Rumours have recently surrounded the Women Deliver 2019 Global Conference in Vancouver that Prime Minister Trudeau would use the venue to announce a ban on AR-15's and restricted category rifles. The Prime Ministers speaking dates at the conference have passed, but is it time to breathe a sigh of relief?
The short answer is no, no it's not time to breathe a sigh of relief.
For those of you that are new to firearms politics it's quite common for "inside sources" to get information surrounding firearms legislation, be it good or bad news. These inside sources can be firearms owners themselves and they know how to play the game very well.
The game is that new legislation is proposed or even just internally tabled as an idea, and word gets around the Party that is discussing it and eventually to the inside source. This person leaks the information to the public in some way, either to gauge the opposition to the idea prior to implementing it, or as a very real concerned person. Once the idea is public, if there is enough backlash the idea doesn't make it outside of the talking stage. This is why some of the horror stories you hear being tossed around the back rooms never see the light of day; public backlash.
The game itself is why firearm owners can never afford to take leaked information lightly, or see it as some kind of scam. If taken lightly and there is no public backlash, then the idea is seen as not opposed enough and could be tabled in Parliament. Ideas that have seen enough public backlash have never made it to Parliament floor. Due to this, even if this was all rumour, even if the inside sources were wrong, the backlash that has surrounded the rumoured AR-15 ban was necessary and may make it so that a ban doesn't see the light of day. Just because it doesn't see the light of day in the near future, doesn't mean the threat wasn't very real.
The public backlash on the AR-15 was a very good thing for all firearms owners. There's strength in numbers, and the more AR-15 owners there are the less chance of a total ban and confiscation. Even if you don't see the "need" for civilian owned AR-15's, having more legally owned protects the firearms you do see a "need" for. Once the AR-15 is banned the next on the list will eventually be your bolt action, your shotgun, your lever action, and then finally your single shot.
Although no announcement was made by Prime Minister Trudeau at the 2019 Women Deliver Global Conference, we're still not out of the woods in terms of a possible gun ban on the AR-15 and other restricted rifles. With C-71 having passed the Senate and awaiting Royal Assent, which is all but a formality and will likely happen, once it becomes law there's a whole empty prohibited class just waiting for new firearms to fill it. What will go in to it is anyone's guess, but it's very real and sitting there for a reason.
No, we're not out of the woods yet. C-71 is still a very real threat, one where the RCMP Firearms lab or the Government have the power to fill a new Prohibited class with firearms. It's election season very soon and if there is little for a Party to stand on then firearm politics polls well with any Parties base, and the rhetoric surrounding the debate is reaching new levels of causticness. With C-71 just awaiting the formality of Royal Assent, it's a very long time until an October election, and then to reverse it would require a Conservative majority.
Your best bet right now is to keep up the pressure. Buy an AR-15 or other restricted class rifle, especially if it's your first. Write your MP and politely tell them you don't support them if they support a gun ban. Educate your neighbour(s) on responsible gun ownership. Whatever you do, keep up the fight, even if a rumour never comes true.