In 2021, Saskatchewan took provincial control of its firearms program from the federal government with the appointment of a Chief Firearms Officer. The office now administers the Firearms Act in Saskatchewan, which includes jurisdiction over the licensing, storage, transportation and carrying of firearms.
The government recently appointed a Firearms Advisory Committee to provide recommendations on firearms policy.
Dwayne Davison, president of the Lloydminster & District Fish and Game Association is sharing his thoughts on these developments as he looks forward to the work of the committee.
“I am quite excited about this Firearms Advisory Committee. What it does is it puts some very knowledgeable people in an advisory position for the government’s position on various things when it comes to guns. How things are done and potentially could shape the direction on how the government looks at things.”
Officials say the committee brings together a wide cross section that includes the Saskatchewan Association of Firearm Education (SAFE), Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, Saskatchewan Trappers Association, Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM), the Canadian Sport Shooting Association, firearms safety instructors, hunters, sports shooters and anglers.
Davison says more information is good both for the general public and the government as they seek input.
With regard to staying safe, he notes when it comes to a hunting party, for example four persons, the general rule is to know where everyone is and be aware of your surroundings.
“You have got to be wary whenever you’re going hunting. You have got to know exactly what you are shooting at and make sure there is nothing behind there. If you miss the bullet always goes past, it does not stop at the animal when you miss. So it’s all just part of good firearm safety and knowing where your bullet is going and where you are actually pointing your gun at.”
He says a good example of being aware of your surroundings comes into focus when a hunter observes an animal on a hillside.
“That’s called being skylined. Never ever shoot that because if you miss, you never know where the bullet is going. It goes a long distance for these high powered rifles.”
When it comes to storage, Davison says this is also critical.
“The Canadian laws are very pointed as far as [gun] protection and having them locked away at all times. You can’t just leave stuff lying around, whether it’s ammo or guns. They have to be locked up at all times unless you are transporting. And there are special transport permits for any restricted guns that fall into that category.”
The Firearms Advisory Committee members are:
- Gilbert White, Chairperson
- Geoffrey Dufour, Board Member
- Dan D’Autremont, Board Member
- Garry Breitkreuz, Board Member
- John Lawson, Board Member
- Joyce Lorenz, Board Member
- Darryl Yausie, Board Member.