“No Place” For Gun Confiscation In America

posted on July 21, 2020
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Americans idly speculating as to what life might be like if Joe Biden succeeds in his bid to become the next president of the United States, need look no further than to our neighbors up north. 

On May 1, Canada’s Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that, “effective immediately, it is no longer permitted to buy, sell, transport, import, or use military grade assault weapons in this country.” 

The regulation itself—which doesn’t define (or even use the term) “military grade assault weapon”—applies to any of the more than 1,500 firearms listed by make and model, as well as any present or future “variants or modified versions” of these guns. Every target shooting and hunting  configuration of the AR-15—the most popular rifle in America—is now a “prohibited” firearm. According to Mr. Trudeau, there is “no use and no place for such weapons in Canada.”

Almost every gun owner in Canada now has until April 20, 2022, to destroy, disable, or surrender these guns to law enforcement, although in the haste to impose the ban, the Liberal government has yet to release any details of its confiscation and “fair compensation” scheme. 

Prime Minister Trudeau and Bill Blair, the federal public safety minister, justify the ban by claiming that it applies to firearms “that were not designed for hunting or for target shooting” but “were designed for soldiers to kill other soldiers… guns that belong on a battlefield and not on our streets.” The law includes a ban on any firearm with a “bore diameter of 20 mm or greater,” with no exception for ordinary 10- and 12-gauge shotguns with a screw-in choke tube. Also at odds with these assertions (as pointed out by representatives of shooting sports groups and the firearm industry), the Canadian government had been providing transport permits for the now-banned guns for the “purposes of sport shooting” for over 30 years. The new gun law itself blatantly undermines the government’s specious rationale, as the banned guns may still be used for actual hunting pursuant to aboriginal or treaty rights or for sustenance hunting or trapping.

Like Justin Trudeau, Joe Biden blindly supports gun control and prohibitions on what he misleadingly calls “assault weapons.” The former senator boasts that he co-wrote the Clinton-era Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which banned commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms and magazines with a capacity of over ten rounds. After the ban expired in 2004, a Department of Justice-funded study noted that “assault weapons” had rarely been featured in crime even before the ban and concluded that the law’s effects on gun violence were likely “small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.” 

Joe Biden persists in promoting this unconstitutional policy, and has made the issue a cornerstone of his campaign. His “Biden Plan” includes bans on magazines that “can hold multiple bullets in them” and “assault weapons,” but avoids explaining what “assault weapon” actually means. The plan “will give individuals who now possess assault weapons or high-capacity magazines two options: sell the weapons to the government, or register them under the National Firearms Act,” which would require a $200 federal tax on each firearm and each magazine. So if you own 5 firearms and 20 magazines, you would owe $5,000 in taxes! 

During an August 2019 interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Biden was even more extreme. Asked about gun owners who thought a Biden administration “means they’re going to come for my guns,” a strident Biden responded, “Bingo, you’re right if you have an assault weapon. The fact of the matter is they should be illegal. Period.”

We shouldn’t be too shocked if Biden starts pointing to Canada as the new exemplar of “reasonable” gun control. 

After all, on the campaign trail in 2015, Hillary Clinton said, of Australian-style gun confiscation where firearms were taken from licensed owners and destroyed: “it would be worth considering doing it on the national level if that could be arranged.” Support for mandatory government “buybacks” of “assault weapons” modeled on Australia’s regime featured prominently in the platforms of more recent Democratic contenders. Anti-gun politicians will find it hard to resist applauding a new example just next door, especially as gun owners in Trudeau’s Canada are not protected by a constitutionally enshrined right to keep and bear arms.

Americans have rejected these candidates and their hostility towards peaceable gun owners, understanding that disarming law-abiding citizens does nothing to enhance public safety. Later this year, voters have the opportunity to send the same clear message to Joe Biden, and vote to safeguard their Second Amendment rights and their freedom. 

I ask you to join me in this fight. The NRA’s network of grassroots volunteers can use your help to ensure that in November, we elect candidates who respect the Second Amendment. Please go to nraila.org/grassroots/volunteer to sign up to help. Working together, NRA members and like-minded civil rights advocates will continue to be an unstoppable political force for protecting our right to keep and bear arms now and for the future.


Philip Schreier
Philip Schreier

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