OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) — After massive backlash, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government today withdrew a controversial amendment to their gun control legislation Bill C-21, which if passed would have banned certain hunting rifles and shotguns by classifying them as “assault” weapons.
On Friday morning, Liberal MP Taleeb Noormohamed got unanimous consent from the House of Commons public safety committee to withdraw last-minute amendments added to Bill C-21 by Trudeau’s cabinet last year.
In a statement posted today, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino said the government will now work towards “a clear solution that will keep assault-style weapons off our streets.”
“There have been legitimate concerns raised about the need for more consultation and debate on this vital part of the bill. We hear those concerns loud and clear, regret the confusion that this process has caused and are committed to a thoughtful and respectful conversation that is based on facts, not fear,” said Mendicino.
“This is an emotional issue, and Canadians are counting on us to get it right. More discussions, including with Indigenous communities, are crucial. That’s why we continue to take the time to engage with people from all walks of life.”
Today’s complete walking back of the controversial amendment was unsurprising to many, as the Trudeau government had already put Bill C-21 on hold late last year after massive pushback.
Bill C-21 was initially proposed by the Trudeau government as a ban on all used handgun sales, along with a severe restriction on any new sales.
Controversy arose. however, when after the debate period of the bill had finished, the Trudeau government hastily added new gun models to Bill C-21, including long guns used by hunters.
The amendments were made under the guise of banning “assault-style” weapons but instead would have seen any long guns that are capable of firing at a force over 10,000 joules, or guns with muzzles wider than 20 millimeters, being banned.
The last-minute additions were blasted by Indigenous Canadians, hunters, farmers, and opposition MPs as a crass attempt to try and ban most guns and take them away from their legal owners.
The Trudeau Liberals amendment read that the government was looking to ban, “a firearm that is a rifle or shotgun that is capable of discharging center fire ammunition in a semi-automatic manner.”
After initially denying the bill would impact hunters, Trudeau last month admitted that C-21 would indeed ban certain types of hunting rifles.
Yesterday however, Mendicino said the government intends to focus on “AR-15s and other 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. Bill C-21 isn’t about targeting hunters, it’s about certain guns that are too dangerous in other contexts,” he insisted.
In an unusual occurrence in Canadian politics, Bill C-21 was blasted not just by opposition MPs in the Conservative Party, but by MPs in Trudeau’s own Liberal Party as well as the even further left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP).
Liberal MP for the Yukon, Brendan Hanley, who is from a rural, northern, and heavily-indigenous territory, had noted that many of his constituents “regularly hunt, either as a food source or for the recreational aspects of hunting,” and that the now-axed amendments were “really upsetting.”
Bill C-21 adds to Trudeau’s first large gun grab that was announced after a deadly mass shooting in Nova Scotia in May 2020, in which he banned over 1,500 “military-style assault firearms” with a plan to begin buying them back from owners.
If that ban in enforced, even legal gun owners in possession of the federally regulated Possession and Acquisition License (PAL) would be barred from buying, selling, transporting, and importing a slew of guns the government has categorized as “assault-style” rifles.