Thursday, January 3, 2013

Harper approves assault weapons to Colombia

The Canadian Press:

Ottawa - Just one day before last month's elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., Canada offered its gun merchants "new market opportunities" to export banned assault weapons to Colombia, one of the world's most violent countries.

Canada quietly eased its ban on the export of assault-style weapons to Colombia after Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird recommended an order amending the Automatic Firearms Country Control List (AFCCL).

That opened the door for Canadian gun merchants to sell fully automatic weapons with high-capacity magazines -- banned in Canada -- to Colombia.

"Colombia's addition to the AFCCL opens new market opportunities by providing residents of Canada with the opportunity to explore and compete for contracts in Colombia for items controlled under the AFCCL," says a government notice, posted Tuesday.

The change went into effect on Dec. 13, one day before a gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 first-graders and six school employees, sparking fresh debate about gun control in the United States.

Canada recently completed a controversial free trade deal with Colombia, which has been plagued by a half-century-long guerilla insurgency, serious human rights abuses and its emergence as a world leading cocaine producer.

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