Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is either devilishly stupid, or devilishly underhanded. With Canada’s Boy Wonder, sometimes the differences are difficult to discern.
The Canadian head-of-state’s unilateral gun grab that bans 1,500 makes and models of modern sporting rifles under the guise of an “assault-style” firearm classification, swept up multiple other firearms. Some are certainly “military-grade” like the mortars, grenade launchers and rocket and missile launchers, which were already banned.
It also banned Ruger’s Mini-14, commonly referred to as a “ranch rifle” that doesn’t have any of the offensive cosmetic characteristics gun control groups get woozy over when they hear them described. That’s why the prime minister echoed one of their favorite sound bites.
“You don’t need an AR-15 to bring down a deer,” Prime Minister Trudeau said during his gun grab announcement.
Oops, Got Shotguns?
Turns out, he doesn’t think hunters need a 12-gauge shotgun either. Or 10-gauge guns for that matter. Gone too are big-bore rifles. Right now, the order bans much more than Prime Minister Trudeau advertised. That’s got to be a big surprise to Canada’s moose, bear, deer, upland bird, duck and goose hunters.
A spokesperson for Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair said the ban would not include shotguns and was preparing an official statement, but it still hasn’t been clarified. Blair did say the government is planning a revamp of Canada’s gun classification system to “create a new evergreen framework for classification to ensure federal intentions can’t be easily overridden.” In other words, they don’t want their gun grab to be undone.
Blair was the architect of Prime Minister Trudeau’s order that banned almost every modern 12-gauge and 10-gauge shotgun in Canada with removable chokes because they exceed the maximum bore diameter of 20mm, as defined by Canada’s Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness according to a report from the Canadian Shooting Sports Association.
Modern shotguns with removable chokes may have an external diameter of .840 inches and the last inch to three inches of the barrel is slightly larger to accommodate a removable choke. That leaves the diameter typically at .841 inches, or 20.657mm. Different models and makes can vary from 20.00 mm to 20.83, which outlaws many of the most popular shotgun models.
Estimates are there are 1.5 to 2 million of the common hunting firearms in Canada.
That’s got Canada’s firearms industry body, the Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA) telling firearm retailers to cease sales of many 12 gauge or larger shotguns with removable chokes. Four major gun advocacy groups in Canada, including CSAAA, are calling for Blair’s resignation and the withdrawal of the poorly-crafted gun ban.
“Minister Blair is either too inept to comprehend the scope of his regulations… or he lied to the government and Canadians,” CSAAA said, according to a National Post report. CSAAA noted in a separate statement, “… it was abundantly clear that the regulations were rushed through and are flawed, unfair and dangerous.”
Bye Bye, Big Bores
That’s not all. The Canadian Shooting Sports Association said classic dream rifles specifically designed to hunt big and dangerous game are on the chopping block too.
“As well, many large bore hunting rifles – some over 100 years old and valued over $100,000 have become prohibited,” the Canadian Shooting Sports Association warned in an email notification. “None of these firearms are semi-automatic or ‘military style.’
“They encompass common bolt-action rifles such as the .460 Weatherby, break-open single and double rifles. These firearms are captured because the powerful cartridges they shoot – designed to humanely dispatch the largest game animals. PURE hunting rifles.”
CSAAA said the Canadian government couldn’t answer how or why bolt-action rifles were included, how shipment to Canadian law enforcement would be handled or what will happen to carriers moving inventory that was already in shipping when the “immediate” ban was announced. It was also left unclear what Canadian companies are to do with U.S. products exported to Canada that are now banned. They can’t be re-exported out of Canada back to the United States.
It would be easy to say Prime Minister Trudeau and his Canadian gun control allies have no idea what they’re talking about and that’s why the order is such chaos. The prime minister is pitching this as a reaction to horrendous murders by a deranged man in Novia Scotia, but the reality is, Trudeau has been planning to do this for months, or even years.
By anyone’s definition, that is devilishly detailed.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.