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Vancouver Island gun store sees huge sales after Trudeau announces handgun freeze


The federal government's plans to put a national ban on handgun sales may have had the opposite effect on prospective buyers.

A gun store in Campbell River, B.C., says it saw a huge surge in sales after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the bill on May 30.

"Mr. Trudeau announced it on Monday of last week and we opened Tuesday morning and there was a mad rush, we could hardly keep up with the traffic," said Kevin McCurrie, co-owner of Gun Smoke.

"If his desire was to limit handgun sales, well, he was salesman of the month for us," McCurrie said. "We sold probably 40 hand guns last week. Normally we would sell one or two a month."

Trudeau described the new legislation as the "strongest gun control measure" in Canada in more than 40 years.

The announcement came on the heels of several high-profile mass shootings in the U.S., with Trudeau saying the government was acting on behalf of gun violence victims.

But the announcement also drew criticism from some gun owners across the country.

"The only thing they’re doing is making it harder for the RCMP, more work for them, and they’re still not doing anything about gun violence, absolutely nothing," said Ron Fortin, a retired military member who's now a barber on Vancouver Island.

He says when it comes to gun control issues, the prime minister is aiming at the wrong target, and that gun violence is a much bigger issue in the U.S compared to Canada.

McCurrie says most of his handgun customers last week were people who owned other firearms and who already had Possession and Acquisition Licences.

He says many of them didn't have handguns and they wanted to get them for collections and target practice before the potential handgun freeze went into place.

"It's a whole industry that we're afraid [is] going to go away, and it's sad because I think the gun laws in Canada were pretty good and we see this as an attack on legal gun owners," he said. Top Stories

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