The Canadian government has proposed to compensate Canadian owners of AR-15 rifles $1,337 (US$1,042) for turning in their property under the Trudeau government’s mandatory buyback program.
The program lists more than 1,500 models and variants of rifles that the government considers “assault-style” firearms which the Trudeau government banned two years ago.
On May 1, 2020 the Trudeau government introduced legislation that made it illegal to sell, transport, import or use the large list of firearms and allowed a two-year “amnesty period” to allow legal gun owners, who already owned these types of firearms, to comply with the ban. Those two years have passed.
Now, law-abiding Canadian firearms owners and businesses are being asked for input about the proposed compensation for each firearm, with the government publishing a list of firearms and the suggested compensation for turning them in.
The list proposes compensating owners of firearms with a >20mm bore diameter $2,684 (US$2,091) per rifle and tops out at $6,209 (US$ 4,837) for SG550s and SG551s.
While gun-control advocates celebrate, Conservative members of parliament are saying the mandatory program targets legitimate gun owners and does nothing to address criminal activity.
Conservatives are arguing that the mandatory buyback program fails to address the flow of illegal firearms into Canada. Members of Parliament, Raquel Dancho and Pierre Paul-Hus said in a statement, “Justin Trudeau is introducing a firearm buyback program that punishes lawful firearm owners. The fact is, hobbyists, collectors, sport shooters and hunters are not the ones to blame for the rise in gun crime in Canada.”
“The Trudeau government doesn’t care about criminals and illegal gun crime,” the pair wrote, adding that, “Many in the firearms community expressed concern that they would not be fairly compensated. What is worse is the details released so far about the Liberals’ gun buyback program confirm that those who participate in good faith and follow the law could end up being financially punished, potentially losing thousands of dollars.”
The pair expressed concern that Trudeau’s liberals have not released any details about how the program will be safely implemented, arguing that the burden will fall on local police who they say are busy fighting “real crime.” “Offloading this expensive and ineffective policy on police would only further jeopardize public safety by draining limited police services in our communities,” they argued.
They said that Conservatives will always support “common-sense” firearms policies and that they believe the government should focus on grassroots community organizations that prevent youth from joining gangs and falling into a life of crime, while blasting the prime minister for implementing policy based on ideology, not evidence or outcomes.
In May this year, Trudeau’s liberals also tabled a bill that would place a national freeze on importing, buying, selling or otherwise transferring handguns.