SCI Denounces Canadian Bill Amendments Banning Hunting Firearms

Safari Club International condemns the Canadian government’s latest sneak attack on hunters, which if implemented as intended would qualify as the most extensive firearm ban in the country’s history.

Liberal MP Paul Chiang introduced two shady amendments (with designations G4 and G46) to the Liberal Party’s gun control legislation, Bill C-21. Although the bill was initially targeted at handgun control, both amendments would restrict thousands of long guns commonly used in hunting and sport shooting.  Passage of the first amendment (G46) will add a 478-page list of specifically banned firearm models to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s already extreme list of 1,500 firearms immediately banned in 2020. These include thousands of additional models of hunting rifles and shotguns. MP Chiang’s second amendment (G4) expands the definition of prohibited firearms to include those “designed to accept a detachable cartridge magazine with a capacity greater than five cartridges of the type for which the firearm was originally designed.”

Bill C-21 was initially sold by Liberals as a way to target weapons most commonly used in crimes involving a firearm, so these amendments have no practical goal except to target law abiding hunters. Members of Canada’s Conservative Party have said as much and have already clarified their opposition in the media, highlighting how these amendments are not a solution to improving public safety and would have harsh impacts. Conservative MP Raquel Dancho said the Liberal government is “going after Grandpa Joe’s hunting rifle instead of gangsters in Toronto.”

While this outrageous ban poses a clear threat to law-abiding gun owners and hunters in Canada, it is also highly concerning for American hunters who will not be able to travel to Canada with their firearms or otherwise use many commonly owned hunting firearms once in Canada. This will disincentivize Americans from hunting in Canada, creating a devastating economic impact on the industry and communities that has contributed approximately $1.13 billion Canadian dollars to the country’s GDP this year alone. 

Furthermore, the implementation and enforcement of the amendments remains very unclear, giving credence to arguments of Conservatives and the sporting community that this is nothing more than a way for emotionally driven political leaders to check a box on their gun control agenda, all at the expense of hunters. The ban’s projected cost has also been severely lowballed, contributing to its unrealistic and unfair elements.

“This cowardly attack on hunters and rural livelihoods flies in the face of repeated statements from Prime Minister Trudeau and members of the Liberal Party who insisted they weren’t coming after the hunters who play a critical role in wildlife conservation,” said SCI CEO W. Laird Hamberlin. “The motives of these political figures cannot be trusted, and sportsmen and women in Canada and across the world must stand firm against proposals like MP Paul Chiang’s knowing they have the full support of SCI members in Canada and across the world.”

SCI will continue its fight against repeated assaults on Canada’s hunting heritage and strongly urges Members of Parliament to strike down this radical proposal.