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Trudeau set to unveil plans to buy back ‘assault-style’ weapons

The Liberal government is expected to unveil plans today to set up a program to buy back “assault-style” weapons that were blacklisted last spring.

As Radio-Canada reported last week, the voluntary program will provide financial compensation to gun owners who give up their banned weapons, with the aim of taking them out of circulation.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to give more details about the bill at 10:30 a.m. ET. CBC News will carry it live. Public Safety Bill Blair, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, Justice Minister David Lametti and Joël Lightbound, parliamentary secretary to the minister of public safety, will also be there.

In May, Trudeau announced a ban on the use, sale and importation of more than 1,500 makes and models of what the government refers to as military-grade “assault-style weapons.”

A two-year amnesty period has been in place to give people who already own the targeted firearms time to comply with the ban. The amnesty period will last until April 30, 2022.

Last week, Blair gave notice he’ll be introducing a bill dealing with firearms.

The term “assault-style” has no legal definition in Canada under the Firearms Act. Generally, “assault-style weapon” is used to describe a semi-automatic firearm with an ammunition magazine, built to fire quickly. There is already a legal limit — five rounds — on the maximum size of a magazine.

“These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time,” Trudeau said last spring. “You don’t need an AR-15 to bring down a deer.”

The Liberal Party promised some sort of buyback program in the last election, something that could cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

The federal government has moved to ban the sale and importation of several types of semi-automatic firearms in Canada. (CBC News)

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Bourbiza Mohamed. Writer and Political Discourse Analysis.

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