OTTAWA — Gun-control advocates and the Trudeau government see a coming overhaul of the firearms classification system as key to cementing the recent federal move to ban assault-style rifles.
The federal government outlawed a wide range of rifles last Friday, saying the guns were designed for the battlefield, not hunting or sport shooting.
The ban covers some 1,500 models and variants of what the government considers assault-style firearms, meaning they cannot be legally used, sold or imported, starting immediately.
Heidi Rathjen of the group PolySeSouvient welcomes the move as a temporary measure, but she says a permanent ban requires comprehensive legislative reform of the classification system spelled out in the Criminal Code.
Otherwise, a manufacturer could simply design a new rifle that circumvents the federal regulations, or a future government could repeal them with the stroke of a pen.
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says the government plans to introduce legislation that will create a new evergreen framework for classification to ensure federal intentions can’t be easily overridden.