Blair’s Office Can’t Justify His AR-15 Comment to House — The office of Bill Blair, Canada’s minister in charge of firearm policy, couldn’t provide evidence for his AR-15 comments this week to the House of Commons, the newest case of his false assertions about gun ownership.

Why It Matters

  • Blair and his colleagues in the governing Liberal Party have repeatedly made incorrect, misleading or slanderous statements about gun owners and firearm use.
  • Blair is promoting a May 1 confiscation order targeting Canada’s 2.2 million federally licensed firearm users. They risk prison unless they surrender their suddenly banned hunting and sporting rifles and shotguns, including close to 100,000 AR-15 target rifles.
  • Four of Canada’s largest gun-owners’ groups demanded the minister’s removal over the Liberal confiscation order and Blair’s false statements about who he’s targeting.

What Happened asked Blair’s office at the Ministry of Public Safety for examples to back up an assertion he made to the House of Commons on June 15.

The minister was responding to a question from Conservative Member of Parliament Dane Lloyd about the surprise Order in Council (OIC) led by Blair:

Blair’s Comment to House

Lloyd: Mister Speaker, Is the Minister aware that the AR-15 is the most-popular sporting rifle in Canada? And is he aware that disabled veterans like … Major Mark Campbell are unable to participate in the sport of sport shooting because of his OIC?

Blair: “What I am aware of is that the AR-15, and other weapons like them, have been used in mass killings in Canada on many occasions.”

[Blair lists incidents in Canada where the attackers didn’t use an AR-15, and in the U.S. where they did.]

Blair later repeated his statement to parliament almost word-for-word on Twitter, with a video of the exchange.

Blair’s Office Responds

The minister’s office responded today by e-mail to with three incidents in Canada, none of which supports Blair’s assertion:

  1. Two attackers killed two people, and an AR-15 was found with the suspects. (1991, British Columbia)
  2. A mafia assassin using a stolen AR-15 failed to hit his target and accidentally shot a bystander in the leg. (2004, Ontario)
  3. A hired gang hitman is suspected of using an AR-15 to murder his target. (2009, British Columbia)

The office also sent a list of attacks outside Canada, a statement similar to Blair’s against “assault weapons,” and said, “Every life lost to gun violence is one too many.”

Members: Read the full response from Blair’s office.

More Canadian Than Hockey

  • Hunting, sport shooting and gun ownership are at the heart of Canadian culture, heritage and the economy.
  • More adults have a firearm licence authorized by the federal police than play golf, hockey or ski.
  • Millions more family and friends of all ages without permits also hunt and shoot safely and responsibly.
  • It’s a crime to buy, sell or own any gun in Canada without police permission.

AR-15 Is Popular

The AR-15 and copycat designs are among the world’s bestselling firearms.

  • They are popular for everyone from plinkers, police and collectors to hunters, home defenders and competitors.
  • They are a favourite among people of all sexes, sizes, ages and abilities for their light weight, soft recoil and small calibre.

Bottom Line

Mass attacks are rare in Canada, whether with bombs, bullets, blades, bats, bumpers or anything else.

They do happen occasionally, which is a good reason to have an AR-15 at the ready.