Nicole Franks (left) and Shawn Murphy (right) of the Aldergrove-based Thunderbird Fast Draw Club (Langley Advance Times file)

Nicole Franks (left) and Shawn Murphy (right) of the Aldergrove-based Thunderbird Fast Draw Club (Langley Advance Times file)

New handgun ban bad news for Lower Mainland fast draw club

‘The six-gun stuff that we do is not the kind that is used in crimes’

A proposed change that would allow Canadian municipalities to ban all handguns poses a problem for the Aldergrove-based Thunderbird Fast Draw Club, according to Den Robinson, the club public relations director.

Robinson, a champion quick draw competitor who is also the fast draw director at the Langley Rod and Gun Cub, said if Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum make good their promise to impose handgun bans under the new law, it will affect many club members who live in those communities.

That’s despite the fact the guns used in fast draw competition are old-fashioned revolvers that shoot wax bullets and are stored according to strict regulations, Robinson told Black Press Media.

“We’ve got the gun in one room, in a safe, the key [to the safe] in another room, and the ammo in another,” Robinson told Black Press Media.

“The six-gun stuff that we do is not the kind that is used in crimes,” remarked Robinson.

READ ALSO: Langley couple are the fastest guns in the world

Robinson thinks the bans will probably see some people leave the sport.

He doubts the new measures will have much impact on gun violence, because it appears most of those semi-automatic pistols are being smuggled in by criminals.

“Those guns are going to keep coming in,” Robinson predicted.

“It’s not going to change things crime-wise.”

He added “even Japan allows for ‘specialized’ handguns being used for the fast draw sport there.”

Robinson said one of the federal government’s “hidden agendas” is to “weaken gun clubs and pro-gun organizations, and make it easier for this particular government to divide and conquer.”

Tabled on Tuesday, Feb. 16, the federal gun legislation would allow municipalities to ban handguns through bylaws restricting their possession, storage and transportation.

READ ALSO: Trudeau government would allow municipalities to ban handguns under new bill

It would also introduce new “red flag” and “yellow flag” laws that would allow people, such as concerned friends or relatives, to apply to the courts for the immediate removal of a person’s firearms, or to ask a chief firearms officer to suspend and review an individual’s licence to own guns.

Penalties for gun smuggling and trafficking will be harsher, and the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency are promised more resources to combat illegal importation of firearms.

New offences for altering the cartridge magazine component of a gun and depicting violence in firearms advertising will be created. There will be tighter restrictions on imports of ammunition, and a ban on the import, export, sale or transfer of replica firearms.


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