By Justin Seward
The federal government introduced a new gun control legislation with amendments last month.
Amendments to Bill C-21 include making communities safe and at the same time respecting law-abiding gun owners.
Combating intimate partner and gender-based violence and self-harm, involving firearms by creating a “red flag” and “yellow flag” laws would be included in the proposed legislature.
“ These laws would allow people, such as concerned friends or relatives to apply to court for an immediate removal of an individual’s firearms, or to ask a Chief Firearms officer to suspend and review an individual’s license to own firearms,” as read in the Feb. 16 news release.
Increasing criminal penalties to gun smugglers and traffickers, supporting safer communities with those that ban handguns through bylaws restricting storage and transportation in their jurisdiction, giving young people the opportunities and resources needed to avoid criminal behaviour, the complete prohibition of assault-style fire arms and protect Canadians from gun violence would also be included in the bill.
“I think it’s ridiculous,” said Dunmore’s Canadian Gun Hub owner Rocky Rutledge.
“It’s not going to change anything. There’s thousands and thousands of hand guns within the City of Medicine Hat alone. To do something like that is not going to make the community safer. It’ll probably make the community more dangerous if anything else because criminals will be a lot more apt to kick anybody’s door in, knowing there’s not going to be a handgun on the other side.”
Rutledge said given municipalities the ability to ban the transfer sale of hand guns is not going to make the community safer, as criminals are going to do what they’re going to do.
“They’re going to bring guns into your city whether you like it or not,” he said.
“Drugs have been illegal for a very long time, just like criminals aren’t allowed to have guns either, but they still always get their hands on them and they always will. In order to store a hand gun in your house, its got to be in a locked vault with a trigger lock on it—it’s not easily accessible to anybody. They’re usually hidden out of sight—so taking those away or in stopping people from the ability of having them in their homes doesn’t make the community safer.”
Rutledge thinks tougher penalties for criminals that are in possession of any kind of firearms would sure help.
“We haven’t seen any of that,” he said.
“We’ve seen criminals just get their guns taken away—they’re back on the street the next day. We end up going to the police station, taking those guns and selling them anyways.”
On the flip side, the proposed legislation could boost the Canadian Gun Hub’s range and store retail.
“What it could do is actually boost our range because everybody has to pay memberships out here, storage fees and everything else to store their hand guns,” said Rutledge.
“But on the flip side a lot of people will just sell them off. So it’ll drive their price of guns down.”
Canadian Gun Hub gets 40 people on average per month that come in and do the licensing process to buy hand guns and firearms.