Gun owners hold signs criticizing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as they participate in a rally organized by the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights against the government’s new gun regulations, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Pro-gun marchers speak out on federal government’s assault weapon ban

Trudeau government announced in May that it was banning the use, sale and import of assault weapons into Canada

Pro-gun activists marched in Ottawa on Saturday to contest what they describe as the “injustice and ineffectiveness” of the federal government’s assault weapon ban.

The Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights is behind the outdoor event on Parliament Hill, dubbed an “integrity march,” to advocate for the rights of its members.

The organization, which did not respond to a request for comment, said on its website the event was aimed at showing Canadians that gun owners are “your friends, colleagues and neighbours.”

In a post on its Facebook page, the group chided the federal government for its “ineffective and expensive” gun ban, saying Canadians don’t support it.

The Parliamentary Protective Service said roughly 800 people attended the event.

In May, the Liberal government announced it would be banning a range of 1,500 types of assault-style weapons, which it says were designed for the battlefield — not hunting or sport shooting.

Nathalie Provost, a survivor of the Polytechnique massacre and a spokeswoman for gun control group PolySeSouvient, said the objective of the federal government was not to penalize everyday citizens who take part in activities like hunting, for example.

“A hunter has the right to hunt. My family has hunters — there’s no problem,” Provost said. “What worries us the most is there is little gun control.”

Provost said she believes pro-gun activists are organizing the march because they are worried.

“They are worried about losing a privilege,” she said. “I think they are very worried and they realize many Canadians want those weapons removed from the market.”

The Trudeau government announced in May that it is now banning the use, sale and import of assault weapons into Canada. The government has set up a buy-back program to take the guns out of circulation, but that program would be voluntary and not compulsory, which rankles gun control advocates.

READ MORE: Feds ban more than 1,500 assault-style rifles in Canada

“The tap that allowed the entry of new assault weapons is closed, but there are still quite a few in the pool,” Provost said.

Provost wants these types of weapons to disappear completely from the Canadian landscape.

“The worst horror scene of my life — it didn’t last very long, but it killed six people. And (for) me, it’s four bullets in my body,” she said.

“It’s maddening the speed at which these weapons destroy.”

For its part, the CCFR has challenged the constitutionality of the Trudeau government’s ministerial order in Federal Court.

It argues in its challenge that the banned rifles are weapons intended for hunting and sport shooting, since that is how their owners have used them for decades.

The group argues that the new regulations, enacted by ministerial decree, are illegal and go beyond the scope of the powers conferred on the federal cabinet.

A spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Bill Blair defended the legality of the order, saying it came after months of public consultation.

“The use of an Order-in-Council is exactly the process the law provides for when it comes to classifying firearms,” Mary-Liz Power said in an email. ”The Conservative Party, under Stephen Harper, used orders in council to downgrade the classification of several dangerous weapons just before the 2015 election without any public consultation.”

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

gun controlgun lawsguns

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Oak Bay couple honoured for 35 years volunteering

Mayor awards distinguished Oak Leaf to Bert and Doris Dinsmore

Hospital foundation president praises generosity of Peninsula residents

Karen Morgan said support during COVID-19, financial and otherwise, has been touching

Meet the Liberal candidate for Oak Bay-Gordon Head

Roxanne Helme about ‘governance, not politics’

New Democrats on Saanich Peninsula still looking to announce candidate

While BC Liberals have nominated Stephen Roberts, New Democrats have not yet announced candidate

Sidney’s Cascadia Seaweed hopes to float to the top of a growing industry

Food products based on seaweed could hit local shelves in spring 2021

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Most Read