Local gun retailers are chipping away as the Federal government has introduced Bill C21 to restrict the sale and import of handguns.
Clay Smiley at Prophet River Firearms in Lloydminster says they are still transferring handguns at this time and they are uncertain if those transactions will be affected. They have been in business for 14-years and have a staff of 26. He foresees it will affect their revenue.
“I will have to do the math exactly, but I’m guessing just in the firearms alone, between one and a half and two million dollars a year. Then of course it’s all the things that go with it like the ammunition, targets, accessories, scopes. It will be a big hurt. We were trying to estimate; we figure it will probably cost us six employees.”
While they sell mostly hunting rifles, Smiley says there’s a market for cowboy guns or revolvers for mounted and target shooting. He adds “it’s bad for business and for people who use these guns recreationally.”
Cal Wakelin has operated Wildside Outdoors in Lloydminster for the last five years and estimates the loss of the handgun market will cost him about $70,000 a year.
“This is crazy. The Liberal government has come after the small business firearms. This along with the so-called non-registry registry, that they just put out here two weeks ago; our long guns have even suffered in the past two weeks since they have done this last registry.”
With respect to the use of guns to commit crimes like the recent school shooting at Uvalde, Texas, Wakelin says, “That is absolutely awful.” He calls for accountability.
“Anybody that is criminal, that does this kind of stuff; needs to have repercussions, period.”
In Wainwright, owner at CJ Firearms, Jim Callighen says,”It’s a little ridiculous.” He continues,”They promised not to do anything to legal gun-owners, but now they are dictating what we are allowed to do and what we are not allowed to do and not one word on the criminals. Not one word of stronger punishments.”
Bill C21 also proposes to increase maximum criminal penalties for gun smuggling and trafficking.
Callighen says he has had guns in his shop for 35-years and “they have not harmed anybody.”
The federal government also proposes the permanent alteration of long gun magazines, so they can never hold more than 5 rounds.