FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – MP Bob Zimmer says the proposed provincial legislation targeting illegal firearms creates more problems than it solves, especially for law-abiding gun owners.
On March 4th, the NDP government proposed a Firearm Violence Prevention Act, which public safety minister Mike Farnworth says would have little to no impact on law-abiding gun owners.
Zimmer says having provincial and federal legislation does a disservice to the community.
“When one is a provincial law, one is a federal law, and they’re different. If they were all the same, it wouldn’t be an issue, but with these differences, it gets to be confusing,” says Zimmer.
The bill proposes measures that target imitation firearms, stiffer penalties for motorists transporting illegal firearms, as well as better record-keeping at gun ranges.
The proposed legislation intends to crack down on gun violence in the province, but Zimmer says there are better ways to spend resources to get better results.
“Can you not put these resources into inner cities, increased enforcement, dealing with border agents, and giving them more people and resources to deal with the real problem of illegal firearms coming across the border?”
Another subject Zimmer says was not properly thought out surrounds restrictions on imitation and low-velocity firearms.
“Anything that travels below 500 feet per second is going to be called low velocity and prohibited in certain circumstances. My 16-year-old son is involved in paintball. I’ve done paintball myself; it’s very enjoyable and safe. Even to purchase ammunition, which is defined under this legislation as a paintball, minors aren’t going to be allowed to do that or be in possession of it.”
Another provision in the proposed legislation bans shooting from a boat.
“Most guys that I know that go duck hunting; they do it from a boat. So it puts a whole group of duck hunters possibly prohibited from doing so in the future.”
While Zimmer agrees with the legislation’s intent, keeping our streets and our kids safe, he says they really need to aim at the right target.
“If they’re trying to make our streets safer, keep our kids safe. We’ve seen an increase in illegal firearm violence in places like Vancouver, Toronto, and other cities. Lawful firearms owners are not the problem, they need to direct their focus on illegal firearms and gangs.”