Canada is introducing new gun-control legislation that would make it possible for individual cities to ban handguns at a local level and says it will create a buyback program for military-style semiautomatic weapons that were banned from use by the country’s Liberal government last year.
The planned legislation will also create new offenses for altering a magazine to allow more shots to be fired without reloading, and develop a system that would allow concerned friends or family members to apply to a court and request the immediate, temporary removal of an individual’s firearms.
The planned measures come nearly a year after Canada prohibited the use of more than 1,500 models of military-style semiautomatic weapons, including the AR-15. AR-15 style rifles have been used in some of the deadliest U.S. mass shootings, including attacks at a concert in Las Vegas in 2017 and a high school in Parkland, Fla., in 2018.
The Canadian government said it plans to introduce a buyback program for the banned firearms in the coming months, and will make it illegal to transfer, sell or bequeath the weapons outside of that program.
The government said its buyback program will be voluntary. That means someone who decides not to turn in a banned military-style semiautomatic weapon can still store it as a collectors’ item but must abide by rules governing its storage and can never transfer or legally use the firearm.