A local hunter says the decision to withdraw amendments to Bill C-21 is great news.
The Liberal government had introduced amendments, which if approved, would have added some popular shotguns and hunting rifles to the list of firearms that are prohibited in Canada. However, this resulted in considerable backlash from Canadians. On Friday morning, it was announced that the Liberal Government had withdrawn the amendments.
"I am excited obviously," says Caleb Fenton, an avid hunter from Mitchell.
Fenton explains the Liberals were looking to add a lot of semi-automatic firearms to this list; ones that could hold more than five rounds or had a detachable magazine. He notes had these amendments gone through, it would have had a considerable impact on him personally.
Fenton says one of the firearms that would have been prohibited is one that he uses for hunting. Another one is a firearm he uses for predator control. Fenton explains that sometimes farmers or friends will contact him to get rid of coyotes that are attacking their chickens or young calves.
'Where there's maybe one or two coyotes, a bolt action or a lever action wouldn't be quick enough for a rapid successive shot," he explains. "And so some of the predators that would be harming farm animals or chickens, they would just come back."
When it comes to gun control, Fenton says obviously whatever the Liberals have done until now is not working.
"What we're seeing in Canada with the increase in violent crimes, these laws are not putting a dent in crimes involving firearms," he says.
Fenton notes simply banning firearms is not the answer, noting firearms owners are among the safest citizens in Canada because of the rigorous testing they are put through. Fenton explains that in order to own a firearm, he needs to take a full-day course, pass an exam and complete a background check through the RCMP.
"If there is any issues as far as mental health, if you've had criminal activity in the past, you are going to get flagged and you won't be able to get your license and you won't be able to get firearms legally," he points out.
Further to that, Fenton says Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) and Restricted Possession and Acquisition Licence (RPAL) holders are subject to a daily background check.
Fenton says to his understanding, Bill C-21 was originally put forward as a handgun ban and currently there is a freeze on purchasing, selling, trading or even inheriting a handgun in Canada. He notes it appears that the Liberals are not pushing through the amendments because a lot of these firearms they wanted to add to the list are simply hunting shotguns, hunting rifles or guns used for sport shooting by individuals in competition.