Re: Shocked by gun ad, Dec. 10.
It is already illegal for anyone to possess a firearm in Canada (without a licence). This applies to private citizens, law enforcement, conservation officers and border guard personnel.
But the professions that use them and the civilians who either hunt, shoot recreationally or compete in organized sports (rapid-fire pistol is an Olympic event) are legally permitted to acquire and possess them because they’ve been granted a licence to do so. You can’t buy a gun without one, and the notion that gang members are wandering in to a local sporting goods store on their way to a drive-by and picking one up on sale is a complete fantasy.
Obtaining a PAL (Possession and Aquisition Licence) requires the applicant to pay for and attend a course that includes both classroom study and the passing of a comprehensive written exam. This is followed by background checks by the RCMP and Canadian Firearms Program and at least a six-month wait before it shows up in the mail. Once received, the licencee is checked for any behaviours that may be of concern.
So criminals who use firearms are already banned from having handguns because most if not all are known to police, and the screening process will have precluded them from ever obtaining a licence. They’re not getting them from a store.
Firearms are the most strictly regulated product in Canada. Licensed owners who legally purchase them from licensed businesses are not the problem and to infer that (either of them) are is simply misinformed rhetoric.
And responsible corporate citizens like Black Press have every right to earn revenue by selling ad space to businesses that sell legal products to fully vetted, adult purchasers.