The federal Liberals withdrew an amendment to their guns bill on Friday that had introduced a controversial new definition of an assault-style weapon.
On behalf of the government, Vancouver MP Taleeb Noormohamed asked for and received unanimous consent to withdraw the amendment to Bill C-21 at the House of Commons public safety committee Friday morning.
The amendment introduced a new definition of an "assault-style" gun that includes semi-automatic rifles and shotguns with a capacity of more than five cartridges.
Gun control group PolySeSouvient welcomed the amendment as "another critical step toward a comprehensive and permanent ban on assault-style weapons."
But it caused an outcry in many parts of rural Canada, as hunters argued it criminalized weapons they often use legally for hunting.
The Liberals were also under pressure from many of their own MPs to change or withdraw the new definition of weapons being banned.
Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said in a written statement posted to Twitter that the government has committed to coming up with "a clear, standard definition of what constitutes an assault-style firearm."
That was what they tried to do with the amendment, but he said "there have been legitimate concerns raised about the need for more consultation and debate on this vital part of the bill."
He travelled the country in recent weeks to meet with concerned Canadians. He also went bison hunting last month with members of the Yukon Fish and Game Association, although he never used or even held a gun.
"We hear those concerns loud and clear, regret the confusion that this process has caused and are committed to a thoughtful and respectful conversation that is based on facts, not fear," he said.
"This is an emotional issue, and Canadians are counting on us to get it right. More discussions, including with Indigenous communities, are crucial."
He said a new solution to keep assault-style weapons off Canada's streets is underway.
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