Ponoka Fish and Game against federal rifle ban

Association says the ban is a ‘piece of nonsense’

The Ponoka Fish and Game Association (PFGA) is adamantly against the federal government’s ban on thousands of models of assault-style firearms that was announced on May 1.

“The Ponoka Fish and Game is not in favour of banning any of the present legal firearms that are for sale on the market at gun stores all over Canada,” said PFGA publicity director Robert Greene on behalf of the association.

While the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti stated in a press release that, “Weapons designed for the battlefield have no place on our streets or in our communities,” the PFGA says the ban won’t keep illegal guns out of Canada and the real solution is education.

“This ban will not keep any type of illegal gun off the market as they will come in illegally from other sources from all points of the globe,” said Greene.

“We, as a fish and game club, teach the Canadian Firearms Safety courses which would be of much more help to everyone than any kind of ban which only punishes the honest gun owners all across Canada.

“We have taught thousands of people over the years and have not heard of anyone violating the gun safety that they were taught.

“All of those who helped pass this piece of nonsense need to take a safety course as it is plain to see that they do not know anything about firearms.”

The ban includes 1,500 types of assault-style rifles, including the Ruger Mini-14, the M14 semi-automatic, the Beretta CX4 Storm, the CSA-VZ-58. The banned models represent nine categories of firearms and two types identified by characteristic. Some of their components are also prohibited.

The government estimates there are currently 100,000 restricted firearms in Canada that are now prohibited.

These newly prohibited firearms and components cannot be legally used, sold, or imported.

Owners of the now-banned model of guns have two years to comply with the new rules under the amnesty order under the Criminal Code before they become criminally liable.

Exceptions include Indigenous peoples exercising their rights to hunt in order to sustain themselves or their families.

The government says a buyback program will offer fair-market value for legally purchased firearms that fall under the ban. The Alberta government was swift to respond to the ban, with Premier Jason Kenney and Solicitor General Doug Schweitzer issuing a joint statement later the same day.

“Today’s order by Ottawa does little to target criminals,” said Kenney in the release.

“Instead, Ottawa is singling out law-abiding Canadians who purchased their property legally, have owned these items safely for years, and who have committed no crimes.”

Schweitzer says the Alberta government will “scrutinize” the ban and explore potential responses through Motion 14, passed by Alberta in November, 2019, that supports Albertans’ ability to lawfully and responsibly own firearms for hunting, sport shooting, and other permitted activities.

Alberta is also considering appointing its own chief firearms officer (CFO) to replace the CFO appointed by Ottawa.

READ MORE: Gun violence drops in Ponoka, increases slightly in central Alberta

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