The Province is restricting gun use areas of the Fraser Valley where indiscriminate shooting is damaging habitat and creating serious safety concerns, Simon Gibson, MLA for Abbotsford-Mission, announced today on behalf of Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson.
B.C. has updated the Wildlife Act regulation to create “no shooting” zones within 400 metres of select roads on non-municipal Crown land within the Fraser Valley Regional District. The changes apply to recreational shooting and target practice and will not affect licenced hunting and trapping, or impact First Nations’ traditional rights.
The Fraser Valley is a popular recreation area. However, the increase in recreational shooting is posing risks to public safety. In the past year, wildfire crews were forced to abandon fire suppression activities due to firearms activity and there have instances of unsafe shooting towards cabins and recreation sites. The change in regulation was requested by the Fraser Valley Regional District and local RCMP and is supported by the District of Mission, the City of Abbotsford, the Conservation Officer Service and numerous First Nations.
Gun users who ignore the restrictions face fines of up to $50 000 and six months in jail for a first offence, and as much as a $100,000 fine and a year in jail for subsequent convictions.
Simon Gibson, MLA for Abbotsford-Mission –
“I’m pleased I could advocate for this important issue on behalf of the Fraser Valley Regional District. These regulations will definitely make our rural communities safer, cleaner and just more pleasant to call home.”
Laurie Throness, MLA for Chilliwack-Hope –
“I want to thank the Fraser Valley Regional District, First Nations, and the RCMP for their work with the Province to implement these regulations that will help keep residents and outdoor enthusiasts safe.”
Marc Dalton, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission –
“People come from all over the Lower Mainland to enjoy the Fraser Valley backcountry and these no shooting zones will help reduce safety risks for residents, hunters, and recreational shooters.”
Jason Lum, chair, Fraser Valley Regional District –
“It’s not unusual for homeowners to find bullet holes in their windows and cars, while hikers, campers, and boaters have reported near misses with target shooters. We look forward to working with the Province to ensure the continues to be a destination of choice for responsible outdoor enthusiasts, while cracking down on those who would choose to abuse and desecrate our wild places.”
- The federal Firearms Act regulates the acquisition, registration, licencing, storage and carrying of firearms in Canada.
- Local governments have the authority to regulate use of firearms within municipal boundaries.
- B.C.’s Firearm Act regulates safe firearm use and transportation in the province, while the Wildlife Act governs use of firearms while hunting.
Maps of the “no shooting areas” will be available April 6 at: www.fvrd.ca/assets/Government/Documents/NoShootingAreas.pdf