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Delta Opposes Liberal Resolution To Ban Semi-Automatic Firearms

WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Delta Waterfowl President Rob Olson has sent a letter to the leader of Canada's Liberal Party challenging a resolution that would ban the personal use of semi-automatic firearms by hunters.

At its recent leadership convention, the Liberal Party approved Resolution 42 which resolved that "because automatic and semi-automatic weapons are illegal for hunting" and "do not support the hunting culture...of Canada", the party would “support legislation to eliminate” their use.

In a letter to Member of Parliament Stephane Dion, leader of the Official Opposition Liberal Party, Olson said the resolution is incorrect and that semi-automatic firearms are legal for duck, goose and upland bird hunting and for hunting big game.

"The proposed ban will seriously impact hundreds of thousands of hunters across Canada," Olson wrote. "Delta Waterfowl supports reasonable and effective measures to ensure the safety of society at large. However, placing a legal, semi-automatic shotgun used to hunt ducks in the same category as an automatic weapon intended for military purposes is not appropriate.

"The real issues of firearm abuse have nothing to do with law-abiding hunters using limited-capability, semi-automatic firearms for hunting, and there is no need to ban such guns," Olson wrote.

Delta's president says a ban on semi-automatic firearms would not only affect Canadians, it would also apply to U.S. hunters coming into the country.

Meanwhile, Delta Vice President of Policy for Canada Dr. Robert Bailey is encouraging hunting groups and the firearms industry across Canada to work together to defeat the proposed ban.

Bailey says there are 280,000 semi-automatic shotguns registered in Canada, most of which are used for waterfowl and upland bird hunting. The ban would accelerate the current decline in duck hunter numbers, he says.

Bailey and Robert D. Sopuck, Delta's vice president of policy for prairie Canada, have voiced their concerns with the offices of MPs Garry Breitkreuz and Larry Bagnell, co-chairs of Canada’s non-partisan, pro-hunting Outdoors Caucus.

Note to Editors: For more information, contact Robert Sopuck at 204-848-4007 or 204-867-0213