Main menu


Canada's handgun ban has sparked mixed reactions in Sask.

featured image

Organizations in Saskatchewan have had mixed reactions to the temporary handgun import ban introduced by the federal government.

Effective August 19, the measure will prevent “nearly all” individuals and businesses from importing handguns into Canada.

The Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation opposes the move.

“Without this generation, no one in Canada can own a handgun,” said Gilbert White, chairman of the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation’s recreational firearms committee.

White said sports shooters would be most affected. He said the ban would likely reduce the number of sports shooters in the federation, making it more difficult to raise funds.

“These sports shooters join our federations and join our clubs. I will,” said White.

“Revenues will decline due to declining membership and participation in fundraising efforts.”

He said the money will be used to purchase habitat, wildlife land and complete fishing projects.

White added that potential Olympic shooters would also be affected, as feeder tissue would be reduced.

“They no longer put feeders into the program. No one else will,” he said.

“As a kid, I couldn’t hold a handgun, so I’m never going to be good enough for the Olympics.”

Saskatchewan’s chief firearms officer, Robert Freberg, said he is not in favor of banning handguns.

“We certainly do not support any type of handgun freeze that can only be seen as negatively targeting law-abiding firearm owners,” Freberg said.

“It doesn’t really address the issue of illegal firearms being brought into the country, primarily from the United States.”

Freberg added that businesses across the state will feel the pinch from gun control.

“[Businesses] Caught blind. They were incapable of planning this. They will lose revenue and for some will be put out of business,” he said Freberg.

“Many of them are good representatives and good supporters of responsible firearms ownership because they work with law enforcement partners to report all sorts of activities they consider illegal.”

Over the past 10 months, Freberg said states have had more and more success with gun control, making it a good alternative for the federal government.

“We have almost doubled the number of licenses revoked or denied from firearm owners who have been subject to mental health or public safety concerns or red flags raised about owning a firearm.” he said.

Meanwhile, the Regina Police Service said a ban on handguns could lead to safer communities.

“Reducing the number of guns in the community is probably a good thing from a public safety standpoint,” said Deputy Chief Lorily Davis.

“We have a large number of firearms stolen from legal gun owners throughout the year. Reducing the total number of guns would probably create a safer environment.”

Davis said Regina typically doesn’t see a ton of guns coming into her community from the United States.

“[The ban] It may not have as much impact as it does in big cities. ”

She said it’s too early to say whether the ban can have a direct correlation with crime statistics.