Online e-petition e-2574 demanding that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau immediately scrap the gun ban he “undemocratically imposed without debate during a pandemic while Parliament is suspended," garnered over 230,000 signatures -- the most signatures ever gained by petition since the online platform was introduced in 2015. And it's still open to more.
The May 1, 2020 gun ban included more than 1,550 kinds of “military-style assault weapons.” Since it came into effect, Canadian gun owners who legally obtained the banned firearms are restricted from operating them. They have until April 2022 to surrender them to the government for a proposed gun buy-back program that will cost between $400 million and $600 million; however, the Frasier Institute says the actual cost of the "mandated confiscation" will be much higher. This comes as Canada, like many countries around the world, struggles with soaring debt as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sponsored by Michelle Rempel of the Conservative party in Alberta, the e-petition seeks to do away with the ban and buyback, instead using funds to target crime and illegally obtained firearms. "When we know that that is going to do little to reduce the issue of violent crime in Canada, in terms of firearms that are obtained illegally,” Rempel told the CBC.
Meanwhile, gun control activists, such as Heidi Rathjen, pushed back against the online petition. "Petitions are one thing. I think, what really matters, is what the public wants," Rathjen told the CBC. "A majority of Canadians support the ban on assault weapons. I think the Liberal government did the democratic thing when they passed these orders in council."
Canadian parliament is currently prorogued until September 23, 2020. When it resumes, the petition will be tabled. "Because it is an official parliamentary petition, the government is required to respond to all the signatories that are on there," Rempel explained.
Guns.com will keep you up to date on this issue as it unfolds.