Gun dealers not 'trigger happy'

Some vendors at the Calgary Gun Show are angry at recent chages to the trigger lock law that they say is unnecessary.

Law is designed to make transport and display of guns safer

The Calgary Gun Show is the biggest in the country and has been operating for more than 50 years. (Pat Sullivan/Associated Press)

Dealers at this year's Calgary Gun Show say that stricter rules on trigger locks go too far.

The province is starting to enforce a trigger-lock law designed to make handling and transporting guns safer. The law has been in place for 15 years but hasn't been enforced until now. Dealers say that the precaution is unnecessary.

"We don't look at them as a very safe device," says Hank Holm, president of the Alberta Arms and Cartridge Collectors' Association. "If you put these mechanical key trigger locks onto an action rifle, the action can still be operated, it can still be loaded and if you jerk on the trigger lock, you can fire the gun."

Until this year, vendors have been using strong plastic ties, a system they say has worked without incident for more than 50 years.

"Before we used zip ties," says Steve Gallupe. "It prevents the trigger from being depressed or the action from being opened. No issues."

Since many vendors at this year's gun show didn't have time to get the chains and locks needed under the law, it's not clear what fines — if any — they might face from officials.

"After 15 years of no action, all of a sudden the [Chief Firearm Officer] decided he should act upon it," says Holm. "He did this maybe a month before the show and we didn't have a chance to be prepared."