Gun buyback: Government proposes to pay $1,337 for AR-15

OTTAWA-

The federal government is offering $1,337 in compensation for the surrender of an AR-15 rifle under a mandatory buy-back program.

Public Safety Canada has released a price list detailing how much prohibited firearms owners can expect to get under the program.

At the high end of the scale, confiscating a Swiss Arms SG550 could net an owner $6,209.

Ottawa will seek feedback from gun owners, businesses and industry on the proposed compensation amounts by Aug. 28.

The mandatory buy-back program would cover more than 1,500 models and variants of what the government considers assault-type firearms, banned two years ago.

While the idea has been welcomed by gun control advocates, others – including Tory MPs – have suggested it targets legitimate gun owners rather than criminals.

It will be mandatory for owners to participate in the buy-back program, to have their designated firearms rendered unusable at government expense or otherwise legally disposed of.

The government says the proposed price list for individual firearm owners was developed to reflect what Canadians might have paid for an assault-style firearm before May 2020.

“Today’s proposed price list represents another step towards removing these dangerous firearms from Canadian communities while ensuring that current owners are fairly compensated,” said Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino.

A separate compensation model for companies participating in the buyback program is being developed.

An amnesty is in place until October 30, 2023 to protect lawful owners of the now banned firearms from criminal liability while they take steps to comply with the law.

“Compensation models and other program details will be finalized in the coming months, and all known firearm owners will be contacted to find out how they can participate in the buyback program,” the government said.

The Liberals also introduced a gun control bill in May that would put a national freeze on the import, purchase, sale or transfer of handguns.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on July 28, 2022.

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