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The NDP is changing the graphic on the ad seen here after it was revealed that the gun is, in fact, already restricted.

The NDP are switching guns as they come out firing at the Tories.

The party is mounting a billboard campaign in three cities this week attacking the Conservative government's move to scrap the long-gun registry. But now they're rushing to change the graphics before the billboards go up.

The initial ad featured the Ruger Mini-14, a semi-automatic used in the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre in Montreal, which won't have to be registered after a the long-gun registry is scrapped. But the image on the ad, provided Sunday to The Globe and Mail, displayed the wrong version of the gun – the outline of a Ruger Mini-14 Tactical Rifle, which is already restricted in Canada, and will still have to be registered after the law changes.

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The billboards, with the tag line, "No More Safeguards. Is that why you voted Conservative?" were intended to argue that the Tories are going too far in scrapping the gun registry.

The NDP are now changing the billboards to picture another gun, the Steyr HS .50, NDP national director Chantal Vallerand said. The sniper rifle is non-restricted, and will not have to be registered once the law is changed.

It was another version of the Ruger Mini-14, the Ranch Rifle, that was used by Marc Lépine in the Polytechnique rampage. That model is not restricted in Canada and won't have to be registered if the Tory bill passes.

Both versions are semi-automatic weapons, but the Tactical Rifle has a shorter barrel so it is already restricted.

The Tactical Rifle looks far more like a military weapon, however, and the Ranch Rifle looks more like a hunting rifle. The NDP's Ms. Vallerand, said there was some "confusion" when a graphic designer put together the image in the ad.

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About the Author
Chief political writer

Campbell Clark has been a political writer in The Globe and Mail’s Ottawa bureau since 2000. Before that he worked for The Montreal Gazette and the National Post. He writes about Canadian politics and foreign policy. More

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