The Vermilion Gun Club held the first competition of the year on June 4 and 5 welcoming 27 competitors to showcase their skills with classic single-action guns, rifles, and double barrel shotguns in a Cowboy Action Match. This fun match had competitors divide into two posses, then safely and accurately shoot their way through 12 stages over the two days they were down at the range. Contestants must safely follow a series of steps at each stage, with four members of their posse at each stage to help ensure the safe loading and unloading of the firearms. Gun Club director and competition organizer Blaine Felt emphasized the importance of the safety procedures, “Safety is paramount in this competition, it is safer than people realize”.
Not following the safety measures in place can result in a cowboy not only getting time penalties added on to their score but they can also be disqualified for not adhering to them. The shooters can also receive time violations for missing targets, procedural errors, and not unloading properly at the end of each stage.
The competition isn’t all about cowboy action, there is also the opportunity for some fellowship and connecting with some very talented shooters. Contestants were also treated to a swap meet and supper at Johnston’s Campground Saturday evening.
Attending the first competition since her appointment to the position, Chief Firearms Officer for Alberta, Teri Bryant stopped in on Saturday to meet competitors and Gun Club members. Bryant will be attending shows and competitions to build and enhance relationships within all aspects of the firearms community in Alberta.
There are Chief Firearms Officers in every province and territory, but Bryant is only one of the two provincially appointed Officers (Saskatchewan is the other province) who can advocate for positive change to improve public safety.
In a discussion with Bryant regarding the Liberals reintroduction of Bill C-21 this past week (see also a release from MP Shannon Stubbs in this issue), she pointed out the shortcomings of the three major goals of the bill. The goals of C-21 include a freeze on handgun sales and transfering, accelerating the timeline for the Orders in Council regarding the confiscation of certain firearms throughout Canada, and establishing stricter magazine regulations for particular cartridges. Like many other firearm supporters and advocates, Bryant notes that these three goals are not helpful to the prevention of gun violence and crime, but will instead simply create a large financial bill for the Canadian Government and taxpayers. Not only will there be the costs of financial compensation for the confiscation program, but there is also the manpower cost to organize, set up and manage the program. Not to mention the added responsibilities to local police authorities in executing the program and then managing the storage and destruction of the confiscated weapons.
“Canada already possesses strict rules regarding the purchase of legal firearms”, she stated. “Screening needs to be more focused, and should focus on the person looking to acquire a firearm, not the type of firearm they are purchasing.”
“It is really important that law-abiding firearm owners continue to hold their events, such as gun shows and competitions to provide opportunities for the creation and preservation of a positive firearms culture to counteract misleading and harmful images seen in the media and elsewhere,” says Bryant.