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Weapons that have been involved in mass shootings are set to be banned by Ottawa, with a formal announcement expected to be made by the end of next week. Among the weapons is the Ruger Mini-14 which was used in the 1989 Ecole Polytechnique massacre, according to the Globe and Mail.
In the wake of the worst mass killing in Canadian history on April 18 and 19 in Nova Scotia that claimed the lives of 22 people, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged to implement a strong response. Making it more difficult to obtain "assault-style weapons" was a promise from the Liberal Party on the campaign trail back in 2015, however it is only now that actions are being taken.
Officials say that cabinet has already approved many of key measures needed to implement the ban and the government is set to put further gun control measures when it releases its latest legislative package.
The infamous AR-15 and guns like it will be listed within the ban as its been used in a number of mass shooting in the United States. The CZ Scorpion, the Swiss Arms Classic Green, the Beretta Cx4 Storm, the Robinson Armament XCR and the Sig Sauer SIG MCX are listed as well as are any other firearms that use the same platform.
The shooter in the Nova Scotia massacre, who did not have a gun licence, used two semi-automatic rifles and several semi-automatic pistols, one of which could be described as a "military-style rifle" according to RCMP Superintendent Darren Campbell.
The Liberals said in last year's election that they would create a buyback program to require owners of newly banned guns to sell them back to the government. They also promised to ban "military-style assault weapons" and allow municipalities to ban handguns on their territory along with other restrictions.
Earlier this year, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said that the buyback program would likely come after the ban. The Liberals estimated that the buyback program would cost around $250 million dollars however more recent estimates are much higher to reflect the actual market value of the firearms.
The banning of firearms doesn't require new legislation it only needs an order-in-council from a cabinet decision. The definition of what constitutes a military-style firearm is unclear, its left up to the government's discretion which is based on science and political choices.
While commemorating the 30th anniversary of the massacre at Ecole Polytechnique, Prime Minister Trudeau suggested that the Ruger Mini-14 be among the weapons banned. “These weapons, designed to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time, have no place in our communities, in our streets, in our country,” said Trudeau in the House of Commons during the speech.
The Ruger Mini-14 is semi-automatic, meaning it can fire one round with every pull of the trigger without having to manually reload the chamber. It can hold 30-rounds in it magazine and was originally designed for military combat. When the massacre first occurred in Montreal, survivors of the attack began advocating for a ban on all semi-automatic rifles.
The survivor's push for the ban gained momentum in Ottawa throughout the 1990's, leading the government to pass new gun laws to limit rifle magazine to five rounds. They also created the long-gun registry and prohibited and models of firearms that were "not reasonable used in hunting."
The Ruger Mini-14 was able to circumvent those restrictions as many owners did consider the rifle to be ideal for hunting small game. The aesthetic of a Ruger Mini-14 also looks more like a traditional rifle than a black AR-15, due to its polished wooden stock.