Canada will ban assault-style weapons, Justin Trudeau says

"Canadians deserve more than thoughts and prayers,” Trudeau said.

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By Janelle Griffith

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday announced an immediate ban in Canada on assault-style weapons.

Trudeau cited numerous mass shootings in the country, including the rampage in which a gunman killed 23 people in Nova Scotia in April. Trudeau described it as "the deadliest rampage in our country's history."

"Canadians deserve more than thoughts and prayers,” Trudeau said.

Mass shootings are relatively rare in Canada, which has tighter gun control laws than the United States.

Trudeau announced the ban of more than 1,500 models and variants of assault-style firearms.

"These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time," he said. "There is no use — and no place — for such weapons in Canada."

Trudeau said the vast majority of gun owners use firearms safely, responsibly and in accordance with the law.

"But you don't need an AR-15 to take bring down a deer," Trudeau said. "So, effective immediately, it is no longer permitted to buy, sell, transport, import or use military-grade, assault weapons in this country."

The prime minister said there will be a two-year amnesty period for "current law-abiding gun owners" to protect them from criminal liability until they can take steps to comply with the new law and the country will legislate "fair compensation."

The shooting rampage in rural Nova Scotia that left 23 people dead, including the gunman, was repeatedly cited by Trudeau in the announcement.