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One-year On: The Gun Ban and its Effect on Local Stores
In the fourth episode of Uncovered, TVC22 Journalist Bruce de la Cruz speaks with Mathieu Lafleur, who co-owns Pronature Rockland, a hunting and fishing store, along with his wife Deana since 2012.
Mathieu opens up about his history as a hunter, how his father taught him at a young age, and how he is continuing the tradition by teaching his two sons.
He and his wife Deana opened Pronature Rockland in response to seeing a lack of hunting stores in the area. The shop’s business depends on what hunting season it is, but on average they can have anywhere from 20-100 transactions per day.
Although Mathieu acknowledges that hunting can be considered a sport/outdoor recreational activity, he also says that hunting is a way of life for many people. Many hunters are doing it to provide food for their families,and in some cases to protect their livestock from predators.
After going through a list of firearms that were banned, Mathieu expresses that many of those guns are semi-automatic, and are used for sport shooting (target shooting). Mathieu expresses his concern that the government is banning guns based on looks rather than function, and that his patrons won’t be able to buy adequate firearms for their respective needs from him anymore.
He continues by saying that there is a lack of communication between legal gun owners and the government. There is also a difference of needs for firearms in smaller rural communities as opposed to larger cities.
Legal gun owners in rural areas most likely use their firearms for hunting, sport shooting, and protecting livestock from predators, while people in cities often don’t have any interactions with guns at all.
Although Mathieu doesn’t sell airsoft guns, which fall under the “Replica Firearm ban” of Bill-C21, he still empathizes with people who play the sport and how the government is attacking it.
He goes on to say that since legal gun owners have daily police checks in order to keep their license, the gun ban and Bill-C21 is reprimanding the wrong people. The government should be cracking down on the people who smuggle guns illegally into the country, rather than needlessly interfering with law abiding gun owners’ daily lives.
Mathieu concludes by saying that people should be taught firearm safety in schools rather than banning guns outright as a measure to decrease gun violence.
TVC22 is an independent not-for-profit organization founded in 1990 as a community TV station. The mission of TVC22 is to highlight the Clarence-Rockland and surrounding community through the production and dissemination of TV projects that speak to the concerns of the local population while encouraging community involvement in the different stages of production.