The Liberal government has announced that it is looking for avenues to legislate a potential handgun and “assault” weapon ban.

A potentially sweeping gun ban is under review by the federal government. Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Bill Blair is in charge of the study and has not ruled out an order-in-council, a tool that subverts parliamentary approval, to further restrict firearms access in Canada.

According to Blair’s office, the Liberals are looking for a way to ban guns “designed to hunt people”.

“Assault-style rifles are military weapons designed to hunt people, and not animals, in the most efficient manner possible that maximizes the body count at minimum effort,” said Blair.  

“There is no option that will be discounted and all possibilities will be considered.”

The federal government has been hard-pressed to define what an “assault-style rifle” is since the announcement.

Assault rifles require the capacity to shoot in a fully-automatic fashion; these guns are already prohibited in Canada, though the term is often erroneously applied to semi-automatic guns like AR-15 variants.

In April, Blair released a report on a potential gun ban claiming that Canadians are polarized on the issue of gun control.

“Overall, participants were strongly polarized on the issue of banning handguns and assault-style firearms,” claims the report.

Despite efforts by Conservative politicians, Bill C-71 passed the senate on May 28. The bill further restricts gun ownership by adding extra layers of record-keeping and background checks on law-abiding gun buyers and owners.

While the bill was still being debated, Senator Marilou McPhedran attempted to pass a motion adding a handgun ban to the bill but it failed with a majority of senators opposed to the amendment.

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