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

Williams Lake First Nation inks historic cannabis deal with B.C. government

The agreement paves the way for WLFN to sell cannabis to the government, and open stores across B.C.

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

Six additional COVID-19 cases overnight in Interior Health region

The total number of cases within the region is now at 486

Controversy in Fraser-Nicola riding as NDP names their candidate

Entire riding association executive resigns after Aaron Sumexheltza wins NDP nomination

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

16 COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health region

One person is in hospital and 34 people are isolating

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

Most Read