Federal government announces military-grade rifle ban

by Steve Galea | May 1, 2020
banned guns

The federal government prohibited the purchase, sales, transport, import, or use of more than 1,500 models of “military grade rifles” during a nationally televised press conference led by Prime Minister Trudeau on May 1.

Most (1,050) were variants of nine styles of military assault-style rifles that were previously classified as restricted or non-restricted. These include the M16, AR-10, AR-15 rifles, and M4 carbine, Ruger Mini-14 rifle, US Rifle M14, Vz58 rifle, and CZ858 rifle, Robinson Armament XCR rifle, CZ Scorpion EVO 3 carbine and pistol, Beretta Cx4 Storm carbine, SIG Sauer SIG MCX and SIG Sauer SIG MPX carbines and pistols, and Swiss Arms Classic Green and Four Seasons series rifles. All current and future variants of those rifles are also now prohibited. The government estimates there are 105,000 affected firearms in Canada.

Firearms chosen

According to the government’s Technical Briefing, those firearms were chosen because they were semi-automatic with sustained rapid-fire capability and a large magazine capacity, of modern design and present in large volumes in the Canadian market. The Technical Briefing also notes “The Government has concluded that these firearms are not reasonable for hunting or sporting purposes.”

New restrictions of muzzle velocity and bore diameters were also announced, a measure meant to prohibit .50 calibre firearms and grenade launchers. Firearms affected by these restrictions account for 450 of the firearms now prohibited. The government concluded that the potential power of these firearms exceeds safe civilian use.

In addition, upper receivers of M16, M4, AR-10 and AR-15 type firearms have been deemed prohibited devices.

Amnesty, grandfathering, and compensation

To implement the prohibition, the government has announced a two-year amnesty, in effect until April 30, 2022, for existing owners. During that time, an affected firearm may not be used for hunting or sport shooting, either at a range or elsewhere, unless provided in the amnesty. Nor may one be bought, sold, lent, imported or transported unless provided in the amnesty.

They must be stored in accordance with regulations for the firearm class prior to prohibition. The firearm can be exported with proper authorization, however. The owner may also contact police to arrange for disposal without compensation, but must not bring the firearm to a police station until a prior appointment is made.

The government will offer the option of grandfathering or “fair compensation,” if the firearm is surrendered. Details of both options will be announced at a later date.

Exceptions exist for sustenance hunters or in exercise of Constitutional rights until a replacement can be found.

The Canadian Firearms Program will communicate with affected licence holders once details on grandfathering and compensation have been decided. Owners will then have to comply through grandfathering or surrendering for compensation, before the amnesty’s expiration.

The former Bill C-71 provides for prohibition and grandfathering of four named variants of CZ858 rifles, and 16 named variants of Swiss Arms SG-550 rifles. Owners who were in lawful possession on June 30, 2018, will eventually be eligible for grandfathering as provided in C-71 when those provisions take effect, or they may choose to surrender for compensation instead. As of now they may not use the firearm.

The government also committed to other measures meant to reduce firearms-related crime during that press conference.

OFAH doesn’t support approach

Though the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters strongly supports measures that would eliminate gun violence in Canada, it does not support the approach taken by the government in this case, feeling that the prohibitions target law-abiding gun owners rather than criminals and the root causes of gun violence in Canada. To get a detailed summary on the OFAH’s position visit https://www.ofah.org/2020/05/government-ban.

For a list of prohibited firearms visit Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 154, Extra Number 3 www.gazette.gc.ca. More information can be found at The Canadian Firearms Program www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/index-eng.htm.

