The federal government’s new regulations on firearms acquisition, ownership and transportation are not popular among some gun owners in the province. The new legislation includes enhanced background checks on those seeking to purchase guns, standardized record-keeping by gun vendors, restoring a classification system, and increased stipulations on the transport of restricted firearms.
The government release announcing the new regulations justifies the law by stating “crime rates generally in Canada have been on the decline for more than two decades, but offences involving firearms have become more prevalent, especially since 2013."
"Many communities across the country have been facing a steady increase in gun violence over the past five years,” Ralph Goodale, minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, stated. “With this legislation and our other measures, we are taking concrete steps to make our country less vulnerable to the scourge of gun violence, while being fair to responsible, law-abiding firearms owners and businesses."
Jody Wilson-Raybould, minister of justice and attorney general of Canada added: "Canadians expect and deserve safe communities, free of gun violence. This proposed legislation will help keep firearms out of the hands of criminals, and respect law-abiding gun owners. “
Dave Sperry, president of the Northwest Arm Rod and Gun Club says that everyone he’s spoken with thinks there were enough regulations before the government created more and that it is just adding bureaucratic red tape to responsible, law abiding gun owners. He says that laws around gun handling were first implemented in the 1930s and were adjusted over several decades to include every facet of ownership including background checks; spousal support; training; the storage of guns and ammo; the licensing of how, where and when they can be used; and how they are transported.
Sperry believes that “the new regulations were put in place for the federal government to appear to look like they are doing something about people’s concerns regarding gun violence, but that responsible gun owners end up carrying the burden intended to stop illegal activity.”
Sperry points out that “although the government claims the new legislation is intended to stop illegal gun use and activity, criminals don’t go through the proper channels anyway so there’s no point in over-regulating the people who do.”
Mark Lomond, chair of the southwest Newfoundland chapter of Delta Waterfowl, agrees that the new legislation “will do nothing to stem gun violence and will simply burden law abiding gun owners and hunters and force people to give up ownership.”
He maintains that the federal government is “fear mongering on the back of terrible social issues being experienced due to social media and video games. It is all designed to reduce legal gun ownership and is detrimental to the legal gun community by making more hoops to jump. We already have licenses and are trained, this is bullshit.”