The [Canadian] government announced that it is “banning“ 1,500 different kinds of “assault weapons.” That sounds impressive. It’s not — not a ban, and not impressive. It’s really 11 types of rifles, each with many, many different versions produced by different manufacturers — that’s where the 1,500 figure comes from. None of the weapons are a true military-type rifle, capable of fully automatic fire or equipped with high-capacity magazines, which have been banned in Canada for decades. The list is really a grab bag of fairly mundane semi-automatic rifles. It’s hardly an exhaustive list — many other comparable rifles were unaffected by the announcement. The only real thing that binds these rifles together is a link to prominent mass shootings (and even that isn’t the case for all of them).
In short, the Liberals have “banned” some guns, ignored a bunch of other comparable ones and called it a day. This is going to outrage the gun owners and the shooting industry, infuriate the anti-gun activists and do little else.
It certainly won’t improve public safety, which is the theoretical justification for all of this. Gun owners will be given two years to choose what to do with their rifles (selling them back to the government, at public expense, is an option, and if everyone chose to do that, it could cost hundreds of millions, if not billions). But the Liberals also say they’ll let existing owners keep their firearms — a so-called “grandfathering” of the thousands of Canadians who already own these rifles. This is similar to the previous big 1990s-era revamp of Canadian gun laws under then-prime minister Jean Chrétien — thousands of “banned” guns were left in the hands of their owners, where many of them remain today, even as sales were stopped.
How can one claim a gun must be banned in the interests of public safety while also granting that the current owners of those very guns are not a threat to public safety, so they can keep them without risk to society? It’s inherently contradictory.
– Matt Gurney in The Liberals’ useless ‘assault weapons’ ban