AR-15 gun buyback

Editor’s note: Hold your letters. We know it’s not actually a gun “buyback.” But that’s what
our Federal government chose to call it.

The program has already cost $42 million — and not one gun has been bought back yet.

Conservative Senator Don Plett, Opposition Leader in the Senate, found information about the program through Order Paper questions he asked on Sept. 19, 2023. The answers received in March, revealed in addition to the amount of money spent to date, 60 employees in Public Safety Canada are working on the program and 15 employees of an RCMP team are dedicated to it.

Plett hopes this information and his concerns will be brought up in the House of Commons.

“Many Canadians are very concerned about the government’s plan to confiscate their legally acquired firearms, so I definitely expect their MPs are watching the development of this story closely and will do what they can to raise the profile of the government’s bungling of such a terrible program,” he said.

The original cost estimate to start the buyback program was $8.8 million.

Asked if this is potentially a repeat of the gun registry fiasco, Plett answered, “It is already shaping up that way.”

Gun buyback tough on industry

In more recent related news, the Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA) is reaffirming the skyrocketing costs.

The group has been working with the government on a buyback for the prohibited inventory that dealers and manufacturers have had in their inventory since 2020. CSAAA is not involved in any consumer-level gun buyback program.

CSAAA President Wes Winkel said the prohibition has been tough on the industry and many retailers have closed since 2020 due to the prohibition of many centrefire, semi-automatic rifles, and handgun ban. One of the issues being raised during discussion with the government is the buyback of components of AR-15-style guns.

He explained these guns are modular. Manufacturers have components that could be assembled into complete firearms, but so too did many gun shops. In addition, there were accessories for these guns. “Those accessories will be worth zero,” Winkel said. Regarding the modular components, which aren’t yet assembled into completed guns, Winkel said, “It seems pointless for them to assemble them just to have bought back.”

Winkel said outside of the large companies — Black Creek Labs, Alberta Tactical, and Savage Arms — there are hundreds of smaller companies and gun shops with components that are not able to be sold. He said the CSAAA made the government aware of this issue after the ban, and although initially federal officials didn’t want to include the components, this is now a possibility.

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