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Chief Provincial Firearms Officer to Promote Gun Safety in Manitoba

DAUPHIN — A re-elected PC government will appoint a Chief Provincial Firearms Officer (CPFO) to promote gun safety and better serve law-abiding gun owners in Manitoba, Gord Wood, PC candidate for Dauphin, announced today.

“The NDP-Trudeau coalition in Ottawa wants to make law-abiding gun owners out to be criminals. Wab Kinew and the NDP have the same agenda. But our PC Team won’t stand for that,” said Wood. “We know it’s lax federal policies—being weak on crime and smuggling into our country—that are the cause of gun-related violent crime in Canada, not law-abiding Manitoba gun owners.”

The Chief Provincial Firearms Officer will be provincially appointed, and report to the Attorney General. The CPFO office will oversee inquiries related to gun licensing, promote gun safety and responsible ownership, and work with police forces across the province. It will also oversee gun licensing for Manitobans.

“Right now, Ottawa is in control of gun licensing in Manitoba. We’ve seen what Trudeau thinks of law-abiding gun owners, and we need an office that will better serve the needs and safety of Manitobans,” Wood added.

This office will replace the current federally-appointed Firearms Officer in Manitoba. This will bring Manitoba in line with other jurisdictions across the country, like Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, Wood noted.

“The Manitoba PC Party is committed to safer communities while respecting a way of life that dates back to before Confederation. Manitobans know, and the evidence has been clear, that hunters, farmers, and trappers are not to blame for the violence seen in some of our major city centers,” said Tracey Wilson, Vice President of Public Relations for the Canadian Coalition for Firearms Rights. “Today’s announcement sets the PCs apart from the other parties in this election by respecting the rights of Manitobans and protecting them against the overreach of the federal Liberal-NDP coalition in Ottawa. Manitobans need a made-in-Manitoba solution and the Manitoba PCs are the only party willing to do the work to protect our lifestyle and heritage, while focusing on credible public safety measures to keep our families and communities safe. The choice has never been clearer.” 

“The Manitoba Lodge and Outfitters is pleased to hear that the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba has committed to the hiring of a Provincial Firearms Officer as part of its election platform,” said Don Lamont, Executive Director of the Manitoba Lodge and Outfitters Association. “The federal government’s continued attack on legal firearm owners is unacceptable and today’s announcement will provide the province with more autonomy on firearm regulations.”

“The Provincial Firearms Advisory Group is glad to see that the hiring of a provincially appointed Chief Firearms Officer has become an election issue,” said the Provincial Firearms Advisory Group, a non-partisan advisory group of the industry representatives, Indigenous groups, reeves, farmers, and stakeholders including the Manitoba Wildlife Federation, the Manitoba Trappers Association, and the Manitoba Lodge and Outfitters Association. “The election commitment made today would fulfill the main recommendation of this broad-based advisory group. We encourage all political parties to adopt this position.”

Matt Hipwell, owner of Wolverine Supplies, a family-owned and operated firearm manufacturing company based in Virden, supported today’s announcement.

“I believe this will provide Manitoba more flexibility in navigating unduly restrictive federal firearm regulations brought forth by the federal Liberal-NDP coalition,” Hipwell said. “Bill C-21 legislation, as it stands, is an attack on the traditions and very outdoor lifestyle millions of Canadians enjoy and cherish.”

“Hunters, Indigenous rights holders, farmers, and law-abiding gun owners are not the problem,” added Greg Nesbitt, PC candidate for Riding Mountain. “Manitoba has a rich history and tradition of appreciating our wilderness. Manitobans respect our wildlife, and each other. Our PC Team is the only party fighting to protect your rights.”

The provincial election will be held October 3rd, 2023.

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