Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday that the country is banning the use and trade of assault weapons immediately.
Trudeau cited numerous mass shootings across the country, including the murder of 22 people in Nova Scotia on April 18 and 19.
He announced the banning of more than 1,500 assault-style firearm models and variants, including the AR-15 and other weapons that have been used in various mass shootings in the United States.
"Canadians need more than thoughts and prayers," said Trudeau.
The Cabinet Order does not prohibit possession of any of the military-style weapons and their variants, but it does prohibit their use and trade.
He said the order has a two-year amnesty period for current owners, and there will be a compensation program that will require a law passed in parliament.
In the meantime, they can be exported, returned to manufacturers, and shipped only to be deactivated or disposed of. In certain limited circumstances, they can be used for hunting.
"You don't need an AR-15 to shoot down a deer," said Trudeau. "Then, effective immediately, it is no longer allowed to buy, sell, transport, import, or use military-grade assault weapons in this country." "
Trudeau said the weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only; kill as many people as quickly as possible.
"There is no use, no place, for such weapons in Canada," he said.
Mass shootings are relatively rare in Canada, but Trudeau said they occur more frequently.
Trudeau noted that he was nearby when he was in Montreal when gunman Marc Lepine killed 14 women and himself at the Ecole Polytechnique University of Montreal in 1989. The Ruger Mini-14 Lepine used is among the weapons included in the ban.
"As of today, the assault weapons market is closed. Enough is enough," said Public Security Minister Bill Blair.
Trudeau has said his government will introduce more gun control legislation that bans military-style assault weapons, a move that had already been planned before the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the current parliamentary session.
One of the worst in history.
Nova Scotia gunman Gabriel Wortman, 51, shot and killed 13 people and started fires that killed nine others in one of the worst mass shootings in the country's history.
Police have said they used a gun that was obtained in Canada and long weapons that they obtained in the United States, but have not specifically said what weapons they used.
The uproar began with an assault on his girlfriend and ended with 22 people killed in communities in central and northern Nova Scotia. Several people had disputes with the gunman.
Conservative opposition leader Andrew Scheer accused Trudeau of using the immediate excitement of the horrific attack in Nova Scotia to push the liberal's ideological agenda and make major changes in gun policy.
Scheer said the Nova Scotia shooter did not have a firearms license, making all of his weapons illegal.
"Removing firearms from law-abiding citizens does nothing to stop dangerous criminals who illegally obtain their weapons," Scheer said in a statement.
"The vast majority of firearm crimes are committed with illegally obtained firearms. Nothing that Trudeau's liberals announced today addresses this problem."