(OTTAWA) Federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said Wednesday that Ottawa has taken a first step toward launching its gun buyback program, starting with industry.

Mr. Mendicino announced at a press conference that the government has signed a contract with the Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association to work with companies and retailers that currently hold weapons prohibited under the May 2020 federal executive order.

Cabinet’s decision to ban about 1,500 models of firearms the government says are unsuitable for civilian use came in the wake of the Nova Scotia shooting, the deadliest in Canada’s modern history .

But the association that Minister Mendicino cited in his announcement wrote on Twitter during the press conference that it remained “skeptical” of the industry buyout program, citing concerns about the lack of process. of implementation.

Minister Mendicino maintains that his government will be transparent about the cost of the program, which is due to start later this year, but he did not provide further details during the announcement on Wednesday morning.

The second phase of the buyback program is expected to target individual gun owners, who are currently enjoying amnesty under an order set to expire in October.