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'Small Victory': Sask. reacts to liberal gun amendment removal


Saskatchewan is reacting to the removal of controversial amendment G4 to Bill C-21 by the federal Liberals, which banned certain semi-automatic rifles and shotguns.

“It’s a small victory,” said Cache Tactical Supply Inc. owner Aaron Strauss.

The amendment introduced a new definition of an "assault-style" gun that included semi-automatic rifles and shotguns with a capacity of more than five cartridges.

Strauss said the ban would affect 30 to 40 per cent of his business.

“These are all rifles that are used legally and responsibly across Canada,” Strauss said.

His store set up a letter-writing station for those opposed to the bill, and over 800 letters have been sent to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security (SECU).

“The hunter, the sports shooter, they’re not causing the problem,” said Strauss.

However, a change of tune came from the federal Liberals Friday, who removed the amendment following huge uproar from guns rights activists, organizations, hunters and other law-abiding gun owners.

“Gun control started well over 100 years ago so it’s nothing really new,” said Gil White of the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation. “But it seams like they attacked hunters basically for the first time.”

Sask. Premier Scott Moe told CTV News in a statement he was, “pleased to hear the federal government has withdrawn their amendments to Bill C-21.”

Moe thanked everyone who voiced their concerns to Ottawa.

“Thank you for the work done by our Chief Firearms Officer in protecting the law-abiding firearm owners in Saskatchewan,” he said.

The province’s CFO Robert Freberg said Ottawa failed to consult with the provinces.

“We weren’t asked what could be done to help [reduce] the problem,” said Freberg. “We’re responding to legislation we feel targets the wrong individuals.”

“We acknowledge and regret the consultations we undertook were not sufficient,” said Federal Government House Leader and Liberal MP Mark Holland.

He added it is still the goal of the government to get assault-style guns of the streets.

“It is not our intention to impact those who are hunting and using firearms for hunting,” he said.

Freberg believes this is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done to control illegal guns.

“We need funding,” he said. “Whether border services, municipal police or RCMP partners, these jobs require significant resources and strategies to keep up with demand and the increasing workload.”

White wanted to see continued education for both those who owned guns, and those who may never own a gun.

“We’re not the U.S.,” he said. “We have a lot of good laws in Canada and we do have good training. What we have now is better than a lot of countries.”

“I don’t think there needs to be any changes to the PAL and RPAL programs,” said Strauss, who said getting certified to own a gun can take up to a year. “Once the RCMP clears you as being safe through a background check, you can then get a license and I can sell you a firearm. It is not an easy process.”

Freberg believes more consultation in the future could lead to success.

“We want to be taking that message back to Ottawa and giving them a made in Saskatchewan solution that can be more productive,” he said.

The government said it plans to continually amend Bill C-21 to ensure it addresses gun violence in Canada. Top Stories

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