Firearms and Western Canada

Most folks in Western Canada are responsible gun owners.  They realize that firearms are a more than just useful tool, they’re a necessity.

Like many, some of my first memories involving guns is shooting a single shot 22 calibre rifle through open sights at the venerable “gopher” or Richardson Ground Squirrel.  It taught me many things. I learned that firearms needed to be respected.  I learned that a gun isn’t a toy.  I also learned that it takes practice and skill to hit a target. 

I spent many an hour shooting gophers after school each spring – it’s a rite of passage in most parts of our western culture. Many who start with gophers go onto harvesting deer for their freezer or taking a few “honkers” in the fall from a blind – not only is it fun it can help put food on table when times are tough.

Hunting and sport shooting is also a valuable part of our economy. Hunting, fishing, trapping and sport shooting contributed $13.2 billion to Canada’s GDP. But there is more inherent value in firearm ownership than just the monetary figures.

I’m blessed to have a local gun store that has knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff that not only share their passion for the pastime but wealth of knowledge also.  This past spring I purchased a Canadian made rifle and was sighting it in with friends and neighbours.  The one neighbour had a friend with them that had never fired a gun. With some proper instruction on the safe operation of the rifle she shot and hit the target 2 times.  A huge smile filled her face followed by “can I do that again”, she hit it twice more. 

There was nothing sinister or evil about it, it was educational, it was a confidence booster, it was fun. For some reason, our overlords in the east wish to restrict and prohibit more firearms any chance they get.

The Federal Government likes to blur our laws here with crime and firearm statistics south of the border.  It’s a false equivalence. We have a stringent licensing program, as well as magazine capacity and barrel length restrictions – the US does not.  Our two countries are nothing alike in regard to firearms policy, yet those differences are rarely discussed by politicians.

Our licensed owners obey these rules, it’s the criminals that do not. It’s criminals who import automatic weapons and handguns, lack proper training and licensing and use them to commit crimes. Not legal and licensed Canadian firearm owners.

Not only that, most of these weapons used for illicit purposes are smuggled into Canada from the USA. Border protection is a one hundred per cent a federal responsibility, so why aren’t the Feds doing more to tackle a root cause of the problem instead of targeting responsible Canadians.

So how does this affect Western Canada? Where does the Maverick Party stand on Firearms?

The Maverick party supports the responsible use of firearms for hunting, sporting and for the protection of you and your property.  If people in GTA and other eastern urban centres wish to have stricter gun laws they can but leave us out of it.  Life is different when you are in a rural setting. 

We have dangerous wildlife, pests to control, and a desire protect ourselves from those who would do us harm. Despite it being a common misconception, we do have the right to protect ourselves.  People often get confused here, police protect society, you protect yourself. 

Many of us live in areas that the response time of the police is measured in hours, even days in some cases. In the event of a violent intruder the police will not stop your murder, they will only be able to investigate it.  Which is why it is our right in the west to be properly equipped to protect ourselves, our families and our way of life. 

We cannot have a government of our own choosing strip that away from us.  This is why more autonomy for western Canada is the answer for many of our frustrations, including this. The government sitting in Ottawa – be it Liberal or Conservative – is never chosen by the West. The election is over by the time you get to the Ontario-Manitoba border.

Thankfully, we have seen positive actions taken by prairie provincial governments to appoint Firearms officers provincially.  This is a step in the right direction.  Let the people in their own regions decide how they wish to treat firearms legislation.

Supporting the Maverick Party supports autonomy for western Canada but also supports our culture and way of life.  That means making sure you can protect yourself if the need arises.

Chuck Toney

Chuck is a Saskatchewan farmer and the current president of the Maverick Party Board of Governors. Feature image was generated using AI.