The federal government's newly-proposed legislation, meant to tighten rules around the sale and tracking of firearms, has raised several questions from the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM).
SARM President Ray Orb said his initial concern was the Federal Government would attempt to bring back a registry system for long rifles, but after denials from Prime Minister Trudeau and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, Orb is taking the federal government at their word.
"We have some confidence, I guess, that Minister Goodale has said the government is not going there," he said.
The proposed bill, tabled Tuesday, would require gun retailers to keep records of firearms inventory and sales for at least 20 years. This measure is intended to assist police when they are investigating gun trafficking and other crimes. While Orb said he supports the move to better track handguns and other restricted weapons, he voiced concern over the cost to smaller vendors.
"We have some smaller operations around rural Saskatchewan where gunsmiths may be operating, and we are actually going to be talking to some of those people to see if they are concerned about it," Orb said.
The proposed legislation would also require the buyer of a hunting rifle or shotgun to present a firearms licence, while the seller would have to ensure its validity. Orb said he will want to know more details, specifically whether it will create delays.
"If I go into a Canadian Tire at 8 p.m., will there be someone there? They need to verify that I actually have a valid license, and will that hold up the process," Orb said
northeastNOW has reached out to several local gun store owners for comment, though all declined to speak publicly until they had a chance to examine the finer details of the proposed legislation.
--With files from the Canadian Press.
On Twitter: @nigelmaxwell
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