Central Alberta gun owners oppose the federal government’s ban on thousands of models of assault-style firearms.
”The Ponoka Fish and Game Association is not in favour of banning any of the present legal firearms that are for sale on the market of gun stores all over Canada,” said publicity director Robert Greene on behalf of the group.
While the federal government said that, “Weapons designed for the battlefield have no place on our streets or in our communities,” the fish and game club says the solution is education.
“This ban will not keep any type of illegal gun off the market, as they will come in illegally from other sources from all points of the globe,” said Greene.
“We, as a fish and game club, teach the Canadian Firearms Safety courses, which would be of much more help to everyone than any kind of ban, which only punishes the honest gun owners all across Canada.
“We have taught thousands of people over the years and have not heard of anyone violating the gun safety that they were taught.
“All of those who helped pass this piece of nonsense need to take a safety course, as it is plain to see that they do not know anything about firearms.”
The ban includes 1,500 types of assault-style rifles, including the Ruger Mini-14, the M14 semi-automatic, the Beretta CX4 Storm and the CSA-VZ-58.
The banned models represent nine categories of firearms and two types identified by characteristic. Some of their components are also prohibited.
The government estimates there are 100,000 restricted firearms in Canada that are now prohibited.
These newly prohibited firearms and components cannot be legally used, sold, or imported.
Owners of the now-banned models have two years to comply with the new rules. Exceptions include Indigenous people exercising their rights to hunt to sustain themselves or their families.
The government says a buyback program will offer fair-market value for legally purchased firearms that fall under the ban.
The Alberta government was swift to respond to the ban, with Premier Jason Kenney and Solicitor General Doug Schweitzer issuing a joint statement later the same day, May 1.
“Today’s order by Ottawa does little to target criminals,” said Kenney in a release.
“Instead, Ottawa is singling out law-abiding Canadians who purchased their property legally, have owned these items safely for years, and who have committed no crimes.”
Schweitzer says the Alberta government will “scrutinize” the ban and explore potential responses through Motion 14, passed by Alberta in November 2019, which supports Albertans’ ability to lawfully and responsibly own firearms for hunting, sport shooting and other permitted activities.
Alberta is also considering appointing its own chief firearms officer to replace the official appointed by Ottawa.