Op-ed: Liberals should respect their promise to ban assault weapons

The government's backtracking on their election promise for a total ban on assault weapons would be a big win for Canada's gun lobby

During the last federal election, the Liberal government promised to ban all military-style semi-automatic assault weapons, such as the AR-15. The government also pledged to buy back all legally-purchased assault weapons currently in circulation.

However, as the Liberal government moved to prohibit some 1,500 existing models, it has appeared to back out of its election promise. Government officials have indicated it may create a program that would instead allow current owners to keep their banned weapons – although their use, transportation and sale would be prohibited.

For those of us who have been fighting for decades to ban assault weapons in Canada, a buy-back program that includes an offer to grandfather current weapons would be a huge disappointment.

Indeed, thousands of weapons grandfathered in the 1990s are still in circulation today. Without a mandatory buy-back program, tens of thousands of semi-automatic military-style weapons will remain in private hands for generations to come and, with them, their inherent risks to public safety.

A new survey by Environics Research commissioned by PolyRemembers shows that the majority of Canadians (61per cent) want the Liberal government to buy back all existing assault weapons.

There is majority support in both urban (62 per cent) and rural areas (55 per cent) for the measure. Nearly half of people living in a gun-owning household (46 per cent) also support a mandatory buy-back program.

Last fall, many victims’ relatives and survivors of the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre endorsed the Liberals precisely because of their strong position to ban assault weapons, as Australia and New Zealand have done. In terms of public safety, there is a world of difference between a complete ban and an incomplete one.

Backtracking on the promise to remove existing weapons would be a big win for the gun lobby.

First, with a significant number of assault weapons remaining in the hands of current owners, it will be a lot easier for a subsequent government to repeal the ban.

In fact, Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole has already pledged to cancel the measure. The gun lobby is telling its members to “keep your guns” and “be patient.”

Secondly, grandfathering an assault weapons ban incentivizes their current owners to keep them and to support the most radical gun-rights organizations that continue to defend the interests of assault weapons manufacturers, collectors and “tactical” shooters who all profit from or use military-style guns.

These lobby groups will remain well-funded and energized and will continue to seek to normalize the private ownership of military-style weapons, along with the American NRA-style ideology associated with them.

Finally, allowing the continued ownership of assault weapons will pretty much guarantee that this debate never ends. The Liberals will continue to be criticized for not getting the job done when they had the chance and Conservatives will continue to be supported by an extremist pro-gun base that compels any new leader to embrace a position objectionable to most Canadians.

It’s in the public’s interest to settle this debate once and for all. That can only be achieved with a complete and final ban on assault weapons in Canada.

While there has been concrete progress made by the Trudeau government on the issue of assault weapons, there should be no backtracking on the mandatory buy-back program that was promised to Canadians.

As the Minister of Justice himself recently has said, weapons designed for the battlefield have no place on our streets or in our communities. We totally agree. Now we expect the government to be consistent and to genuinely protect the public from these weapons of war.

Nathalie Provost is a Polytechnique graduate and survivor of the 1989 Montreal massacre. Heidi Rathjen is a Polytechnique graduate and coordinator of PolyRemembers.

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79 responses to “Op-ed: Liberals should respect their promise to ban assault weapons”

  1. So I am an extremist because I want to keep the items the government said I could own? I belong to the CCFR, and it is nothing like Natalie would have you believe. Licensed owners are 2/3 less likely to commit any crime. My AR us simply for target shooting, as are all them in Canada, and no legally owned AR has been used in a crime in Canada. For context, they have been here since the 1960s, and were legal for hunting with until the mid 90s, with none being used to harm anyone.

  2. The author needs to consult Stats Canada on what exactly is going on with homicides and suicides.
    As to the homicides, address the gang violence and illegal handgun issues in Canada’s major cities. Otherwise, this is all Liberal Partisan drivel.

  3. This is not, and has never been, about “public safety”, since you are as likely to die from being struck by lightning or from eating peanuts as you are to be murdered by a licenced gun owner.

  4. The author has gotten a couple things wrong. There are no lobby groups. There is a gun lobby group, its singular and it doesnt receive funding from the government like anti gun groups do. A little honesty here would be appreciated. The OIC was an assault “style” firearms ban. Not an assault weapons ban. Assault rifles have been banned since the 70s. Unfortunately, Provost has no expertise other than being a victim of a tragic even that she cannot escape because she chooses to be a victim after the fact.

  5. How about instead of this backwards idea we just punish criminals instead. Put the ones that commit crimes in jail. Don’t punish those that haven’t done anything wrong. It’s not really a difficult concept.

  6. To the author,

    How about the focus be put on mental health or God forbid stronger laws to keep criminals behind bars? I still cannot understand why you want to punish law abiding people to further your legacy. Of course Poly was a tragedy, but effective, not reactive measures should be in place. Because of your hatred you want to ban sportsmen and hunters from enjoying something they love as it offends you. Let’s make laws based on science and facts that will actually make a difference. Your vitriol spreads misinformation and baseless fear. Clearly you want an end to violence. Let’s put resources where they would be most effective. Don’t you want a safer Canada? We do.

  7. The liberal legislation is a joke. What’s worse they don’t have a plan to confiscate (a buy back would imply they owned it at some point) my property. They have put it out for tender twice and have gotten no bids. The issues to try and do this a are huge. The logistics will be massive. As for the polls you will note they are not scientific. And then there are the outright lies. Most of the guns banned were not designed for the battlefield some may resemble something else but wasn’t the jeep built for the military.
    We understand the author hates guns. But she is no expect. If that was true any person ever in a car accident is an expert on cars. The government may just not be willing to spend the billion dollars it will take to do this. Or they may not be able to find any company stupid enough to attempt it.

