Today the Prime Minister published a series of mandate letters which are instructions to his ministers after the recent election. Among them is a letter to Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair.
Of note to our members and to all recreational shooters and hunters, the Prime Minister asks Minister Blair to:
- Amend Canada’s firearms laws to ban all military-style assault rifles, with an associated buyback program and two-year amnesty;
- Work with provinces and territories to give municipalities the ability to further restrict or ban handguns;
- Update firearms licence requirements for ammunition imports, strengthen safe-storage laws, develop a mechanism for suspending licences for those who pose a danger to themselves or others, continue to build a national system that allows for the flagging of bulk purchases of firearms, impose stronger penalties for gun smuggling, provide the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) with additional resources to detect and stop gun smuggling, and work to limit by regulation the glorification of violence in firearms marketing and sales; and
- Continue to protect the rights of hunters and farmers. There will not be a return of the long-gun registry.
You can read the rest of the letter here.
The issues at stake
- A ban on “military-style assault rifles” is vague and can encompass everything from semi-automatic rifles used for hunting to .22 “plinkers” to firearms used by farmers to defend their crops and livestock
- it will likely target AR-15s. Since being designated restricted, the AR-15 was used for a single homicide in 2009 despite there being more than 60,000 registered in Canada.
- this ban will diminish if not eliminate the burgeoning sports of IPSC, IDPA, 3-Gun / multi-gun, Steel Challenge and any club sports such as LEAP and PPC
- a buyback program takes taxpayer dollars to confiscate the property that you or your family has purchased with hard earned money
- the government may not give you full value of your property and may not recognize the time and effort you have invested to preserve your firearms and any accessories you have installed
- delegating firearms regulations to municipalities on this level establishes a dangerous precedent that drives a further wedge between urban and rural citizens
- nearly ALL of our members live in the cities west of the Pitt River – making this policy critical for all who have restricted licenses
- a buyback of semi-automatic rifles will cost potentially hundreds of millions of dollars, money that could be better spent on enforcement and prevention of gang crime
- a ban could potentially turn millions of vetted owners into criminals
- confiscating firearms from the millions of owners will be a huge burden on law enforcement and justice system
What an ‘assault rifle” and handgun ban will not do
Even if passed as law or order in council the bans will not:
- target criminals, who do not have licenses and skirt the laws
- will not stop the flow of illegal guns from across the border
- will have little impact on violent firearms crime which has been decreasing, despite alarming media attention
What your club can do
Despite being reduced to a minority government, the Prime Minister has clearly taken aim at the traditions of our members. Every day PCDHFC is a home for the safe and valued tradition of target shooting for our vetted members and visitors. Your board is committed to preserving our pastime in the face of ill-advised policies. We will engage with policy makers and representatives at every level to inform them on the issues facing our members. As we have done, we will seek to educate our community and continue to keep our members informed.
What can you do?
Without the voices of our more than 3,000 members your government may not realize how important these issues are to you and your community. Write, email and contact your local representatives and voice your concerns. It is the duty of your representatives to sit down and listen to your perspectives.
Coquitlam – Port Coquitlam:
Telephone: (604) 775-5707
Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge
South Surrey—White Rock
West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country
Langley – Aldergrove
Tako Van Popta
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