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

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

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
52 positive COVID-19 cases now associated with LNG Canada site outbreak

Eight cases still active, 44 considered recovered

The Kitimat River in July. (Clare Rayment photo)
Good News, Kitimat!

Bringing some local good news to your week

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross has been named critic for Environment and Climate Change Strategy for the BC Liberals. (Peter Versteege photo)
Skeena MLA Ellis Ross named critic for Environment and Climate Change Strategy

Previously, Ross was the critic for LNG, Resource Opportunities, and Responsible Development

Red sky in morning: an early-morning sunrise on May 16, 2020, captured just north of Kitimat. (Eric Roy photo)
Clare’s Corner: Hello, darkness, my old friend

Why does the after-work darkness affect you so much more as an adult than as a child?

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Haley Callison. (Facebook photo)
Former B.C. pro hockey player frustrated with COVID-deniers after horrific bout with virus

Haleigh Callison hopes people will follow precautions and tone down the rhetoric

A man stands in the window of an upper floor condo in Vancouver on March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Change made to insurance for B.C. condo owners amid rising premiums

Council CEO Janet Sinclair says the change will mean less price volatility

The Walking Curriculum gets students outside and connecting with nature. (Amanda Peterson/Special to S.F. Examiner)
‘Walking Curriculum’ crafted by SFU professor surges in popularity

The outdoor curriculum encourages students to connect with the natural world

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Most Read