Jacob Blais was in the process of purchasing an AR-15 when the weapon was banned May 1 by the federal government. He has to settle for a picture of what might have been. Photo Andrea DeMeer

Princeton man foiled by federal gun ban

‘No one needs a Lamborghini either, but people still want them’

Jacob Blais was in the process of purchasing an AR-15, when the gun was banned last week by the federal government.

The Princeton gun enthusiast and target shooter had long coveted the weapon, and he was not reluctant to share his disappointment.

“This makes absolutely no sense,” he said in an interview with The Spotlight. “It’s not going to make anyone safer and it’s not going to reduce crime.”

On May 1, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a ban of 1,500 types of assault-style rifles, including the kind used in the 1989 Montreal mass shooting.

Related: Feds ban more than 1,500 assault-style rifles in Canada

Blais said some of the guns banned are no different, and perhaps even less efficient, that other semi-automatic rifles that are still legal.

“It’s just that these guns look scary.”

Ron Young, owner of Princeton Outdoor Supply, said his business will not be impacted by the ban, as the store does not sell restricted weapons.

“It’s not like you really need one of these to hunt a deer,” Young said.

However, Young is personally licensed to own or to sell the guns — as he was attempting to do with Blais — and now his one AR-15 rifle will collect dust.

“Basically it’s an $800 paperweight.”

It can’t even be taken outside.

Young said he knows dealers and shooters who have tens of thousands of dollars invested in weapons that are now useless.

The government has promised to introduce a buy-back program for the banned weapons to compensate owners, and is consider a grandfathering program, however, those details have yet to be announced. There is a two-year amnesty, giving owners time to dispose properly of their guns.

Young expressed concern with the way the ban was rolled out, through an order of council and during the COVID-19 crisis.

Blais acknowledged no one “needs” an assault style rifle.

“No one needs a Lamborghini either, but people still want them,” said Blais, who planned to use the rifle for target shooting.

Related: Police warn gun owners: Do not bring us your weapons

Princeton RCMP Sgt. Rob Hughes declined to give an opinion on the ban, but stressed gun owners who are affected should take great care. “Don’t take it out to the range for one last hurrah,” he said.

Also, anyone with a banned weapon who wants to surrender it to police should call the detachment and speak with an officer. “I can’t stress this enough. Do not show up at the detachment with a AR-15 (or any other gun),” said Hughes.

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Summerland once had Old English theme

Design guidelines were introduced in late 1980s

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Crews repair damaged lakefront walkway in Summerland

Flooding in 2017 and 2018 took toll on popular walking path

COVID-19: Keremeos legion reopening with reduced hours

Legion’s treasurer encourages locals to continue their longstanding support during the pandemic

COVID-19 ‘not a death sentence’ says Penticton woman after seeing senior mother recover

Cancer, blindness, a fractured hip, dementia, and COVID-19 not enough to bring Betty Jukes down

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Vancouver Foundation grants benefit Okanagan-Shuswap residents

Grants of up to $500 available for ideas that connect people socially or involve sharing skills

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Water quality advisory rescinded for Central Okanagan system

Turbidity levels improve enough to rescind advisory issued for Killiney Beach system May 11

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

UPDATE: Two sent to hospital following Okanagan highway accident

Drivers in head-on collision air-lifted to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries

Most Read