Complaint: A Vaughan gun lover, hunter and sports enthusiast is speaking out against a decision by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to prohibit two semi-automatic rifles that have been legally purchased and owned in Canada for more than a decade. Mauro Ulisse, 40, said he was left shocked and angered after a decision to outlaw the Swiss Arms and CZ-858 rifles came down from the national police agency last week. Although there has yet to be an explanation about why these steps were taken, Mr. Ulisse said he believes the rule change occurred because the RCMP believes these two models u2014 one from Switzerland and the other from the Czech Republic u2014 can be easily converted into automatic rifles, which are prohibited in Canada. Despite not being an owner of either gun, Mr. Ulisse is concerned they will next come for his four AR-15s, which he said are on a list of guns the agency is considering outlawing. Furthermore, he bemoaned the 12,000-plus people who have lost the ability to use the guns they purchased and have owned for up to 12 years. u201cAt the stroke of a pen, they have made thousands of gun owners criminals overnight,u201d he said. u201cYou canu2019t go buy a car and then, five years later, someone tells you it can be converted into a weapon and, therefore, itu2019s illegal. I donu2019t see how they can do this.u201d Mr. Ulisse added he finds the decision by the RCMP to ban the guns wrong headed. He believes that with modern technology any firearm can be converted into an automatic gun that releases multiple shots with one pull of the trigger. u201cNowadays, you can convert anything, all you would need to be is an experienced gunsmith, so that argument is neither here nor there,u201d he said. Days after the decision became public knowledge, resulting in a wave of anger from some of the countryu2019s two million gun owners, the Conservative government stepped to the fore, announcing there would be a five-year amnesty on the decision allowing those already owning the guns to avoid prosecution. Steven Blaney, public safety minister, said he will bring forward the amnesty to ensure owners can continue to possess the guns u201cwithout threat of criminal chargesu201d. However, Mr. Ulisse is concerned this amnesty will not work. u201cTo have this weapon without a licence is against the law, therefore, you are a criminal,u201d he said. He said the fact the police agency will not give compensation for the weaponsu2019 cost, between $1,000 and $4,000, adds insult to injury. u201cWeu2019re not talking chump change, weu2019re talking millions of dollars here,u201d added the member of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association. He is not the only one upset by the move. Tony Bernardo, representative from the same association, said his members are up in arms over rule changes. u201cThis issue is not settled, not even close, you still have the spectre that people are in possession of unregistered firearms,u201d he said about the changes and subsequent amnesty. u201cThe amnesty is great, itu2019s a lifeboat while they fix the problem u2026(we have thousands) of people who have been turned into criminals and many donu2019t even know it.u201d He said his organization will continue to advocate on behalf of gun owners until something is done to resolve the situation. u201cThis is a serious issue, weu2019re continuing to fight this,u201d he added. The RCMP has not returned repeated calls.
Tags: Federal Government
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