How did the world’s most iconic, best selling and most prolific rifle get banned in Canada?
It was deemed evil by the Canadian government because during the Vietnam war, it out-performed the American made M-16 rifle, giving it a negative reputation. The AK-47 is also the most commonly used rifle by terrorists.
Now to be fair, it’s not the only gun banned in Canada. There are a total of 86 guns that are prohibited.
Now what’s strange is that while the AK-47 is banned, many other rifles, the Ruger Mini-14 and the IWI Tavor being the best examples, enjoy a non-restricted status. This means that anyone with a basic firearms acquisition license can walk into a gun store and purchase one of these rifles in a matter of minutes. Non-restricted guns can also be used for hunting and fired in any area that is deemed safe.
All semi automatic rifles of this caliber have five round magazine capacity limit. But many Canadian shooters have found a legal loophole in this limitation by purchasing Beowulf .50 cal magazines designed to hold five rounds of .50 caliber ammo. These magazines hold up to 15 rounds of .223 ammunition.
Now, the AR-15, the good guys gun, the civilian version of the M-16, and also the type of rifle used by the Canadian military, is available to Canadian shooters but they fall into the restricted firearms category. This means that you need a restricted license which requires a few additional hours of testing. You also must be a member at a shooting club which is the only place where you can discharge a restricted gun. Again, AR-15s are limited to the five round magazine capacity.
There are a number of other factors that come into play when classifying rifles in Canada, primarily barrel length. Handguns are a whole other matter but they generally fall into the restricted firearms category. They do however enjoy a ten round magazine capacity limit.
Many people in the US consider Canada’s gun laws to be very strict, but according to Edward L. Burlew, they’re not as strict as some US states.
“Our gun laws in Canada are less strict than California, less strict than Massachusetts and far less strict than in the state of New Jersey.”
There is some good news for Canadian shooters, they might be able to own something somewhat similar to the AK-47 very soon. Mike Friend of K-Var Corp is working on a Canadian compliant variant of the AK-47 called the CTMR.
But as far as Canadian shooters ever being able to own an actual AK-47, well, they shouldn’t hold their breath. They’ll just have to stick to playing their video games and watching movies.