Sep 20, 2019

Trudeau’s pivot: Vows to ban military-style assault rifles, including AR-15

Photo: EuropaNewswire/Gado/Getty Images

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday the Liberal government would ban military-style semi-automatic weapons and institute a buyback program if re-elected.

Why it matters: The announcement comes around a month before the nation's federal election and outlines a clear contrast with the Conservative Party on the issue. A 2-year amnesty period would be put in place while the buyback program is instituted, according to the CBC.

Flashback: Cabinet official Bill Blair said earlier this year the Liberals would propose the ban, according to the Toronto Star, after shootings injured 4 during a victory celebration for the Raptors' NBA championship Toronto.

  • In June, parliament approved a bill to increase background checks on gun owners.

Context: The announcement comes after Trudeau has spent days explaining photos and a video of him that appeared to show him in brownface or blackface. A photo appeared first in TIME Magazine on Wednesday at a party in 2001. On Thursday, two more photos of Trudeau wearing blackface at other events surfaced. The Prime Minister said he could not confirm whether he had darkened his skin in any more instances.

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Obama endorses Justin Trudeau ahead of Canada's election

Obama and Trudeau in 2016. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Barack Obama made an unusual endorsement of a foreign leader on Wednesday, tweeting that "the world needs" the "progressive leadership" of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Why it matters: Trudeau is in a tight race ahead of Monday's election. His rock-star image has been battered by an ethics scandal and newly surfaced images of him in blackface. Obama is lending a helping hand to a leader he said he was "proud to work with" while in office.

Go deeper: Justin Trudeau's political star fades ahead of Canada's election

Keep ReadingArrowOct 16, 2019

Where 2020 Democrats stand on gun control

Warren and Biden on the debate stage on Jan. 14. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduced a new gun reform bill on Thursday with Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) that calls for raising the minimum age for all gun purchases to 21 and increasing the excise tax on gun sales to 30% and ammunition sales to 50%.

The big picture: 2019's mass shootings in El Paso, Texas; Dayton, Ohio; Virginia Beach; and near Odessa, Texas, have pushed 2020 Democrats to take harder stances on gun control than in the last presidential election, when Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton only briefly addressed the issue in their primary debate.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Beto ignites split among 2020 Democrats on guns

O’Rourke speaks at the gun forum in Las Vegas Tuesday. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

LAS VEGAS — Beto O'Rourke's proposal to implement a mandatory buyback program for assault weapons ignited a split among 2020 Democrats at the Giffords/March for Our Lives gun safety forum on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The caution around the issue shows how some in the field are being careful to distance themselves from what they view as a polarizing position and are instead sticking with pushing a voluntary buyback program as a way to appeal to the center.

Go deeperArrowOct 3, 2019