BCWF President Chuck Zuckerman and Recreational Shooting Sports Committee Chairperson Doug Bancroft Meet with the Provincial Government
Regarding Concerns With
B.C.’s Firearm Violence Prevention Act Bill 4
Bill 4 has passed Third Reading and Royal Assent. It is now the law. The drafting of Regulations for this bill is of great concern to the BCWF, member clubs with ranges, and our members.
The following are the major issues that BCWF communicated to the staff of the B.C. Ministry of Public Safety and Attorney General during initial consultation meetings.
Of primary concern to all B.C. shooting ranges is the financial burden that could cause the closure of up to 150 shooting clubs in British Columbia with no improvement in public safety.
Hunters, recreational sports shooters, Indigenous groups, and law enforcement personnel would be adversely affected. Additionally, if ranges are forced to close, they will become abandoned, orphaned sites that are contaminated with lead and will become a challenge for the Ministry of Environment.
Where will law enforcement conduct their mandated training, hunters’ sight in their rifles, sports shooters practice and compete, and where will minors safely and under adequate supervision learn how to use firearms?
Under the legislation, verification of multiple pieces of identification by range duty staff will now be mandatory. Law abiding citizens’ and law enforcement personnel’s confidential information will require expensive storage costs and ranges will be required to hire additional vetted employees.
Currently Bill 4 states:
4 (1) A person must not transport, carry or store a loaded firearm in or on a vehicle or boat, and
5 A person must not discharge a firearm in, on or from a vehicle or boat.
The BCWF advocated that Bill 4 follow the Wildlife Act, which states: It is unlawful to discharge a firearm from a vehicle, and Definition 20) To shoot wildlife from a boat propelled by a motor, and Definition 21) To hunt migratory birds from a power boat, unless the boat is beached, resting at anchor or fastened alongside a fixed hunting blind.
Additionally, disabled hunters are currently able to obtain a permit to hunt from their vehicle, which would not be allowed under Bill 4 as currently written.
Minors do not have the type of government issued ID Bill 4 requires.
Section 27 (3) requires a non-member who does not possess a PAL to provide name, address, phone number and date of birth.
It is strongly recommended that the government exempts the need to verify the identity of “shooting range users” who are only there to participate in events using low velocity firearms (air guns), archery, etc.
Disabled Firearms for Safety Instruction
The BCWF strongly recommends that government-certified firearms instructors and coaches of Olympic and other sanctioned shooting sports events be granted an exemption for bringing disabled firearms and dummy ammunition into schools and places of worship with the permission of the school or church for the purpose of providing CORE, Canadian Firearms Safety Course, and additional related safety instruction.
Conclusions and Next Steps
It is strongly recommended that the government provide a draft of regulations to clubs to allow for substantive consultation.
The Provincial Government thanked Chuck and Doug for their presentation and commented that they would be contacting the BCWF in the near future to further consult on changes to the Regulations. The BCWF leaders’ expertise was acknowledged and appreciated.
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