Indigenous hunters excluded from Ottawa’s assault weapons ban under Section 35

Indigenous hunters will be excluded from Canada’s sweeping ban on 1,500 assault weapons announced Friday.

“There will be an exception for Indigenous people’s exercising a section 35 hunting right, as well as those who use the weapon for hunting to feed themselves or their family,” said Justice Minister David Lametti.

“They may continue using firearms that were previously non-restricted for these purposes until a suitable replacement can be acquired.”

The ban, which was on the Liberal agenda prior to the pandemic, comes after a gunman in Nova Scotia killed 22 people making it the worse mass shooting in the country’s history.

The list includes the popular AR-15 rifle and the Ruger Mini-14 used to kill 14 women at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique in 1989.

“Today we are closing the market for military-grade assault weapons in Canada,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a news conference.

“Every single Canadian wants to see less gun violence and safer communities.”

There is a two-year amnesty period while the government creates a program that will allow current owners to receive compensation for turning in the designated firearms or keep them through a grandfathering process yet to be worked out.

Under the amnesty, the newly prohibited firearms can only be transferred or transported within Canada for specific purposes. Owners must keep the guns securely stored until there is more information on the buyback program.

Trudeau cited numerous mass shootings, from Ecole Polytechnique to the killings in Nova Scotia last month, as the reasons for the move. Some guns have legitimate uses, including recreational shooting, he said, “but you don’t need an AR-15 to bring down a deer.”

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer accused the prime minister of using the COVID-19 pandemic and the immediate emotion of the horrific murders in Nova Scotia to push the Liberals’ ideological agenda and make major firearms policy changes.

“Taking firearms away from law-abiding citizens does nothing to stop dangerous criminals who obtain their guns illegally,” Scheer said in a statement.

The Liberals reiterated promises to introduce other gun-control measures, including a plan to empower provinces and cities to manage the storage and use of handguns within their individual jurisdictions.

-with files from the Canadian Press

Host/Producer Nation to Nation - Ottawa

Todd Lamirande is a member of the Métis Nation. He’s the Host/Producer of APTN’s political show, Nation to Nation. Todd first joined APTN in 2000 as a video journalist. He then anchored APTN National News for 2 years and moved on to host APTN Investigates for 5 seasons.

24 thoughts on “Indigenous hunters excluded from Ottawa’s assault weapons ban under Section 35

  1. Please don’t regurgitate the same false information. These firearms which were banned are not “Assault Weapons” as you have stated. An “assault weapon” is anything used to assault someone including rocks and sticks and an “assault rifle” has a very clear definition including full automatic capability and those have been banned in Canada already since 1977.
    As a journalist it’s important to do your research rather than simply repeating what a lying government is stating.
    You should also be very concerned with the method used for this ban. The Firearms Act states that the classifications of these rifles can not be changed unless deemed unsuitable for hunting yet they have made an exemption for Indigenous people for the purpose of hunting. The list is full of errors an intentional misleading firearms, and it was all done during the pandemic while the House is closed to counter this injustice.

  2. Fascinating that the government would implement a law to keep people safe and prevent murder, but wouldn’t want that level of protection for indigenous peoples?

  3. As First Nations member entitled to exercise my treaty hunting rights it. I can honestly say without a doubt that the next federal election I will be voting conservative. Our firearms exemption is temporary because the federal liberals (whom I voted for) are still yet trying to find a way to placate their First nation voting bloc without alienating them. You cannot trust a Trudeau to keep their word to First Nations people, the father like the sons prophecy has come true. Remember when the elder Trudeau recommended and tried to abrogate our treaty rights with the “White Paper” in the 1960’s. This is a harbinger of things to come, liberals can only placate but never solve the underlying issues. We should look at stricter sentences for illegal manufacture, smuggling and use of firearms instead of criminalizing us all.

  4. So non-natives are not allowed to use the the guns but aboriginals are? That sounds racist to me. But what do you expect from the hypocrite Liberals. Most useless party in the history of Canadian politics!!

  5. The guns that were used in the crime were purchased illegally… just going to put this here

  6. so cause i’m white i’m not allowed to hunt with a non restricted firearm but an indigenous person is? how in the world does the make sense?

  7. I’m glad that first nations and other hunters get to keep these firearms, but I am not a fan of stricter gun control in general. Good people should not lose their rights because of a few bad people. We are a large country with a great deal of wilderness. People should have the option to own more lethal firearms. Canada isn’t all Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver…

  8. these guns are fine for hunting. AR15 for small game like coyotes, M14 is great for field hunting of deer or bear, mini 14 same as ar15. reliable firearms that are easy to clean and maintain….. suggesting they are only good for killing humans is propaganda

  9. Liberals…..please stop calling tools weapons…unless they are used to kill somebody they are tools used to put food on the table…we don’t go around calling hammers, cars, even rocks weapons….they too are tools until a criminal uses them as a weapon, but last I check, law abiding citizens do not kill ppl…you are sooooo focused on the wrong group!! Go punish criminals you lazy virtue-signallers

  10. Criminals do crime. Banning guns won’t change anything. In Switzerland every household has a gun, but there is very little gun crime.

  11. Isn’t it funny…for the first time in North American history, Indians will be able to outgun the cowboys

  12. Trudeau: You don’t need an AR-15 to hunt deer.

    Also Trudeau: Native hunters can continue to use AR-15’s to hunt deer because…..hunting rights.

  13. Well I have to say ive never been more ashamed of my government as I am now. Introducing this new law now,and so close after the shooting in Nova Scotia just goes to prove how low Trudeau and his minority liberal government have become. They keep pushing towards a socialist movement and stripping our rights to freedom in this country. It doesn’t matter what type of gun used,they all kill in the wrong hands. Try stopping the criminals that are going to profit alot more from this. Anyone can go on a killing spree with a small arms weapon. Can make explosives. Banning one type of weapon is not going to change the underlying issues. Mental health issues are a large part of the problem. I’m a firm advocate for the current government to step down before they create irreparable damage to our once Beautiful country.

  14. so am I correct – Trudeau sits in front of a camera and says this is NOW the law. No Bill in Parliament , no debate , no vote , just a dictatorial declaration??? Is that how laws are now made in Canada?

  15. this is fake bews….Indigenous rights are not being recognized, because they are forced to find a replacement for their legally owned firearms. as an indigenous person you have rights but you don’t.

  16. While this article is partially accurate the ban will still apply to First Nations People after 2 years. These rules will only give you permission to hunt for sustenance only and after 2 years the rifles must be turned in or grandfathered as prohibited. So section 35 really is just to keep the First Nations People quiet for 2 years. They think we are stupid. That’s what I read into section 35 of the new regs.

  17. A government that persecutes and attacks it own people is a government that needs to be defeated. This is not the first time the Canadian government has persecuted people. From Japanese Canadians to Ukrainian Canadians and indigenous peoples. This must be challenged. If they can make a law with an order-in-council then it can be repealed with the same tactic. Canadian gun owners are not public enemy number one.

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