Justin Trudeau
Justin TrudeauReuters

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday banned the sale of assault-style weapons.

In a tweet, he wrote: "Assault-style firearms designed for military use have no place in our communities. That’s why we banned 1,500 of them today."

A government statement read: "Violent crimes involving firearms continue to have devastating impacts on communities across the country, and on Canadians who have lost loved ones to these crimes. Events like the recent tragedy in Nova Scotia, the attack in 2017 at the Centre culturel islamique de Québec, and the massacre that took place in 1989 at École Polytechnique de Montréal should never have happened. That is why the Government of Canada is introducing measures to combat gun violence, and help keep us safe."

The ban includes the use, sale, and import of over 1,500 models and variants of assault-style firearms, which fall into nine categories of firearms and two types identified by characteristic. It also includes some of their components.

Those who own the included varieties of firearms must safely store them and transfer and transport them only under limited circumstances. There will be a two-year grace period to allow owners to comply with the new rules, and exceptions for indigenous people exercising their rights under treaties, until suitable replacements for their firearms can be found.

"The Government of Canada intends to implement a buy-back program as soon as possible to safely remove these firearms and to introduce legislation as early as possible, working with Parliament and through public consultation," the statement added.

Trudeau said: "Because of gun violence, people are dying, families are grieving, and communities are suffering. It must end. Assault-style firearms designed for military use have no place in Canada. By removing them from our streets, we will limit the devastating effects of gun-related violence and help make our country safer."

"Weapons designed for the battlefield have no place on our streets or in our communities. Canadians gave us a clear mandate to ban these dangerous weapons. That is exactly what we are doing with the targeted measures we are announcing today," Canada's Minister of Justice and Attorney General David Lametti said.

However, the Nova Scotia shooter did not have a gun license, and therefore did not have a legal right to possess the weapon he used in the attack.

Critics of the move included Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, who noted: "Taking firearms away from law-abiding citizens does nothing to stop dangerous criminals who obtain their guns illegally."

"The reality is, the vast majority of gun crimes are committed with illegally obtained firearms. Nothing the Trudeau Liberals announced today addresses this problem."