  8. I am curious as to how many people participated in these surveys? I am and know many othe firearms owners and no one I know of supports any buy back programs given that the government never sold the firearms to begin with. Further to this point the first attempt by the government to solicit a company to administer any such buy back recieved 0 bids by anyone which shows a lack of support by the private sector. Also, at no time has anyone at the government level no advocacy group level provided a definition of “assault or assault style weapon” as it is not a recognized term by the gunsmith and firearms manufacturers, shooting sports associations and even the RCMP cannot or will not provide such a definition. Banning a firearm.based solely upon appearances is not only disingenuous it is dangerous. Canada has some of the toughest firearms regulations in the world, statistically some of the lowest violent crime in the world. Shoiting sports in Canada are among the most heavily regulated and safest industries yet they are vilified by authours such as Ms. Provost.

  9. While I appreciate the magnitude of the event of that took place at Polytechnic over 30 years, a gun ban would have not stopped this tragic event. The term assault weapon is a term used to put fear into those Canadians that are either not informed about the current gun laws in Canada or listen to what the media says they should fear. The term assault weapon/rifle has been defined as a firearm that has the capability of select fire including full automatic fire. These so called assault weapons have been prohibited in Canada since 1977. The rifles in the recent OIC/ban were sporting and hunting rifles. None of which are assault rifles/weapons. The guns banned are semi automatic, small calibre guns that are enjoyed by sport shooters across Canada, including me. These are not the guns being used in our cities that we see all over the news. The gun violence plaguing our streets are not being done with rifles. This was a knee jerk reaction by the Liberal government to give the impression they cared about what happened in Nova Scotia. Even though it has been reported that the killer had a firearms prohibition and all of the guns in his possession was illegal. The RCMP has been notified on a several occasions that he had guns and did nothing to get them from him. Canadian gun owners are some of the most vetted individuals in Canada. You need to have the proper licence to own any firearm and an additional licence to own a restricted firearm. If you own restricted firearms, the only place you can legally use them is a a government approved gun range. These are some of the facts that never make the news. Why is that?

    The events at Poly were tragic and life changing for a lot of people. I am sorry that this had happened. However if the focus in going to be licenced gun owners, the illegal guns are going to continue. We need to find solutions for all the gun violence in Canada. A lot of it can be contributed to gangs. There are mental health issues, socioeconomic issues and youth intervention programs that would be much more successful if implemented than going after the exact demographic not using their gun illegally. This “buyback” program has the potential to cost the tax payers billions of dollars. Just think of what these dollars could do to front line police, healthcare and social programs. Going after legal guns is purely about optics and will have ZERO effect on public safety. What it does do is turn peaceful, licenced Canadian gun owners into criminals with the stroke of a pen even though they have done nothing wrong. Is this the Canada you want? It isn’t the Canada I want.

  10. Assault weapons are banned in Canada if you did some research. I bet you have never taken a fire arms course or even know Canada’s gun laws. Trudeau sure doesn’t know the gun laws.

  11. Good Morning,

    With all due respect, “assault rifles” have been banned for many decades now. The current sport shooter AR15 is not an assault weapon by any means. An AR 15 is already capped to 5 rounds, has a small caliber bullet and is considered “RESTRICTED” (now prohibited). By restricted it is banned to the general public. There is no evidence in all of canadian history that a Legally owned Restricted AR15 was ever used for any sort of Mass shooting. We don’t live in the USA, we have some of the strictest gun laws in all of the world. Very few if any, of the firearms crimes which are reported on in the news can be linked to legally owned firearms. The real issue we’re seeing is Drugs and Gang violence. The spike you’re currently seeing is a direct result of the the removal of carding. Previously, Police were able to Card suspicious individuals and take their Illegal firearms when found. Now, the police can’t do this anymore for fear of being labeled Racist. The push to ban Legally owned firearms will do nothing to reduce crime. We need Police to be doing what they do best, and that is POLICE, without political interference.

  12. just a question … how many people are killed every year from automobiles? from knives? from swords? from animals?
    from Cancer? now how many people in Canada were killed with an AR15 (not counting those killed by police ?)
    Do a poll province by province and I am sure you would not have a 61% in favor but more like 23% … The news media in Canada is the worst source for stating the truth but rather would promote false information to stay in favor with the government of the day … government creates funding and funding creates jobs, no funding means no jobs then most of you would be out of work (Burger king is hiring .. just saying lol )

  13. Assault rifles have been prohibited in Canada for around 50 years. Which country is this writer supposedly from? Whatever the government is, or has done by OIC is simple political satire with no substance for the safety of Canadians.

  14. Such scare mongering. We have been safely using these firearms (they are NOT military style assault weapons, another scare tactic by the anti-gun people) for decades. The problem for the government is the legislation and their handing of the ban through Order in Council. There are at least 5 lawsuits, not including the hundreds of Section 74 challenges many of us have launched against the government. We will win all these cases.

  15. Prohibited weapons in circulation? That’s patently false as those prohibited weapons can not be removed from the grandfathered owners residences.
    It’s also rather ironic that a photo of a legal, lawful gun owner enjoying a sport he loves is being used to support this op-ed piece…. Then again finding a photo of a criminal, in Canada, using an assault assault style rifle is practically impossible.

  16. Your magazine needs to fact-check more closely before publishing lies that continue to be spread by groups like the one the author is associated with.

    ‘Assault Weapons’ are capable of select-fire or full-automatic operation. They have been prohibited in Canada since 1978. The firearms targeted by the current government are only aesthetically similar in appearance, but like many rifles with wood stocks, are only capable of semi-automatic operation and are limited to five rounds.

