Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada’s Liberal Party is now looking to ban guns used for hunting that are “too dangerous in other contexts.” His comments come as Canadian lawmakers are working on a major gun control package.
The Canadian Parliament has been wrangling for months over proposed Bill C-21, which started out as a set of so-called “red flag” laws and restrictions on handguns. “Red Flag” laws are a term for measures that allow individuals to petition a court to temporarily take away another individual’s firearms on the grounds that they pose a threat to themselves or others.
In the fall, Liberals moved to enshrine in law a definition of “assault-style” weapons that would prohibit some popular hunting firearms, CTV News reported. It’s a move to solidify and possibly expand the ban on more than 1,500 models of so-called “assault-style” firearms Canada implemented in 2020.
“There are some weapons that are used for hunting that unfortunately fall on the wrong side of the line,” Trudeau told CTV. “Not many, but there are some that are slightly overpowered or have too large a magazine capacity or technical reasons like that. Nobody wants assault-style weapons anywhere in this country. You don’t use them for hunting, and you shouldn’t have them for any other reason.”
After backlash from conservative lawmakers and indigenous leaders protective of their right to hunt, Liberals agreed the “assault-style” definition may need tweaking, according to CTV. But Trudeau is maintaining that hunting weapons will be caught up in the mix.
“Our focus now is on saying okay, there are some guns, yes, that we’re going to have to take away from people who were using them to hunt,” he said. “But we’re going to also make sure that you’re able to buy other guns from a long list of guns that are accepted that are fine for hunting, whether it’s rifles or shotguns. We’re not going at the right to hunt in this country. We are going at some of the guns used to do it that are too dangerous in other contexts.”
Trudeau emphasized that there’s more work to be done on the definition, which lawmakers are set to pick back up next month, as reported by CTV.
“We need to consult more and work with Indigenous communities on it to make sure they understand we’re not going after any of their traditional rights to hunt. Because obviously hunting is a huge part of life for many, many Canadians … and we fully respect that and we’re going to protect that,” the prime minister said.
Earlier this week, a gunman killed five people and wounded a sixth in an apartment building in Toronto before he was shot and killed by police.