Liberals move forward to ban assault rifles, strengthen gun control

Liberals move forward to ban assault rifles, strengthen gun control

Gun crime in Canada is on the rise. In 2017, there were 2,500 more victims of gun violence than in 2013, and many of these incidents involved domestic partners. Today, Canada has no clear classification for assault rifles – making it legal to buy several military-style weapons, like the AR-15.

Taking action to ban military style assault rifles

Canadians are tired of excuses and know that “thoughts and prayers” are not enough. Too many Canadians are killed or injured because criminals have chosen to use military-grade assault rifles – guns that have no place in Canada. Building on the important measures we passed into law through Bill C-71, a re-elected Liberal government will continue to take serious, common-sense action to strengthen gun control:

  • We will ban all military-style assault rifles, including the AR-15. These weapons are specifically designed to inflict mass human casualties and have no place in Canadian society
  • We will initiate a buyback program for all assault rifles legally purchased. Owners will be offered fair market prices for their weapons. We will also give law enforcement agencies the resources they need to properly administer the buyback program
    • A two-year amnesty will be put in place while the program is being set up
  • We will work with the provinces and territories to give municipalities the ability to further restrict – or ban – handguns
  • We will protect the rights of law-abiding hunters and pledge not to bring back the long-gun registry. Hunters do not use or need assault weapons.

Stronger gun control

Crimes involving firearms have been on the rise since 2006, while the number of firearms in circulation
has also increased. The number of restricted firearms has grown substantially since 2005, which correlates
with the sharp increase of crime involving firearms starting in 2006. Crimes involving firearms are at
an 18 year high.

A re-elected Liberal government will take key actions to prevent firearms from falling into the hands of people who intend to do harm:

  • We will address the problem of gender-based and intimate-partner violence head-on, by working with provincial and territorial partners to introduce legislation that would temporarily suspend firearms licenses to people who are suspected of posing a danger to themselves or others – including their partners or kids
  • We will require everyone importing ammunition to show proof of a valid firearms license.
  • We will make it harder for legal weapons to fall into the hands of criminals, by further strengthening safe-storage laws
  • We will ask the RCMP to establish a program to flag bulk purchasing that is timely and responsive to the needs of local law enforcement partners
    • This will ensure police can better detect straw purchasing schemes that divert legal firearms into the illegal market
  • We will limit the glorification of violence, by creating regulations that impact the way firearms are advertised, marketed, and sold in Canada.


Further details regarding costing will be released over the course of the campaign.