CALGARY – Some gun owners in Calgary are worried the Liberal government will soon be turning its attention to their sports.
The Liberal government has so far broken a promise to immediately implement firearm marking regulations to help police trace guns used in crime.
Gun groups say the plan is costly and won’t accomplish anything.
On Saturday, hundreds packed the BMO Centre to check out the Calgary Gun Show.
Exhibitors ranged from manufacturers and gun clubs to biathlon teams. Many of them were up in arms about plans to require new markings on firearms.
“We are just frustrated because we feel it won’t accomplish anything,” Hank Holm said. “I think their next step is to threaten the gun owners. That’s what we’re a little nervous about.”
The rules would require firearms made in Canada to bear the serial number and the word ‘Canada’. Imported guns would have to say ‘Canada’ and the year of import.
“So adding a Canada or year of import, I don’t know what the purpose is. What’s that going to do for anything?” Del Strazza from Country Classics Shooting Supplies said.
The measures would help Canada meet the requirements of the a U.N. firearms protocol to help detect firearms trafficking and smuggling.
“When the United Nations drafted this bill, they were thinking of huge movements of military-style weapons to terrorist groups and to countries with civil wars and insurgents,” Walt Filler from Guns of the Golden West said. “As a policy for Canada, it just doesn’t fit.”
Gun owners aren’t impressed with how much they’ll have to pay to engrave their firearms – some say it would cost an estimated $100 to $200.
“The only people it affects are the legal, law-abiding gun owners of Canada. We pay the bill for this,” said Filler.
During the federal campaign, the Liberals promised a series of measures including enhanced background checks.
Last fall, the Liberals specified they would not reintroduce the long-gun registry scrapped in 2012.
The long-planned gun marking regulations were delayed by the the previous Conservative government several times. It was most recently pushed back to June 2017.
The office of the Public Safety Canada did not provide a requested update on the marking initiative.