As more details emerge about a proposed buy-back program for restricted firearms, gun owners worry that the prices set by the federal government are missing the mark.
According to Public Safety Canada, the planned mandatory buy-back program would cover more than 1,500 models and variants of what the government considers assault-type firearms, originally banned two years ago.
In July, the government offered a series of prices for confiscated weapons, for example, $1,337 in compensation for the surrender of an AR-15 rifle, while at the high end of the scale, confiscation of a Swiss Arms SG550 could bring an owner $6,209.
But George Fritz, a high school teacher and firearms enthusiast in Sudbury, said the details amounted to nothing more than “safety theater” as the prices set by the federal government could be much lower than the ones the owners originally bought the guns for, and doesn’t do much. to keep illegal firearms off the streets.
“The prices they offered are likely to make most gun owners say ‘yeah, that’s right,'” Fritz said. “Because the prices do not reflect the reality of what people have spent. They are talking about $1337 for an AR-15 where the AR-15 can cost up to $4-5000 depending on the manufacturer and the model.”
“Then the [government] talks about things like guns that have over 10,000 joules of energy,” Fritz said, citing the government’s offer of $2,814 for firearms with muzzle energy over 10,000 joules.
“Depending on its caliber and who it’s made by, it can cost $5, 10, 15, 20 or even $100,000.”
“The amount the Liberals are offering, or saying they are going to offer, is downright insulting in many cases.”
Brian Ramakko, owner of Ramakko’s Source For Adventure, told CBC News that the attempt to keep many of these restricted weapons away from owners does not target the demographic that is likely to use weapons in the commission of a crime. crime.
“People who buy these guns from a store like ours are doctors, lawyers, wealthy people who do well in their careers, who like to hunt and go on safaris or excursions.”
“Justin is on the wrong track.”
A statement from Public Safety Canada acknowledged that while gun control can be a contentious issue, they are considering a balanced approach between safety and responsible gun ownership.
“No single program or initiative can meet the challenge of armed violence on its own,” the July 28 statement said. “That’s why interdiction and redemption are two of many elements of the government’s comprehensive plan to keep Canadians safe.”
“It starts at our borders, where we’ve added resources to fight smuggling and keep guns out of Canada. We invest in prevention programs to address the root causes of gun crime and stop it before it starts. Finally, we recently introduced Bill C-21 – Canada’s most significant gun violence measure in a generation – which includes a nationwide freeze on handgun ownership, new “red flag” laws to end domestic violence and tougher penalties for organized crime. »
Justin is on the wrong track-Brian Ramakko
In June, Public Safety Minister Mark Mendicino told CBC The House that he is aware of concerns about the smuggling of illegal firearms across the border.
He said his department is working to give law enforcement the tools they need to counter increasingly sophisticated smugglers who use high-speed boats, hidden compartments in trucks, drones and even helicopters to supply a lucrative illegal arms market in this country.
“We have already provided $350 million specifically to fight organized crime and we will be renewing that particular fund in the weeks and months to come,” Mendicino said, adding that Bill C-21 will increase the maximum penalty. for smuggling and giving the police additional powers in the form of wiretapping and surveillance of suspected criminals.
Mendicino said the government also intends to ‘ensure that ‘the police’ use technology, whether it’s X-ray technology, such as scanning commercial vehicles where firearms can be integrated, or even new technologies to monitor the sky”.
Ottawa will seek feedback from gun owners, businesses and industry on the proposed compensation amounts by Aug. 28.