A generous $16,000 donation by the Abbotsford Fish and Game Club will help fund the B.C. Wildlife Federation’s firearms advocacy work, with the addition of an Advocacy and Engagement Coordinator to our team.
The Advocacy Coordinator will be tasked with outreach to key government influencers and other stakeholders on the need for a common-sense approach to firearms ownership.
“Donations like this are vital as we push back against gun control legislation that penalizes sport shooters and hunters and new firearms transfer regulations that target law-abiding firearms owners,” said BCWF Executive Director Jesse Zeman.
“This position is intended to connect the public and elected officials with fish, wildlife and habitat conservation as well as the hunting, angling and sports shooting community. The position will jointly develop events with our clubs and members so that we can increase our reach and connection to local communities.”
It is important that our members and our clubs can engage with the public to help them understand the value that hunters and anglers bring to the fight to protect and conserve our natural assets and to keep the government focused on public safety legislation with a real chance to reduce crime.
The coordinator will also be responsible for engaging clubs and members in our efforts to educate the public and elected officials to ensure that public safety legislation targets criminals, not hunters, farmers and outdoors enthusiasts.
“It feels like our ability to enjoy the outdoors and to hunt is under attack from all directions,” said Ian Baird, treasurer of the Abbotsford Fish and Game Club. “It’s important to our members that we stand up for sensible firearms regulations. We feel that the BCWF not only shares our values, but they’ve been effective at getting results.”
Two years ago, the federal government passed Bill C-71, which requires retailers to collect and store personal information about people who purchase long guns for 20 years and to report all transfers between PAL holders to the RCMP Registrar of Firearms. This feels like a backdoor resurrection of the failed billion-dollar long gun registry, which the government pledged not to revive. The government also banned hundreds of thousands of hunting rifles due to their resemblance to assault weapons and is creating an expensive buyback program to recover those rifles. The federal government has more recently introduced a freeze on the sale and transfer of legally owned handguns.
This year, the BCWF was successful in persuading the provincial government to drop new shooting range requirements in Bill 4 that would have caused the closure of most of the ranges in B.C. operated by fish and game clubs.
The Advocacy Coordinator will also engage with BCWF member clubs on special projects and work on a variety of policy initiatives involving fish, wildlife, habitat conservation, angling, hunting, and sport shooting.