A Better Alternative: Gun Retailers & Museums

Although the 2016 BC gun amnesty will run from October 1st to October 31st, individuals in possession of unwanted firearms have been (and will be) able to relinquish them without fear of legal reprisal; gun retailers around the province will happily pay owners for firearms that will then populate their used gun shelves. And as this brief series of videos will highlight, sometimes those retailers will pay surprising sums for those firearms. However, due to the collectible and historical value of many of these firearms, it is strongly urged that any owners of unwanted guns contact their local gun shop to have their firearm evaluated. The difference between a $150 beat-up shotgun and a $150,000 collector’s item can be as indecipherable as reading the proof marks and engravings.

For example, in the video attached, Matt Mendel discusses a valuable Lee Enfield No. 4 MK1(T) sniper rifle. Although obvious to a gun aficionado, these rifles are valued at anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000 depending on condition, but are outwardly identical in many ways to a standard Lee Enfield No 4… one of the most popular rifles in Canada and one that may be worth a tenth as much. And that doesn’t even speak to the tremendous historical value an item like this has.

So, what about guns of historical or military relevance? Well, anyone in possession of prohibited firearms such as machine guns or fully automatic firearms (many of which are frequently of little value to retailers) can contact the Canadian Historical Arms Museum, who can provide further instruction on their preservation.

What you need to know about gun amnesties…

Tomorrow, on the first of October, BC will be kicking off a province-wide BC gun amnesty. This program professes to provide individuals with the ability to have police officers arrive at their place of residence and pick up any unwanted guns, without needing to be concerned that one will be charged with an offence (sort of; if you don’t call them and instead take the firearms directly to the police station you may be charged); hence an “amnesty.”

Campaigning the program as a measure to “stop guns and gangs in BC,” the BC Association of Chiefs of Police, Les Sylven, said; The BC Association of Chiefs of Police strongly encourages the public to participate in this year’s Gun Amnesty, says Chief Constable Les Sylven, BC Association of Chiefs of Police, When people turn over unwanted firearms to their local police, they are permanently eliminating the danger that these weapons pose.

With 60% of weapons being sourced domestically, this Gun Amnesty allows all of the police agencies in British Columbia to work with the public to ensure all our neighbourhoods are safe,  said the BC RCMP Commanding Officer Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens. Too many times we’ve seen a tragic accident or criminal activity with blatant disregard for the safety of others. I encourage you to relinquish your unwanted weapons to police to prevent this from happening.

Unfortunately, the reality of gun amnesties is that they typically see the least “at risk” firearms turned in; grandpa’s old shotgun, a war bring-back that’s been gathering dust in some far-flung corner of a closet, or an errant BB gun found in the cabin attic. In other words, guns that typically will never find their way to criminal hands, especially not criminals whose trade revolves around the import and export of large quantities of illicit substances. To those individuals, smuggling guns across the border is easier, and less risky that breaking into homes hoping to find a firearm. This is supported by claims by both Toronto and Vancouver police that cite figures of anywhere from 70% to 99% of guns in criminal hands having been sourced illegally from the US.

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