    These are matters that criminals pay no attention to. Criminals don’t follow laws. The focus should be on them and not some of Canada’s most highly-vetted citizens.

  17. Hey Natalie,
    Just read your article and a few things came to mind. The ar-15 is a sport rifle that was not “designed for the battlefield” and is not a military rifle. The military’s Colt C7 is a fully automatic rifle which is already prohibited in Canada. The calibre, or bullet size of this gun and many of the “assault style rifles” you speak of is 5.56×45mm NATO which is the same size as a .223 remington round. My old wooden coyote gun uses this exact round and is semiautomatic, making it functionally the exact same as these “assault style rifles” with the only difference being that my coyote gun isn’t plastic and “tactical looking”. I believe that the ban that is being asked for is not based in logic and reason because these functionally similar guns are left alone. Another example of this is the Russian SKS. This semiautomatic rifle uses the same round as the AK47 and is semiautomatic with an attached bayonet. I bought mine for $300 at Canadian Tire and it is an unrestricted firearm, yet nobody seems to have an issue with it due to it not looking “tactical”. According to the stats Canada website only 56 Canadians were murdered with a rifle or shotgun in 2018. That 56 includes all shotguns and rifles, assault style or otherwise, a very small number. Compare this to fatal car crashes of the same year at 1922 deaths, and maybe you should switch your focus on safe driving and limiting vehicle horsepower if you really are concerned about the safety of Canadians. Another issue is with our neighbours. We sit atop the most gun toting nation in the world, a pipeline for firearms into our country. If someone really wants to commit a mass shooting, do you think they care about the extra federal charge for illegal firearm ownership when they will already get life in prison if they don’t off themselves first? The reason a gun ban can work (not sure if it did or not, just talking hypothetical here) in somewhere like Australia is that they are an island nation and they don’t have the USA next door. I am a legal firearm owner who has done the hours of courses and gotten my background checks and references checked by the RCMP who have decided that I am fit to own a firearm, which I believe is plenty and that our system works fine. Bad people are going to do bad things, regardless of laws. I believe the way to approach this situation is through better education and through strict penalties and lifetime firearm bans for those who believe that they are above these laws. Removing these firearms removes millions of dollars from the Canadian economy and takes money from the hands of thousands of working Canadians and small business owners. Please consider this when thinking about gun ownership in our country.

    Thanks for your time,

  18. Hi
    It seems your writer is totally unaware that ‘assualt weapons’ a misnomer if there ever was one, we’re banned back in the 70’s. They’re confusing automatics with anything they deem to look scary. They’re further fuzzifying the mudifaction by invoking the NRA.
    The laws we have here for ownership are far more stringent than almost anywhere else on the planet. Perhaps less fear mongering and more actually factual articles would really help. And yes I know what an op-ed is, still.

  19. Assault weapons have been ILLEGAL in Canada since Bill C-51 was passed in 1977.
    ‘Assault style’ is a made up term to instill fear in the uneducated.

  20. Stop talking about the gun lobby like its a bad thing. Us the people are the gun lobby just like you and your few people are the anti gun lobby. Only different is we pay for both sides because only thing keeping you afloat is our tax dollars.

  21. Sadly the article as usual fails to address the criminal use or misuse of illegal obtained firearms, the government used a horrific tragedy in Nova Scotia to push forth a misguided clean sweep of lawfully owned firearms( the inquiry will answer some questions including the failure and warnings about the perpetrator )The government has failed to protect all its citizens from criminals & criminal misuse of firearms, they have failed to control shootings which are at a all time high in cities and to suggest a ban from lawful owners is as ridiculous as outlawing forks to control obesity.

  22. Hi just wanted say that as tragic as the École Polytechnique massacre was it has to be the only if not one of very few mass shooting involving legally obtained firearms. I understand how you must feel about fire arms after witnessing that. But here’s the thing. I didn’t shoot up your scool. As a matter of fact I have never shot a living thing in life and probably never will. Heres the thing… Most of the shooting in this country are done with illegally obtained firearms snuggled from the states. In your article you go on and on about ar15s but the École Polytechnique massacre was carried out with a Ruger Minni 14 witch look nothing like the ar15 so I’m wonder how confused you are about who and what your asking to ban. While we’re on the topic of banning things we should outlaw white uhual vans because one was used to kill more ppl than the ar15 has in this country. Or how about large knives and swords. Wasn’t there just a mass stabbing the other day? I agree with gun control I don’t agree with made up terms and arbitrary bans. You can ban “weapons” all day everyday and let’s just pretend that the criminals decide to play along and give them up. It will just go back 10000 years and people will be killing each other with large rocks.

  23. Pretty disappointing to see this opinion letter, who’s only basis in reality is a flawed survey of Canadians opinion on assault rifles, which the newly banned guns are not. If you had asked Canadians their opinion of modern sporting rifles, a term that does describe the banned guns, the results would be very different. I hope you folks will at least give op-ed space to a person from the firearms community, so they can show the readers what the sport is really about.

  24. As a card carrying member of a pro-firearms group I read this opinion piece with interest.
    In the interest of fair and balanced reporting I would like to strongly encourage NOW to also publish an opinion from the pro-firearms side.
    One point in the article I take offence to is that the survey was commissioned by the Poly group.
    I would like to see the questions published.
    Please reach out to the CCFR
    They would be more than happy to provide a view from the opposite side.

