Prime Minister Justin Trudeau just announced Bill C-21 in a press conference, joined by Bill Blair, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, who had tabled the bill in the House of Commons this morning, as well as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland and others.
The prime minister made the announcement Tuesday, with his focus on the buy-back program.
"If we take the estimate, for example, of 150,000 to 200,000 of these weapons that would be surrendered and for which compensation would be paid, on an average price. of approximately $1,300 per firearm, the estimate is somewhere between $300 and $400 million dollars", he said.
The Executive Order that followed the shooting spree in Nova Scotia banned the sale, use and transport of these military-style weapons, but it only affected those not yet in circulation.
"That's why we will increase criminal penalties for gun smuggling and trafficking, and enhance the capacity of police and border officials to keep illegal firearms out of the country", Trudeau explained.
The federal government is moving forward with its promise to impose stricter gun laws today and will implement a voluntary buyback program to purchase now-prohibited firearms in the "coming months".
Bill C-21 would effectively end all legal use of the 1,500 assault-style weapons banned following a mass shooting in Nova Scotia that killed 22 people in April of past year.
The government says the bill - which will let municipalities ban handguns through bylaws restricting their possession, storage and transportation - will be backed up with serious penalties.
"The right place to act is here, and the right time is now".
"And they have one goal, and one goal only: protecting you, your family, and your community".
Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole said earlier today that he doubts the program will curb gun violence.
"It's ignoring the real problem and it's dividing Canadians". Her daughter, Anne-Marie Edward, was shot and killed during the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre. Police, friends, and family members would be able to apply to the courts to have those weapons removed from their homes.
In 2019, after a mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand left 51 dead and dozens injured, the New Zealand government banned semi-automatic weapons and instituted a buyback and amnesty program.
"The multi-faceted approach to gun control we are proposing combines evidence-based policies, tougher Criminal Code penalties, and funding for programs that address root causes that lead to criminal behavior in the first place", said Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti.
Some gun owners strongly oppose the ban and seek to overturn it through the courts. We will continue to take steps to strengthen gun control measures, remove unsafe weapons from our streets, and make sure everyone can feel safe from violence. This includes the ban on assault-style firearms, significant funding to provinces and territories to combat gun and gang violence, and investments in border security to tackle firearms smuggling.