Photo Credit: Claudia Ferris

BCWF Reacts to Expensive Federal Buyback Program

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a plan of action for a federal buyback program to purchase approximately 1,500 styles of rifles deemed illegal through an order-in-council on May 1, 2020. Bill C-21 also includes legislation to allow municipalities to ban handguns through bylaw restrictions.

B.C. Wildlife Federation responds that the bill does not address Canada’s real problems, such as curbing violent urban gang shootings.

BCWF Firearms Committee Chair Professor Gary Mauser says, “The Government of Canada is proposing to spend billions without achieving any meaningful outcome.” Mauser points out that legally purchased rifles used for hunting and target practice are captured in this ban and buyback program. He notes that the term “assault-style,” used to justify the ban, has no legal definition in Canada under the Firearms Act.

BCWF Recreational Sports Shooting Committee Chair Douglas Bancroft says, “The majority of Canadian Police Chiefs, Police Unions, and members oppose these measures, as the enforcement of these additional useless laws will take away potentially tens of thousands of policing hours from front line police work.”

Bancroft and Mauser call on their members to meet with local and federal politicians to let them know why it is inappropriate to bring in legislation that will primarily impact licensed hunters and target shooters.

“This is a distraction,” says Bancroft. “Canadians are in an unresolved pandemic, and the Government of Canada should focus its efforts on real issues that impact, and matter to, all Canadians.”

The bill allows municipalities to ban handgun possession by lawful owners. Municipal bans do nothing to control the misuse of guns by violent criminals because unlicensed handgun use is already illegal. Hunters and sport shooters aren’t the problem; violent criminals are. Bill C-21 merely punishes lawful owners for no useful purpose.

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