  25. Poorly written article. Plus using an individual’s picture who is a highly respected individual within the firearms community. He goes over and above for everyone, not just the firearms community. I look at this photo and see that he has excellent trigger discipline (his fingers are out of the trigger guard), he has protected his hearing with proper electronic ear muffs, his firearms are pointed in a safe direction (rifles pointed up), and a little yellow flag in the firearm to show that this firearm is clear (no rounds). You have used a photo of a highly credible, vetted, respected man in an article that is utter garbage and full of misinformation against firearms owners. Shame on you!

  26. Persecution of law abiding firearm owners is a distraction from the real problem of illicit gun smuggling, gang violence and real problems. It is a solution without a problem, and transgresses upon the rights of a scrupulously law abiding minority by a hateful group of anti-gun fascists, amoung whom I number the author. Further there are no public safety benefits to stealing away the rights of law abiding citizens.

    Were you looking to solve the problem of violence on urban streets, I suggest you look no further than the policies of the Trudeau government to reduce sentences for violent crimes, to provide instant and automatic bail to violent repeat offenders, and to use race and ethnicity as a mitigating factor in sentencing (Bill C-75).

  27. This week-end’s attack by a sword-wielding person having serious mental problems just proves once again how wrong Provost is and has always been! If all the efforts she puts in her hate against honest citizens was instead spent on helping people with mental problems, we would be so much closer to a solution! Also, using the picture of one such honest citizens without his permissions to try to make a point is low indeed…

  28. Settle the debate?!!! That’s rich.
    You know the authors of this article refuse to debate the people they demonize right? How about you attempt to organize a debate with a ccfr leader and Natalie or Heidi. I’ll bet you 100$ I know who will refuse.

  29. Yet another uninformed and vitriol filled “op-ed” hit piece that tries so very hard to connect licensed and law abiding sport shooters to criminal activity. You use a survey of 1500 people, of which 85% do not own a firearm and likely have no understanding of Canadian firearms laws and regulations. Meanwhile, you completely ignore the information gathered by Public Safety Canada that shows the exact opposite results. Then, Poly pushes the hate-filled language that firearms owners are “extremests” and “far right”. This is absolutely unacceptable in the world of fair journalism.

  30. Assault weapons have been banned in Canada since the 70s’ ans as such cannot be legally owned since.

    What the Liberals banned on May 1st and Polyremembers want confiscated now are “assault-style” rifles. The word “style” is the important one here. They ban rifles according to their “look”, not their function or capacity.

    As such, this has nothing to do with protecting the public since rifles with the exact same capacities are ignored by the ban (and justly so because their use as either sporting or hunting rifles are legitimate).

    And that’s not even considering that the vast majority of gun crimes (read, more than 90%) are committed with weapons smuggled from the USA. And the Liberals don’t even talk about working on that issue. Oh, and the Liberals also work very hard to get criminals (even violent gang members) back on the street asap to “reabilitate” them. But the true result of that ki d of policie is that these gang members just get new black market (read: illegaly purchased) guns and continue to commit crimes…

    Legal gun owners are not the problem. The government should go after criminals instead (and/or focus on mental health).

  31. The modern sporting rifles under OIC ban today are no different ( but less powerful ) than common hunting rifles in use as we speak. Progress has touched everything in use today, be it computers, telephones and yes firearms. However, Canada’s laws are already quite strict in the use of firearms and bans affect no one but legal, honest firearms owners. Perhaps you should allow for a rebuttal piece from the firearms owner whose picture you used without permission. While you’re at it, research how many people have actually been killed or wounded by an AR 15 in Canada, to see how really effective this OIC ban will be. Facts have been known to change closed minds.

  32. Hello good Torontonians, I read your article on the op-Ed firearms prohibition, and was wondering where the writer got their numbers from. On one in rural Canada would vote for a firearms ban, and people who grow up on families that own firearms aren’t irrationally afraid of them. Rather they enjoy shooting sports and hunting. I would also like to point out that anyone who has had a grizzly trying to get into their house where their children slept was happy to be armed. Canadians don’t want to ban guns, a few uneducated fools who think that our laws are similar to US firearms law do, which is a shame. All they would need to do to fully understand how things work in Canada is go to the rcmp.gc.ca website, and read what the laws are.

  33. Very misleading article with claims of “military style”. You are objecting to a weapon based on its color and grip style. Not one of the “prohibited, assault ” rifles in the ban would ever be used on a battlefield. Illiteracy on guns does not make good policy.

  34. As a law abiding, tax paying, charity supporting Canadian I can endorse this article or publication. I will be taking the day today to call each company that advertises with you and let them know I will no longer be using their products/services should they continue to do business with you.

  35. I urge you to educate yourselves. First of all, the AR15 stands for Armalite15, not assault rifle or automatic rifle. Secondly, it is not a military firearm. Ask any soldier if they would go into combat with one, they will say no. Why?, because it’s a semiautomatic firearm limited to 5 rounds max capacity. This means it can only carry 5 bullets and only 1 bullet is fired with each pull of the trigger. I could go on and on, it the bottom line seems to be you are against it because it looks scary. Why do you continually judge based on your ignorance? You make assumptions based on American laws-not Canadian.

  36. Unfortunately the author of this article is not very well informed nor knowledgeable on firearms. Weapons that would meet the classification of Assault rifles have been banned in Canada since 1977-78. Further there is not accurate nor legal definition of an assault rifle. and even if there were I am sure you would find that those that meet the criteria are already banned.
    There are far greater threats to public safety than the most vetted of citizens.

