Last Friday, the federal Liberals reversed a change they had made to their gun legislation that would have created a contentious new definition of an assault-style weapon.
“On February 3, firearms owners across Canada breathed a sigh of relief when it appeared that federal government MPs opted to withdraw amendments to Bill C-21 that would ban hundreds of thousands of shotguns and rifles," explained Minister of Justice Tyler Shandro.
A new definition of an "assault-style" gun was added by the amendment, which included semi-automatic rifles and shotguns with magazines that held more than five cartridges.
According to Shandro, the Minister of Public Safety, Marco Mendicino released a statement on Twitter that made it clear the federal government’s decision to withdraw the amendments was merely a pause in their campaign to ban shotguns and rifles commonly used by hunters, farmers, sport shooters, and Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
Through an order-in-council in May 2020, the Liberal administration outlawed 1,500 firearm models and variations, including the AR-15 and Ruger Mini-14, on the grounds that they had no place in sport shooting or hunting.
“Law-abiding firearms owners know that this is thinly worded code signalling Minister Mendicino’s intent to continue to pursue avenues to ban widely owned shotguns and rifles." Shandro went on to say, "Alberta has been leading the charge in responding to the federal government’s efforts to criminalize law-abiding firearms owners. In September, Alberta announced it would challenge federal plans to conscript the RCMP to implement the firearms confiscation program."
Many of the Liberals' own MPs also put pressure on them to modify or drop the new definition of prohibited weapons.