Salmon Arm’s mayor has no interest in creating city bylaws targeting handguns.
On Tuesday, Feb. 16, the federal Liberal government tabled legislation that would allow municipalities to ban handguns through bylaws restricting their possession, storage and transportation.
Under the plan, firearms licence holders would have to comply with handgun storage and transport restrictions in municipalities that pass bylaws.
According to the government, the measures would be backed up with serious penalties to enforce these bylaws, including jail time for people who violate municipal rules.
While city council had yet to discuss the bill, Salmon Mayor Alan Harrison said he doesn’t see local bylaws regulating handguns as a priority at this time.
Harrison said he understood why mayors in metropolitan areas might be interested, including Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart, who said he would be asking his city council to use the new powers, should they become law, to implement a ban on handguns. However, Harrison suggested such enforcement matters belong to higher levels of government.
“Sometimes, when you look to adopt something… you’re not only adopting the ability to legislate, you’re also taking on enforcement and cost,” said Harrison. “For us at this time, we’re working on a lot of other things and I don’t don’t’ see it something that we’ll be looking into.”
With files by Canadian Press.