  37. The liberals did ban the made up category of ‘assault style’ weapons using the definition they made up.
    Exactly what you lobbied for.
    You got what was promised Natalie.
    PS. My condolences on the tragedy at your school that took place two generations ago that you continually try to use to drum up support for ever more and more gun control when Canada already has some of the most comprehensive and effective gun control in the world – because this nation changed every gun law we had in response to your tragedy and your organization sat at the table with Justice and helped write those laws and regulations.
    I am reminded of ‘give them an inch…’

  38. Just because you are pro gun does not mean you are an extremist. Semi Automatic rifles are not military style assault weapons. And there are plenty of weapons on that list which were already banned to begin with and some that are not even semi automatic and would not even be considered in a “battlefield setting”. Unfortunately this article seems to be completely biased and not so much focusing on the facts but rather one persons uninformed opinions on something he appears to be intimidated by.

  39. Having never gone through what Ms Provost, her friends, family, and fellow classmates, I can only imagine the horror. What happened that day should never be forgotten. There should be more effort and funding to stop physical and emotional violence and tackle the underlying reasons/motivations. Only by working on a solution to the underlying reasons can we reduce violence.
    The survivors and the families of Poly have been railing for decades about firearms. They got their way when the Firearms Act was adopted. They got their way when the Criminal Code adopted new crimes and punishments for firearm related illegal activities. They got their way when even paperwork issues became a criminal offense related to firearms. They got their way when fully automatic firearms were prohibited. They got their way when all firearms were required to be registered. They got their way when the liberals adopted Bill C71, rife with errors and issues as it was. They got their way when semi-automatic ‘military-looking’ firearms were banned. They made a huge mistake going after those of us who obey the laws instead of going after criminals. Are they so weak and afraid that they can’t even tackle actual criminal activities? Are they afraid of going after actual criminals because they know that criminals have no reason to fear law enforcement or the legal system.
    Poly and their supporters will not be happy until every firearm on the planet is destroyed.

  40. I would like to point out all those “prohibited” guns banned in the 1990s that are “still in circulation” because they were “grandfathered” are not “on the streets”. They are not used in crime, at all, period, neither before the ban or after. The only difference is the people who used to be able to hunt and sport shoot with them now can not.

    Criminals get their guns from the USA via our non existing boarders (in some spots).

  41. “Indeed, thousands of weapons grandfathered in the 1990s are still in circulation today. Without a mandatory buy-back program, tens of thousands of semi-automatic military-style weapons will remain in private hands for generations to come and, with them, their inherent risks to public safety.“ So you basically just admitted. Legal firearms owners aren’t a danger. For generations to come?…..

  42. As a footnote to journalistic integrity , the polls commissioned by the anti gun groups use questions that take advantage of the average Canadians lack of knowledge on our current (strict) firearms laws and try and make our laws seem to be similar to the USA

  43. 250,000 Canadians own AR-15 or clones, many more own some of the other 1,500 firearms “banned” May 1, 2020. Ordered to keep locked securely at home.
    How many of those “banned firearms” since May 1st have been used since then? ZERO. They can’t even be taken to an approved range by the legal + licensed owners. Rest assured the media, the Liberals and all the anti-gun lobbyist would be shouting about it.
    Meanwhile, criminals with firearm bans—“prohibitions” sent home awaiting trials, house arrest, probation, are routinely arrested with firearms committing other crimes.
    The law-abiding gun owners are following the law. The criminals are not. Think about that!

  44. Blaming persons whom jump through hoops to be compliant with strongly restrictive regulation for the actions of criminals is neither rational nor responsible. There have been countless opportunities for open, responsible and honest discussions about this very divisive subject, yet it has not happened…why?

  45. This article is extremely biased, you should have also interviewed members of the Canadian gun community. Get both sides together to give their peace and let the reader decide. Sadly you just yelled at the clouds telling everyone that you are right. What even is a “military-style assault weapon”? The Lee Enfield is a firearm that has been used by our military since the 1900s and it is allowed to be owned by civilians, so is that also a “military-style assault weapon”? Also I’ve been following the firearms ban ever since May and I noticed that a number of the 1,500 existing models that were banned were actually hunting shotguns, bolt-action rifles and for some reason bazookas that citizens cannot even own! Like I said before you should’ve brought in someone from one the gun groups in Canada, have a debate, and then let the readers decide for themselves. Overall this is a very bias article and EXTREMELY disappointing.

  46. I still can’t believe this is going on. An AR15 has never been used in any sort of “mass shooting” here in Canada. There are millions of them in North America! But that doesn’t matter. Facts have no place in this argument. PLEASE take the money ear marked for the demonization of firearms and the buy back funds and use it to go after gangs and other illegal activities! Once again I don’t think that will happen because it makes sense.
    Legal firearms owners are not the problem. Leave us alone.

  47. Wow what a biased article !!! This must be the side of the story that makes you the most money. If the liberals are all about public safety why is the gun buyback just for illegally obtained firearms. Should there not be a continuous payback for illegal firearms? I don’t trust any survey that is paid for by Polly remember‘s. A big majority of non-gun owning people I speak to do not agree with what Trudo is doing. A good indication of how people really feel has been shown in the numbers of people at the different protest. Unnoticed anti-gun rally compared to a street jamming integrity march.

  48. The liberal government should allocate their resources towards reducing actual gun violence by targeting gangs and illegally obtained firearms smuggled in through Canada’s border with the US. Targeting law abiding firearms owners is not the way to reduce gun violence. Look at the statistics on violent gun related crimes and you’ll see the answer is plain and simple.

  49. This article continues to misinform Canadians by using made up terms that are designed to scare the misinformed. “Assault Rifle” and “Military Grade Weapons” are already illegal in Canada. Stop trying to scare people and actually inform them. The media loves portraying legal gun owners as rabid survivalist types living in an underground bunker when in actual fact most of us are your friends and neighbours. I would like to see an article that actually tells both sides of the debate instead of trying to scare people. If I say should we ban “Military style weapons” of course an urban dweller who has never seen a firearm is going to respond yes. If I called cars murder wagons they would want those banned too.

