Paul Hilliard, owner of Woods N’ Water in Burns Lake, says a gun ban would not be good news for his business. (Lakes District News file photo)

Gun ban rumour irritates firearms owners

Anxiety is growing among some Burns Lake residents amid fears the federal government will ban guns.

The Liberals have made no official announcement on a ban and so far the fears are based on a claim initially made by independent MP Tony Clement on May 9.

LOOK BACK: Can the Prime Minister confirm or deny this secret plan?

In the House of Commons, Border Security Minister Bill Blair responded to Clement’s concern, but did not directly deny the claim.

In an email to Lakes District News, Marie-Emmanuelle Cadieux, Senior Communications Advisor in the Office of the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, said no decision has been made on any gun ban.

“Our Government remains concerned about all instances of tragic acts of firearm violence across our country. As part of our comprehensive review, we engaged with Canadians and experts through multiple formats, the results of which will help us determine next steps as to any possible changes to firearms legislation, all while respecting law-abiding gun owners.”

But some people in the community are still worried.

“I think it’s ridiculous. Banning guns in Canada…Taking guns away from good, honest citizens isn’t going to help take guns away from criminals. But the people committing crimes aren’t the ones who are going to have their guns taken away,” said Paul Hilliard, owner of Woods N’ Water, which sells firearms.

Hilliard supports gun registration, but said some of the provisions of Bill C-71 – which passed the Senate on May 28 – empower the RCMP to carry out gun bans.

“C-71 is giving the RCMP the ability to change the classification of a gun. They can go from non-restricted straight to prohibited. If tomorrow morning Trudeau wakes up and says ‘guns are banned’, he tells the RCMP to change the classification and it happens.”

“I don’t think it would be very good for my business. I [would] go from having whatever inventory I have and then the RCMP just throws it away. That would be devastating for most businesses.”

Bill C-71, which puts tighter restrictions on gun ownership has not been popular among many rural Canadians, including for people in the Burns Lake region.

READ MORE: Lakes District gun owners blast federal Bill C-71 on firearms rules

Karla Matson, a secretary at the Tweedsmuir Park Rod and Gun Club, said of the alleged plan by the Liberals that, “as a hunter, an avid shooter and being apart of the rod and gun, this announcement makes me livid.”

“This would cause a huge impact on the hunting and shooting community in and around Burns Lake. Take away the guns, you can’t hunt anymore. That just opens up a whole new problem in regards to animal management, whether it be ungulate or predator. Either way, this is a serious matter that every gun owner should take seriously.”

Whatever comes of the gun ban rumours, a poll from late May showed most Canadians support a ban on handguns and assault weapons.

The Angus Reid poll, published on May 24, showed that 61 per cent of Canadians would support a total ban on civilian possession of handguns, and 75 per cent support a ban on assault weapons.

With gun-related violence, differences were noted between urban and rural respondents: Forty-eight per cent in urban areas were concerned about gang violence versus 28 per cent in rural areas.

The main concerns for rural respondents were shootings during crimes at 38 per cent, suicide at 29 per cent and accidental shootings at 24 per cent.


Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
Send Blair an email
Like Lakes District News on Facebook

Just Posted

Community targets VQO rules amid fire safety concerns

Wildfire season is upon us in northern British Columbia, and some Burns… Continue reading

Sharing with the community

Staff at Save-On-Foods join the Share it Forward event at the store… Continue reading

RedRover talks animal care

Nicole Forsyth, Executive Director of RedRover, spoke in the Burns Lake Public… Continue reading

Alternative arts fest at LDSS

Lakes District Secondary School held its Alternative Arts Festival on May 28.… Continue reading

Smithers man receives two-year sentence for fatal car crash

Over a year after a fatal crash, a Smithers man has been sentenced to two years plus a day in jail.

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

Family frustrated Terrace dad with advanced cancer must wait weeks for treatment

‘We can see his health declining every day,’ daughter says

Most Read