Canadian Government Reiterates It May Ban Guns, Won’t Say How — The Canadian government reiterated today that it may ban guns owned by hunters, farmers and sport shooters, while declining to say how it might proceed with such a plan. asked the ministry examining the possible prohibitions and confiscations how easily Canada could copy New Zealand’s decree last month that immediately made it a crime for licensed owners to have certain types of rifles and shotguns.

We asked for information on the regulatory or legislative mechanisms and procedures that might allow the Canadian government, parliament or federal police to enact similar measures.

Ministry Responds

Zarah Malik, a spokeswoman for Canada’s Ministry of Public Safety, replied to the questions by e-mail today. (The last sentence on timing was in a second e-mail, which we combined here with the first reply.)

As noted by Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, the Government is considering all options to help reduce firearms violence up to, and including, a handgun and assault-style firearm ban.

The possession and use of firearms, and firearms classification, are governed by the Firearms Act and the Criminal Code.

As the Government has not yet announced its intentions, it is premature to speculate about the means required to achieve them.

The Minister will announce his intentions in due course.


  • Hunting and sport shooting are at the heart of Canadian culture and heritage, and among the country’s safest and most-popular outdoor and sporting activities.
  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau directed Blair in August to examine a “full ban on handguns and assault weapons.”
  • All guns are banned already for everyone under threat of prison unless they have a firearm licence authorized by the federal police.
  • About 2.2 million men and women have the permits, more than play golf or hockey. Obtaining a licence requires taking safety courses, passing tests, passing background checks, passing reference checks, obtaining spousal approval and passing daily screening by the federal police.
  • Millions more unlicensed family and friends of all ages also hunt and shoot safely under the supervision of licence holders.
  • Any new bans would be in addition to Bill C-71, the government’s planned law against lawful gun owners, expected to take effect this year. The bill includes prohibitions and confiscations, and makes it easier for the federal police to ban any firearm in future.