  50. I took the time to research both sides of the story. When Trudeau announced a gun ban by decree, I had a real problem with major legislation of any sort being shoved down our throats without a debate in the HOC or second reading in the Senate, and that should concern anyone who treasures our democratic instituitions, no matter what side of the fence you’re on. So I sat down and got informed. In just a few short months, I learned much about legal firearm owners and the daily scrutiny they consent to in order to enjoy their sport. I already know many, as I live in a rural area with lots of ranchers and farmers, in an area teeming with wildlife, both predator and prey. I took the time to look at all aspects. How Olympic sport shooters compete with their firearms to do us proud on the world stage. Every licensed firearm owner I know, or know of, are the people I trust the most. They are my best friends. They are the most law-abiding people I know, supportive of the safety training and the CORE training for hunters. They are not the big bad boogeyman you seek to portray here. You have no business spreading your hate, and no business that advertises with you will get business from me. Shame on you for slandering your fellow Canadians like this. The writer of this article seriously needs psychiatric help to deal with her baseless paranoia. Oh, by the way. I’m not even a firearm owner. Just a Canadian who lives her life guided by FACTS.

  51. Nathalie. Your opinion is way of base from reality. Your logic is flawed making the basis for your argument…misguided. Having an opinion doesn’t make it right. Attempting to influence others with little to no knowledge of the issue is the starting point for incompetence and therefore potentially dangerous. Please stop lying by understanding the topic before you publish something so misinformed and irresponsible.

  52. This op-ed is being used as/for circular reporting.

    Nathalie Provosat writes this op-ed and NOW Toronto published the op-ed. Then, Natalie Provost, through her Gun Control Group @Polysesouvient tweets the op-ed from NOW Toronto. In reality it came from one source, Nathalie Provosat, coordinator of PolyRemembers (@Polysesouvient).

    This is without doubt Nathalie Provosat intentionally contrived this and succeed without difficulty.

    In summary, Nathalie Provosat is engaging in circular reporting to reinforcing her belief in its information without disclosure..*

    * some of the information is actually disinformation

    assault weapons : There are many objects that could fit that description. If it does refer to rifles, there is no international agreement of the term. (Wendy Cukier, UN)

    military-style weapons : Not one of newly prohibited semi-automatic “military-style assault weapons” (coined phrase) are used by any military, never have been or will be. Militaries use select fire and or fully automatic rifles (machine guns). These rifles have been prohibited in Canada for civilian ownership since the late 70’s.

    buy-back program : The rifles that were reclassified as prohibited were not purchased from the government, so the term buy-back is just plain false.

    1,500 existing models : Since May 1, 2020, approximately 400 addition rifles have been reclassified as prohibited, without any public disclosure. These addition 400 rifles now include shotguns, bolt action and rimfire rifles. Bill Blair is denying this, even in the House of Commons. However, these reclassification are easily available to confirm in the RCMPs FRT Tables.

    seek to normalize the private ownership of “military-style weapons” : The reclassified rifles, for example the AR-15 (AR = Armalite, does not mean assault rifle) have been available for legal purchase since the late 60s with the appropriate licence. It is already very normal and has been for decades.

    support a mandatory buy-back program : A majority of Canadians may support a loaded question of the ban, but more question the effectiveness of it. In the Ipsos Reid poll, 68% of Canadians we convinced the ban would not be effective in lowering gun violence. In the same poll 87% agreed that the government should provided more funding towards the smuggling of firearms across the border into Canada. Braking the poll down, agreement of women was 90%, over the age of 55 was 94% and Atlantic Canada at 96%. These opinions and percentages have not been reported by any type of media, leaving the Canadian not public not fully informed about the poll and what fellow citizen really believe.

    extremist pro-gun base: That is just simply a misleading and deviant group defamation belief.

    In finishing. the poll question was loaded, but I could write another couple pages about that.



  53. Lets see, assault weapons are banned (prohibited actually ) in Canada so why are you the author saying they are not. Prior to the illegal change in classification (laws forbidding what our PM did) the AR15 was considered a SPORTING rifle and the RCMP &CFO agreed . If people could look at the facts they would see this regulation change is illegal and against the Charter Rights we have. As to a buy back Lets put the word extort. The government has never owned these lumps of metal and plastic. So they will try to extort the firearms out of the owners home. If the government is truly buying it will cost Billions to fully implement. While previously an AR 15 cost 800 -1200$ now since someone wants to buy it , well maybe people will want 3000$ for it now .
    Now onto another point what about all the previously non -restricted rifles that they are trying to extort out of civilian hands. WHO is going door to door to search each domicile to ensure that laws are being followed.
    Can’t be the RCMP they can’t keep up with the real problem GANGS and GANG VIOLENCE. Maybe you the author should take a look at the real criminals rather than making us criminals by illeagal actions

  54. Indeed, thousands of weapons grandfathered in the 1990s are still in circulation today. Without a mandatory buy-back program, tens of thousands of semi-automatic military-style weapons will remain in private hands for generations to come and, with them, their inherent risks to public safety.

    So if all of these 10’s of thousands of firearms are out there why is it extremely rare for one to be used in a crime? I mean if they are such a risk to public safety and there are so many if them in legal firearms owners possession you would think it would be extremely common for them to be used in crime but instead it’s very rare.

