side.


Yet to do it, we need minority voices among pretty much every group the left terms as “marginalized.” We need the Pink Pistols and the National African American Gun Association and groups from every other area of life. We need them far more than we need any of the more well-known gun rights groups simply because they’re too difficult to dismiss as a bunch of “old, white dudes.”

Canada has shown a path, for us and for them. The question is, will anyone bother to go down it?

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