O’Toole reverses course on guns, will maintain Liberal ban during review of classifications

DM

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole is reversing course on a platform promise to overturn a ban on some 1,500 makes and models of what the government describes as “military-grade weapons.” The Liberal government first introduced the ban with an Order in Council in May 2020, which the Conservative platform promised to repeal. Speaking to reporters on Sunday, O’Toole said that the ban will now remain in place under a Conservative government while a public review of the firearm classification system is conducted. “It’s critically important for me to say to Canadians today that we are going to maintain the ban on assault weapons, we’re going to maintain the restrictions that were put in place in 2020,” he said. When O’Toole was asked what he would do if the review recommended the 2020 ban should be scrapped, he didn’t directly answer the question, instead saying the review would be a way to “bring the politics out” of gun control. “We should have a public discussion of difficult issues related to public safety, and it should not be politicized,” he said. O’Toole’s reversal comes as the Liberals have been looking to make gun violence and gun control a wedge issue.

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