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Judge rejects request for injunction to pause new federal firearms prohibitions

OTTAWA — A judge has rejected a request from firearms owners to suspend a sweeping ban on many gun models while their full arguments against the prohibitions are considered by the court.

In her ruling, Federal Court Associate Chief Justice Jocelyne Gagné says the applicants failed to put forward clear and non-speculative evidence that they would suffer irreparable harm if the ban remains in effect pending a final ruling on the case.

The federal government outlawed a wide range of firearms by cabinet order in May, saying the guns were designed for the battlefield, not hunting or sport shooting.

The ban covers some 1,500 models and variants of what the government considers assault-style weapons, meaning they can no longer be legally used, sold or imported.

The measure has met with stiff criticism from some firearms owners and the federal Conservatives, who question the value of the ban.

Gagné dismissed several arguments from the owners seeking an injunction, including the notion of irreparable harm from not being able to use specific firearms for hunting or shooting.

She said Canadians wishing to engage in these activities can choose from a large range of non-restricted firearms that may reasonably be used for these purposes.

Gagné also rejected arguments about the loss of gun culture, saying it was not clear how the regulations affected such a culture.

Fuller arguments on the constitutionality of the regulations are expected to take place over the next several months.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 9, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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