One of the persistent debates in American gun politics is over AR-15s and other "assault weapons." Policy around ARs has stagnated since the federal assault weapons ban expired in 2004. However, gun-control advocates have begun to expand proposals into outright confiscation, with Beto O'Rourke being among the most prominent.
Now, our neighbors to the north are testing out these expanded proposals in practice. It isn't going well so far. Program costs have already run over budget for the buyback portion of the mandatory buyback and details for it haven't even been announced yet despite a looming April deadline to turn in the affected guns.
As a result, very few Canadian gun owners have actually turned in their ARs a year and a half after the ban was announced.
To get a better idea of what's at play with the confiscation effort and how it's likely to play out going forward, I had Ian Runkle on the podcast to give us his perspective as both somebody affected by the ban and an expert on Canadian gun law. Ian is a Candian gun-rights lawyer who has litigated many cases involving the country's complex gun laws. He also owns AR-15s.
We talk at length about how the government has effectively incentivized people not to turn in their guns to this point and how he expects they may go about enforcing the confiscation order once it does go into effect. We also discuss the differences between gun culture in the United States and former commonwealth countries such as New Zealand and Australia. Ian weighs in on whether Canadians are more likely to resist the confiscation effort than their commonwealth cousins due to their proximity to their more rebellious American neighbors.
Ian explains how the national registry of AR-15s and other targeted guns in Canada will make resistance difficult for many. But, he says he expects the guns on the ban list which aren't registered will see a far lower compliance rate. He said that's especially true for a number of guns that people may not even realize are banned under the order given its vague wording.
We also discuss the impact the policy is likely to have on Native Canadians and how it mirrors the disparate impact of gun law enforcement in the United States.
Plus, Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman details how permitless carry just got a big boost in Georgia thanks to the impending gubernatorial election. And we look at how many millions of guns were sold in the United States during 2021.