A Nova Scotia woman is worried about Canadian Tire getting back into the firearms business.
Pamela Harrison says having more guns available in the province will mean there’s a greater chance for people to be killed or hurt.
She says when a Canadian retail icon sells firearms, it sends the wrong message.
“What it is in some way saying [is], ‘Hey guys, come on, it’s OK to buy guns again,” said Harrison.
Harrison represents the Transition House of Nova Scotia, an association for member organizations who provide transitional services to women and their children who are experiencing violence and abuse.
Since 2011, Canadian Tire has built up over 160 of its Pro Shops across the country. Three Canadian Tire locations in metro Halifax and another handful in rural Nova Scotia are either selling firearms or will soon be.
The company says it is responding to demand from the local hunting community and it is dedicated to the safety and education of its customers.
As well, it says there are strict requirements for all store staff certified to sell firearms to obtain and maintain appropriate licensing and training. The stores are also required by law to ensure certain steps are taken before a firearm is sold to a consumer.
A competitor of Canadian Tire is happy with the company’s decision.
“More firearms and the safe use of firearms in the province promotes the industry,” said Jim Hnatiuk with Hnatiuks, a hunting and fishing retailer.
He says the long-gun registry is a factor in this. When the registry was announced in the 1990s, many big retailers — including Canadian Tire — sold guns, but stopped because of the registry.
“I think that's the reason they got out of it....and now it's one of the reasons they're coming back, right. The long gun registry is gone,” said Hnatiuk.
He says sales of long guns have improved at his store since the registry was scrapped.