  55. There are no assault weapons in Canada haven’t been for decades….taking guns from law abiding citizens does nothing to make us safer….see the gun ban for what it is….not to make us safer but to buy votes

  56. Your misrepresentation and outright misleading article is all that is wrong with journalism in Canada today and to continue to fear monger by using U.S. references in articles as is often done by the anti gun lobby is just wrong. An AR-15 is nothing more than an MSR (Modern Sporting Rifle) and not “designed for the battlefield” as the article suggests. A quote from the article states “It’s in the public’s interest to settle this debate once and for all. That can only be achieved with a complete and final ban on assault weapons in Canada.”. Two of the largest Parliamentary e-petitions in Canadian history (https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-2341 with 175,310 signatures and https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-2574&fbclid=IwAR0pHrrAm4Jkr9uhWDF7D6DWDpieSiXc6Rd7HdzE8ELx9MbOn5Cz2lwTtzc with 230,095 signatures) were against firearm control of Daily RCMP Vetted Legal PAL/RPAL holders in Canada and barely made it past Liberal controlled Parliament with zero media coverage. The biased reports of the minority Liberal Government funded anti firearm groups gets constant MSM coverage to restrict and penalize legal licensed firearm owners while barely scratching the surface of the runaway gun crime of gangs and thugs using the bleeding heart catch and release court system and neutered policing because of a problem created by the left giving criminals more rights than law abiding Canadian citizens.
    The events that happened at Poly and conducted by Gamil Rodrigue Liass Gharbi later changed to Marc Lepine were as tragic as any other loss of life that has happened before and after and not to be forgotten but the root cause of so many of these tragedies is a lack of dealing with Mental Health issues in society in fear of attaching a handle or stigma to an individual.
    A further restriction on legal firearms in the hands of legal licensed owners will do nothing to curb the smuggled firearms at our porous borders or the illegally manufactured ones in Canada that find their way into the hands of the gangs in cities like Toronto.
    A lot has changed in firearm laws for the legal ownership since the Poly shooting in 1989 and efforts should be concentrated where they belong and clean up the streets of illegal guns and gangs where the shootings and rising death tolls are currently out of control of the left leaning system.
    Remember the past but don’t neglect the present criminal acts against society.

  57. As a member of CCFR I feel this article is misleading the public in what the definition of “Assault Rifle” is. According to Canadian legal terminology, assault, used along with the words gun, rifle, weapon, are not legal terms. Fully automatic guns were banned in 1977. The CCFR is not in an alignment with the same ideology as the American NRA. We are a community of gun owners that sport shoot, hunt, plink at a range. It is abhorrent to think that we fall under the same as in America. It is like night and day. Nathalie Provost is not a reliable source as there are flaws in this article. I suggest you allow a staffer from CCFR or equivalent in Canada to be interviewed for a counter side to this gun ban that simply targeted law abiding gun owners.

  58. Considering that 99% of all gun violence is committed by unlicensed individuals with illegally obtained weapons I’m not sure what the author thinks any ban will actually accomplish. Other that quelling her unfounded fears of licensed gun owners.

  59. Safety is such a thing, it’s not guaranteed, and it is impossible to achieve. But most importantly it is undesirable. There is activities that we participate in such as motorcycling rock climbing, parachuting, or just driving around the corner to grab a coffee. Every day we face risks that we face without even blinking an eye. Risk is part of living. We have rules that make things saver, but we still find driving down the highway as acceptable even though we know that a loose tire could come off a truck and kill us. Living in a free and democratic society is a balancing act between allowing motorcyclists to ride their bikes, under the condition that they must wear a helmet. But what guarantees us these liberties ? What guarantees us that no dictator one day declares that our democratic liberties are suspended indefinitely because we are not fit to govern ourselves? It is the tradition of our democratic society tha most power hungry politicians adhere to, although reluctantly. As Trudeau has shown us, parliament can be send home when it is inconvenient. At some point the population will arm itself and topple dictators. And that is when the dangerous weapons will need to be in the hands of Canadians. The students at Tianaman Square could have toppled the Chinese government had they had rifles and weapons. Unfortunately China has control over their minions by not allowing them the liberty to own firearms.

  60. It’s difficult to have a meaningful conversation while the anti-firearms groups continue to use terms like “military style assault rifle” and “weapons intended for the battlefield” to describe sporting rifles. The intent of these terms is solely to cause fear through misrepresentation.

  61. There is no legal definition for assault weapons in Canada. However assault rifles are commonly used to describe select fire (capable of full auto), mid strength cartridge, with high capacity detachable magazines. Full auto is already prohibited in Canada as is any high capacity magazine for center fire semi auto. The liberals are fear mongering those who do not know the laws around firearms and they’re use.

  62. When the current Government has only given out a handful of millions of the 350 plus million slated to this project over the last number of years we quickly see this has nothing to do with public safety. The author is about as close to a one sided extremist as anyone involved in the gun debate in Canada. Gun owners who go through the steps of acquiring a firearm legally in Canada are not a safety issue . The gangs and criminals shooting people in the streets are. Honesty matters and so does balanced reporting . Stop the scare tactics and the emotional pleas of a clearly traumatized extremist. The majority of Canadians 55 % supported banning firearms that have been banned for decades they also supported the ban of Magazines that have been banned for decades. We could class them as unwitting political pawns but that would be a joke since at this point most no longer care. The Government Ran a public input campaign the results were telling. But yes go with the local polls ran in papers for the 55-60 % support.

  63. Instead of wasting money on a hired pollster, why not put the money towards mental health hotlines in your area, that are becoming more and more over stressed and under staffed. Do something productive instead of negative.

