In Canada, certain firearms are classified as "prohibited", and one cannot possess or acquire them unless they were owned before the law was made. Such firearms include .25 and .32 calibre handguns, handguns with barrels less than or equal to 105 millimetres in length, and fully automatic firearms. In addition, the government may declare any firearm prohibited for any reason. Here is a complete list of prohibited firearms.
I can't point to an individual source, but I've commonly heard a story told in Canadian gun circles that the people who initially prohibited the guns knew nothing about them, and that they "looked through a catalogue and banned all the scary looking ones".
Since this question was put on hold until I could point to it as a notable claim, here are several quotes of people repeating the rumour or sentiment:
- Classify firearms based on function, not appearance
Firearms should be classified based on their function, not on their appearance. I will use the simple overall-length classification system
And the laws were made by folks who didn't know much about firearms, and that's why they don't make much sense. They basically went through a firearms catalogue and banned all the scary looking ones, restricted a bunch, and let the rest just be, without much rhyme or reason.
I keep hearing reference to them just going through a gun catalogue and circling the ones with military appearance...
I'd like to repeat that the classification committee went through a catalogue of guns and put Xs on the ones that looked scary (and thus got banned), but I can't find a source on that.
I am convinced the people involved in selecting what firearms needed to be kept out of the public's hands took a look through a catalog or "Guns of the World" book and made a list of the tactical looking ones.
I can personally attest to this rumour. When I took the Canadian Firearms Safety Course, my instructor repeated it.
The status of certain firearms as prohibited is at least some evidence for this story. For example, the AK-47 is fully automatic and prohibited. There are semi-automatic versions of it, but they are also prescribed as prohibited — because they look too similar, perhaps?
Is there any evidence that this meeting over a catalogue actually took place?