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More firearms rules would hurt industry, says sporting arms association
Edmonton gun owners are telling federal leaders not to pull the trigger on stricter gun regulations for the potentially negative impact they could have on their industry.
The Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association released Saturday preliminary results of an economic impact survey by the Conference Board of Canada.
The report found Albertans spent more than $1 billion on hunting and sport shooting in 2018, and the industry contributed $764 million to the provincial GDP the same year. It was also estimated the industry also accounted for 5,000 full-time equivalent jobs in the province, and 14,000 across the nation.
CSAAA Managing Editor Alison De Groot told CTV News Edmonton the association wants to "expand the conversation beyond the pro- or anti-rhetoric that's at the top level of the debate."
She added, "If we're going to make sound policy here in Canada around firearms, it's really important to consider the economic impact of those policies in addition to other impacts in Canada."
At an event in Toronto earlier this month, while speaking alongside Toronto Mayor John Tory about efforts to reduce gun violence in that city, Trudeau said the Liberals would introduce new gun measures in the party's election platform.
"I very much look forward to the election campaign in which we will be able to share with Canadians our vision for how to keep Canadians safer," Trudeau said at the time. "That involves, yes, strengthening gun control but it also involves investments that ... are so deeply needed in community infrastructure."
But at the Phoenix Indoor Range and Gun Shop in Edmonton, opinions slant in the other direction.
"If there are firearms bans, it will be devastating to this industry," gun shop owner Lennard Kuzey said.
He said more public discussion is needed to counteract the stigma surrounding firearms.
"I see the shooting industry as total sport. It's enjoyed by millions of people, and most of them closeted. They don't tell people they're involved with shooting because the stigma associated with it. They enjoy it, but they don't tell their best friend that they do it."
The report by the Conference Board of Canada measures the economic impact of various outdoor industries, and is expected to be publicly released soon.
With files from Timm Bruch