Voices: Sport Shooters, Groups Respond to Possible Handgun Ban


TheGunBlog.ca — Following are comments by Canadian shooters, associations, manufacturers and others across Canada about a possible government ban on handguns. (Updated as we get comments.)

(Update 28 July: Adds Al Flaherty’s, Kim Britton, OneClearVoice.ca, Dennis Young.)

The government told TheGunBlog.ca today that it’s “open to all possible options” after The Globe and Mail reported late yesterday that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will decide next month whether to ban handguns, possibly by including the measure in Bill C-71.

The following comments were by phone or e-mail to TheGunBlog.ca, unless otherwise indicated. We will add to this as more comments come in.

Domenic Saverino, Owner
Al Flaherty’s Outdoor Store
Toronto, Ontario

Most of my customers are concerned about a handgun ban.

It is a possibility in Canada, as we do not have the right to bear arms in our constitution. Handgun ownership is seen as a privilege, not a right in our country.

In the event of a ban, the government would likely grandfather handgun owners, allowing them to continue to purchase and trade handguns. Recently, there is a rush among gun owners to purchase a handgun so that in the event of a ban, they would be grandfathered.

There is no easy fix to the problem. The fact that there are legal gun owners out there willing to buy and sell guns illegally for the purpose of profit is very real in Canada. How do we fix this problem and keep firearms out of the hands of criminals? I feel we need to stiffen the penalty for trafficking guns so that criminals do not take advantage of the laws that we currently have in place. The penalty must outweigh the crime.

Anthony B., Individual Sport Shooter

I personally am tired of being associated with criminals simply because I have chosen to take all required legal steps to acquire firearms and become involved in the shooting sports.

Kim Britton
Canadian National Pistol Shooter

It is very important for shooters to introduce new people to the sport especially now. Educate, dispel myths and create positive experiences.

Tracey Wilson, Vice President of Public Relations
Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights
Ottawa, Ontario

I think the opportunity is before us to have an honest conversation in this country about gun control, crime and legal gun ownership.

Emotions run high in any high stress situation and lawmakers are under pressure to “do something.” That something doesn’t have to be targeted at gun owners however.

The Minister has failed to follow through on his funding to law enforcement and the city of Toronto has failed to combat crime.

Removing freedoms from gun owners will not impact the crime numbers, Canadians know this. Nobody is more willing to have this conversation than gun owners. Before any legislation is passed, it should be backed by data that proves its positive impact on public safety. We will fight a handgun ban with every extent of our resources at the CCFR.

Tony Bernardo, Executive Director
Canadian Shooting Sports Association
Oshawa, Ontario

The CSSA will oppose any firearms ban with every resource at our disposal.

Our members have not committed any crime or transgression against Canadians and we refuse to shoulder the blame for the deeds of madmen.

Any attack upon our community by the Trudeau Liberals will be aggressively responded to.

Wes Winkel, Owner
Ellwood Epps Sporting Goods
Orillia, Ontario

About 25 percent of my sales are handgun driven. A handgun ban would definitely lead to a loss of jobs and a loss of business. If it affects my largest importer, it would affect my supply chain, and that affects my business.

We still have a very large clientele in the GTA [Greater Toronto Area]. Obviously, we would lose some market for sure. As a guy who sells used guns, it would flood the market with handguns for sale with no buyers.

James Cassells, Director of Canadian Sales
Former Toronto SWAT
Toronto, Ontario

We banned marijuana at one time … how did that work out?

I am 100 percent for a ban on all illegal guns.

Sheldon Clare, President
National Firearms Association
Edmonton, Alberta
(Excerpts from NFA press release)

This knee-jerk reaction would have serious ramifications. Even considering such a ban shows this government’s contempt for the rights and property of Canadians.

The terrorist who perpetrated the Toronto attack, which resulted in the murders of two innocents and the wounding of many more, possessed no firearms license, no registration, no authorizations and used a stolen firearm. This is a classic example of the failure of gun laws to stop a person of ill intent from carrying out an evil act.

… No gun control law or firearms ban has anything whatsoever to do with public safety. … Lawful ownership and use of firearms of any type has nothing whatsoever to do with criminal misuse, or terrorist acts.”

Canada’s National Firearms Association strongly opposes firearms bans and calls for fundamental reform of Canada’s oppressive and unreasonable firearms laws. These laws have never fulfilled claims of providing public safety. … The NFA will ensure that MPs who support more bad gun laws will feel the anger of Canadian firearms owners at the ballot box in the next election.

Doug McComber
Kingston, Nova Scotia

A ban on civilian handgun ownership is nothing less than a blatant attempt to win urban votes at the expense of a lawful segment of society that is oft maligned by the Liberal Party of Canada. Yet the real outrage is its failure to actually address the perpetrators of gun crime and violence in our big cities. The victims and their families will not be served at all by such a ban.

Dennis R. Young
Independent Firearms Researcher
Former RCMP Officer and Legislative Assistant
Airdrie, Alberta

The first problem with banning handguns owned by and registered to their RCMP-licensed gun owners is that gangs will still have no problem getting guns whether the crime guns be smuggled into Canada, stolen from the police and the military or manufactured in the gangs own machine shops.

The second problem is that when the gangbangers are finally caught by police, convicted for their crimes and prohibited from owning firearms by the judge, the police don’t even have the authority under the Firearms Act to demand that these convicted criminals report their change of address to police – only RCMP licensed gun owners are required to do that or face a penalty of up to two years in jail.

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