  64. Mrs Proverst has been involved in this field for quite some time–I believe she has made a full career of this. In this time, she must have surely seen the public safety statistics, surely been informed that licensed firearms owners are not the problem, they are the ones following all of the laws set out by the government. The criminals are the ones who are the problem, but this is not the narrative she, or her cohort (specifically wendy cukier, who seems to think that banning guns from criminals is a foolish idea), seems to push and focus on. Making something Double-illegal won’t stop the people who ignore the laws in the first place.

    If it is actually possible that she, and her cohorts, could have possibly missed this information, then they are most certainly lacking the mental capacity to be informing anyone about anything firearms-related, or influencing any such policies.

    This, I doubt.

    So, what’s left? To me, the only option left is that she is well aware that the legal firearms owners of Canada are not the problem, but to keep receiving funding from the government, they need to push a false narrative. This, simply put, means that she is manipulating the public opinion to the opposite of public safety facts, all so she can get paid.

    So which is it, Natalie….uninformed or manipulative? Either is unacceptable.

  65. This article is heavily biased & relies almost entirely on a report funded by PolyRemembers, an anti-gun group. The report also takes a sample size of 1500. A tiny fraction of 1500 people out of country of 33 million. A country where over 20% of it’s citizens have firearms licenses. A country with millions of firearms in private hands that are NOT abused. These are the people who will be affected by a ban. Not the gang members who use the revolving door at the court house and are not only unlicensed but are using smuggled and stolen firearms that are already prohibited. These types of people are already under the most extreme prohibitions allowed by law short of locking them up (that’s another discussion). Yet it doesn’t stop them. Why would banning legal guns help?

    You know what isn’t made up? E-2341. E-2341 is the petition to the House of Commons to scrap this ban. You know how many people signed that? 175,000 people.

  66. This op/ed is further evidence that firearms opponents will never be satisfied by any compromise gun owners make. These idealogues won’t be content with anything short than a total prohibition of civilian firearms ownership. We gun owners have been the ones making all the compromises, for decades, and it’s never enough. I personally am done making compromises. You want my guns? Good luck.

    I am truly sorry for what these women went through, but the reality is the firearms on their shopping list are seldom used in crimes. The fact that the Mini-14 has been widely available (and sold into five-figures) for three decades since one example was used by one madman in Montreal without a single repeat incident is a testament to the success of our gun laws, not of their failings. And taking away the Mini-14 (or any other “evil” gun) will not bring anyone back from the dead.

    Sorry to break this to you, but you will never take my Mini-14. It was a gift from my dad shortly before he died in 1985. In time I will pass it on to my own adult child once she passes her safety courses and receives her permit. No one – not you, not Justin Trudeau – will take it from me or from her. It means more to me than the false sense of security confiscating it will give you. Does that make me a gun nut? I consider myself more of a “rights nut”. I have a right to enjoy my lawfully-acquired property as I see fit. And I live in a free society where I and I alone decide to whom (if anyone) I transfer my property. You’ll never find it. I sincerely wish you good luck trying.

  67. A Canadian licenced firearms owner wakes up every morning to a RCMP criminal background check. 24/7 365. That’s after the preliminary and in depth back ground checks are done prior to earning the licence (PAL). The problem is not with a PAL holder. The facts reflect this. The science reflects this. Politicking, rhetoric outright lazy intellectual ignorance and lies appear to rule the day. Criminals enjoy these lapses in judgement and responsibility.

  68. You may hope that the use of a lawful sports shooter does not end in legal action , also it is attached to a opinion piece by a person with much more bias then a firearms owner.

  69. It’s not about public safety. The majority of the firearms used in a crime come from the US. Banning me, a business woman with two step children and a degree, from owning firearms, is not going to stop gang members from obtaining illegal firearms and participating in illegal activities. We follow the law, they don’t, so no amount of laws is going to stop them if our border is still leaking like a siv and our judicial punishment is a slap on the wrist.

  70. I’m proud to support the NFA Canada’s gun law’s are already over berring, unjustified and ineffective. Canada needs less restrictions on firearms we should pass something like the second amendment here in Canada to acknowledge firearm ownership has an unalienable right for citizens of a free society gun ownership is a human right and should be protected. I also have a very hard time believing 46% of gun owners support the OIC considering I attended the protest of roughly 5000 people on parliament hill hosted by the CCFR on September 12th, 2020 held against the illegal OIC passed by this intransparent and largely corrupt minority government in an effort to bypass parlimtry oversight.

  71. I couldn’t agree with you more Adam! We’re vetted EVERY SINGLE DAY by the rcmp. Who other than gun owners can say that?…./

  72. If the comments above are any indication (100% against), it makes one question the authenticity of their poll numbers. Reading the article it is clear that the opinions stated do not align themselves with facts.

  73. The data is pretty much explanatory that the crime is due to gangs, black market and gun smuggling all of which our government and past government’s have yet to tackle. Anybody that has their firearms license is background checked 365 days a year. When was the last time the author of this article had a background check????? I have my PAL. Who’s more trustworthy me or him???

  74. This is exactly the kind of anti-gun pandering that appeals to Justin’s base. The mast majority of probably never handled a weapon in their life. And are too dim to realize the vast majority of gun crime is committed by people carrying smuggled weapons. If they really wanted to make a difference they’d deport anyone convicted of a gun crime.

    At a minimum current owners should be allowed to keep their weapons. If they decide to get rid of them they should be given full replacement cost for their firearms and ammunition that they elect to give up.

  75. If semi automatic rifles pinned to 5 rounds are “assault weapons” we should all pray for our military. Here’s a question for NOW: if AR15s only have one purpose according to Bill Blair (to hunt people) then why do the RCMP and Canadian police have them? And guess what? They’re not pinned to 5 rounds, have full auto, and often “go missing”

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