Princeton Mayor Spencer Coyne has no interest in pulling the trigger on a municipal ban of handguns.
“If council feels they need to (discuss it) that’s one thing, but it won’t be brought up by me, I can tell you that,” Coyne said.
The mayor was responding to newly tabled gun legislation that would allow municipalities to ban handguns through bylaws restricting their possession, storage and transportation.
The Liberal government said the measures would be backed up with serious penalties to enforce these bylaws, including jail time for people who violate municipal rules.
Under the plan, firearms licence holders would have to comply with handgun storage and transport restrictions in municipalities that pass bylaws.
Such bylaws could forbid keeping handguns at home, meaning they would have to be stored at a licensed business, or they might go further by outlawing handguns anywhere in a municipality.
“I’m very disappointed in the federal government right now, when it comes to firearms control. I think this is downloading to municipalities.”
Coyne said he can’t even conceive of how local legislation would be enforced.
“What are we supposed to do, send out the bylaw officer? The bylaw officer doesn’t even carry a gun.”
Response from communities across B.C. has been mixed.
Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki, said handguns and their legality should not be left up to municipalities.
Salmon Arm Mayor Alan Harrison also has no interest in creating city bylaws targeting handguns. He suggested such enforcement matters belong to higher levels of government.
Others, like Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart are already planning to implement a city-wide ban on handguns.
The Spotlight was unable to reach a representative of the Princeton Gun Club for comment. The gun club operates out of a municipally-owned building on Veterans Way.
–With files from Black Press Media and Canadian Press
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