For more on what’s happening with firearms, click here

Click here for more outdoors news

Sign up for our mailing list

indicates required
Email format


  1. Kevin Vardy wrote: Everyone that owns a hunting rifle chambered in 460 weatherby is affected by the confiscation order to. The muzzle energy is over the new limits. Next will be semi automatic shotguns and scoped hunting rifles. Scoped rifles are snipers rifles according to some liberal politicians.
  2. Mike Hoffman wrote: Is Canada going to accept this authoritarianism from Trudeau? Are you going to roll over and give up your freedoms? Where does it end? Having hunted in Canada and having friends who depend on outdoor sports tourism, I wonder how US citizens can support out friends. Do we boycott Canada and stop funding a government that is hostile to our common interests?
  3. Brad Davis wrote: How is banning ANY type of firearm... not just military type firearms.... going to affect ANY type of gun violence... The ONLY way to reduce gun violence is to crack down on the influx of illegal weapons into Canada... , crack down HARD on the CRIMINALS, on ANY criminal activity involving Firearms.... That means SEVERE repercussions for these activities, JAIL TIME, and MAJOR FINES!!!!!
  4. BK Sadler wrote: To see the Ruger Mini-14 at the top left of your article's photo of various weapons is totally misrepresentative! The Mini-14 has been restricted to a 5-round magazine for some considerable time and should not be compared with the photo several positions lower of a Mini-14 sporting a 15-round magazine, a magazine which had been banned for use many years ago! Someone has incorrectly rushed into this Liberal proposal, with no public structure within Parliament !!
  5. bruce wrote: the majority of the crimes commited with a firearm are crimes in its own true form. banning firearms the tools does not eliminate nor reduce the chance of citizens fall to victims of criminals. it just make the people more vulnerable. i was told one family in NS mass shooting last month stood behind of locked doors and avoided getting shot becase they told the shooter they were armed and loaded and the shooter knows the people do have sufficient means. fast forward to a few years in the future more criminals would laugh about it when someone tells them behind the doors that they have weapons ready, becuase the criminals know you have surrendered all your semiautos.
  6. Richard wrote: I understand that the OFAH "does not support the approach taken by the government in this case, feeling that the prohibitions target law-abiding gun owners rather than criminals" but let me ask you a question. How exactly do you propose the Gov't enact a law that makes it illegal for criminals and gang members to possess these weapons but not lawful gun owners? Do we make it mandatory that all criminals and gang members wear baseball caps with "criminal" written on it? Everyone gets it that guns don't kill people. Criminals with guns do. The problem is that the "criminal" is not a "criminal" until AFTER they have killed someone or possessed an illegal firearm. YOUR right to have your toys does not supercede risk to lives. I am a lawful gun owner and hunter and I find your position incredibly self serving and thoughtless. I do not need any military style weapon to hunt and as you know it is illegal in Canada to own a gun for protection. It is time for your magazine to take a responsible approach.
  7. Larry McGuire wrote: It is nice to know that Criminals and law benders and aboriginals will not be affected just the licensed gun owners. No I do not own any of the listed guns. When we have the ability to get rid of a lot of the criminal guns and sit on our hands and blame everyone else. The airports do not let guns on planes, they can be taken off the streets the same way and leave licensed gun owners a loan..
  8. Thomas Cecchetto wrote: I noticed that the Ruger Mini-Thirty is on the Federal Govt banned Firearm list.This rifle is an excellent short to mid-range deer rifle in 7.62x39 calibre. It can hardly be called an"assault rifle"
  9. Justin wrote: Richard is a Troll no doubt. There is so much wrong in your comment. First off these firearms are already prohibited in the law unless you have a licence, the only way to acquire one is through rigorous screening (every 24 hrs) from the RCMP and reference check, spousal signature etc. The amount of legally acquired firearms being used in violent crime is statistically low. And to the comment about "I do not need any military style weapon to hunt" is entirely false as all rifles used today for hunting can be classified as "military style". All hunting firearms and hunting ammunition are derived from some form of Military technology. You must not own any firearms or shoot because if you did you would realize that free Canadians need to stand together in this time no matter what type of firearm you use. The whole argument of it doesn't affect my firearms is wrong because the next firearms the government will prohibit will be your pumps and levers, and then bolt actions and single shots.
  10. clyde wrote: Unbelievable! I thought that we live in a democratic Country!I am having a hard time understanding how is it a MINORITY GOVERNMENT can get away with implementing such a ban which will definitely have a profound impact on genuinely law abiding Citizens such as myself.I have owned a few of these 'banned guns' for many years and have always obeyed all aspects of the law regarding safe storage, handling and ethical practices in the use of and possession of these Guns.For example i do not go around advertising that i own Guns. Most people that i know would be surprised to learn that i do.Some of these Guns which i own have only on rear occasions been taken out of the Gun cabinet.I love my Gun collection and treat them with the respect that they deserve.I do hope this is NOT written in stone (this ban) and that Gun clubs,shooting ranges,retail Gun stores and organizations such as the OFAH can come together collectively and fight this all the way to the Supreme Court Of Canada.you have my support!
  11. Neil Woods wrote: I do not own any of the banned firearms. I want to know who voted for the Liberals on the ticket to ban these arms. I didn't. Pierre Trudeau had the Idea that if Canada was not in debt, then we would not be progressive. I guess we are really progressive now. We can't even pay the interest in the money we owe now. We would be so rich that we could afford to have universal daycare, have payment for all those that need assistance for the Covid 19 quarantine problems and much, much more. Now we have, guess who! Instead we have to put up with the RCMP pushing the federal government to get rid of all of the guns that Canadians own. They don't want us to own any. Lets just hide them, and say "what guns". Wink wink. Hey! here's an idea, give the $250,000,000 to the police to fight crime instead of cutting their budgets, and let them do their work catching the illegal gun owners instead of making legal gun owners criminals.
  12. Robert MacDonald wrote: Does this mean I can’t hunt deer with my 7.65mm 1947 Avtomat Kalashnikova(AK47) Soviet made Assault Rifle, with a Cyclic rate of fire of 600 reds/min? What about my 100 round drum magazines? There are 75,000,000 world wide. I don’t have one, and can’t imagine hunting with one. Reminds me of the old timers fishing with sticks of dynamite. Imagine how mad they were when that was outlawed. We’re not Americans of the old west, with saloon shoot outs. All the men being deputized to find and hang some guy who stole some cows. We don’t need handguns to go to Walmart, or to pickup the kids at school, etc, etc. Times are changing daily, some of the changes really bother us, and some we don’t even notice. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Thanks for everything.