New Brunswick

'This hurts a lot:' Ottawa's gun ban leaves N.B. business owner at a loss

A New Brunswick gun shop owner said he's left with hundreds of thousands of dollars of inventory following Ottawa's ban on some 1,500 makes and models of military-grade “assault-style” firearms in Canada.

Cary Baker said he has about $350,000 worth of stock that he won't be able to sell

Cary Baker said he's left with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of inventory that he can no longer sell. (Facebook/Cary Baker)

The owner of a firearms business in New Brunswick says a decision to ban some firearms in Canada will hurt him financially.

Cary Baker owns Iron Sights Training Center, in Hanwell, N.B., near Fredericton. He has about $350,000 worth of inventory that he can no longer sell following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's move to ban some 1,500 makes and models of military-grade "assault-style" firearms.

As of Friday, licensed gun owners will no longer be allowed to sell, transport, import or use these sorts of firearms in Canada.

"This hurts a lot," Baker said. "I set this up as a nice retirement business. I run it legally."

Baker, a retired army major, opened his business in January 2018 by using his pension and investments.

He said the ban impacts up to 60 per cent of his overall sales. 

"I have about $150,000 worth of AR-15-style sport carbines that I'm not allowed to sell anymore," Baker said, adding that he also has about $200,000 in accessories for those guns that people will no longer want.

Iron Sights Training Center owner Cary Baker said close to 60 per cent of his sales are impacted by Ottawa's new gun ban. (Facebook/Cary Baker)

"If they can't buy the rifle, they're not going to buy the accessories that go with them," he said.

Baker said his business follows 'the rule of law' when it comes to selling firearms. 

"The people that come into my shop that buy these firearms are good Canadians," he said. 

Trudeau said there will be a two-year amnesty period to allow people who already own the guns to comply with the ban. Trudeau promised to pass legislation in the coming months to provide "fair compensation" to people who own them.

Baker said he's unsure what's going to happen to the stock he can no longer sell. He's already contacted American suppliers to see if they'll take it back, but so far the answer has been no. 

"Honestly, I am at a loss for words. I don't know what options right now I really have, other than to wait this out in the hopes that somehow it'll get reversed."

Baker said he's not holding out too much hope for compensation from Ottawa at this point because a buy-back program would have to go through the House of Commons.

Business impact

But Baker said he's not closing his doors.

The other side of his business is geared toward military clothing and survival gear. He hopes that can keep him going.

"Since Day 1 of setting up this business, it's always been an uphill challenge all the time."

He said he's always managed to find a way to keep his business open, including over the last couple months during the COVID-19 shutdown.

"I'm not going to close down," Baker said. "I'm certainly going to have a harder time each month now paying the bills, paying my employees."


Gary Moore

CBC News

Gary Moore is a video journalist based in Fredericton.