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Canadian Unlicensed Firearms Owners Association
Association canadienne des propriétaires d’armes sans permis

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Local gun enthusiast vows he won't obey handgun ban
 
Edward Hudson, an advocate against the federal gun registry, shows off
a hand gun he owns
Photograph by : Gord Waldner, The StarPhoenix
 

Nikhat Ahmed, The StarPhoenix
  Published: Friday, December 09, 2005

A sweeping handgun ban proposed by Prime Minister Paul Martin on
Thursday didn't hit local gun activists with a bang.

"I'm extremely disappointed," said Ed Hudson, an amateur gun collector
and duck hunter.
"I'm not obeying the Firearms Act, and I'm certainly not going to
follow this ban.
"I certainly support that everyone should live in a safe environment,
but the firearms registry and this additional ban does not do anything
to make people safer," he said.

Hudson owns 55 unregistered guns in total, including two handguns, and
is the secretary of the Canadian Unregistered Firearm Owners
Association.

According to the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, in 2004 there
were 172 firearm-related homicides in Canada, four of which were in
Saskatchewan. In the last 10 years, the province has seen a range of
firearms-related homicides, as few as two and as high as eight.
Saskatoon police spokesperson Alyson Edwards said in the last five
years, the city had two firearm-related homicides.

It is unknown how many of these homicides in Saskatchewan were caused
by handguns. However, Statistics Canada says of the total
firearm-related homicides in Canada between 1994 and 2004, handguns
were used 45 to 65 per cent of the time.

The numbers do not include firearms deaths caused by criminal
negligence, accidents and suicide. Statistics Canada says between 2000
and 2002 Saskatchewan had 33 suicides caused by a firearm.


In April of 2004, 35-year-old Andrew Wayne Moore was killed by a
Saskatoon police officer after trying to evade arrest and then pulling
a handgun on the constable in the back of confectionery.

In an effort to combat growing violence in urban centres, Martin
announced an anti-crime package while on the campaign trail in Toronto,
including a $30-million "Gunstoppers" program to help get rid of
illegal guns.

There is a narrow exception for legitimate target shooters who meet
strict guidelines.

About $50 million would go toward community efforts to reduce gun and
gang crime.

An additional $325 million would create an RCMP team of 250 officers to
combat gangs, organized crime and drug trafficking, and increase the
number of graduating RCMP officers to 1,400 a year by 2008.
Seventy-five officers would be hired to fight gun smuggling.
Hudson disagrees with the ban because he thinks it's designed for
"responsible gun owners" and won't stop smuggling.

"If somebody wants an illegal anything they're going to get it. I mean
they're going to get illegal drugs, they're going to get illegal
alcohol, they're going to get illegal firearms. Controlling what you
own, and controlling what I own, doesn't control what the criminals
own."

Joe Gingrich, a gun activist from the White Fox area, said he thinks
Canada is slowly moving toward total disarmament, and he isn't happy
about it."When only the police and criminals have firearms, it makes it
very difficult to defend yourself and be safe in a country like that."
He added the ban doesn't address the real issue because "the criminals
are the problem, not the guns."

Hudson also says the ban is unconstitutional and goes against the
"right to self-protection."

Chris Axworthy, the Liberal candidate for Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, noted
there is no "one-size fits approach" to dealing with this type of
problem.

"The handgun ban is only if the province or territory chooses to
implement it. It may very well be that while this is a big issue in
Ontario and requires a response there, that in Saskatchewan the
government might decide this is not important enough."

He added other aspects of the plan dealing with crime prevention and
more officers are important and will have a positive impact on
Saskatchewan.

City police Chief Russell Sabo said he wanted to go over the proposed
details before commenting.

nahmed@sp.canwest.com

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