It’s been a tough few years for Canadians, and not only because their prime minister used an “emergency order” to seize assets and shut down peaceful COVID protests.
In response to a mass murder in 2020 that left 22 Canadians dead, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a ban of over 1,500 variants of so-called “assault style” firearms. Current owners will not be allowed to keep their lawfully purchased property but will be forced to surrender them in a mandatory buyback program set to take place next year.
Canadian gun owners were understandably incensed, and the latest critic is Teri-Jane Bryant, the Chief Firearms Officer for the western province of Canada.
“It is alarming that no evidence has been adduced to justify the arbitrary selection of the firearms on the list. Prohibiting specific types of firearms is an approach that has proven ineffective in improving public safety,” she said in a scathing letter to Trudeau’s Minister of Public Safety, Marco Mendicino.
Instead of spending billions of taxpayer dollars banning and “buying back” legally owned firearms, Mendicino should use that money to “focus on what does work, the diligent pursuit and prosecution of criminals,” Bryant said.
“In Alberta, it is these scofflaws that are driving both rural crime and the alarming violence in our major cities,” she continued.
She pointed out that Canada has already imposed incredibly strict firearms laws. When these laws are “properly administered,” law-abiding gun owners should be allowed to purchase whatever kind of firearm they wish to acquire.
When he announced the gun ban, Trudeau did not offer evidence to prove that the new law would do anything to reduce rising crime rates in Canada. The United States tried a similar ban from 1994 to 2004, and experts agree it had no measurable impact on crime.
“The government prohibition on certain firearms, and now more assault-style firearms, isn’t going to likely have a real direct impact on community safety and crime rates, violent crime rates and those kinds of things,” Doug King, a justice studies professor at Mount Royal University, told the Calgary Herald. “I think I think the larger question is, has the federal government provided any justification for why some (firearms) were put on the list and why others weren’t? What was the criteria?”
The gun ban won’t reduce crime, and it represents a direct attack on personal property rights, Bryant said. She called it a “serious infringement on the property rights of lawful gun owners” who have “not done anything wrong.”
“Yet they are to be forcibly deprived of their property or forced to effectively render it useless through compulsory deactivation,” she said.
Trudeau’s Liberal government is unlikely to abandon the ban (they made it part of their election campaign in 2021), and Mendicino has characterized the call to lift the ban as “wrong and dangerous.” If the government refuses to move on the ban itself, Bryant calls on them to extend the amnesty period for legal gun owners to a minimum of three years.