Down at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch in Quesnel, away from their range and shooting facilities on Nazko Road, the Quesnel Rod and Gun Club (QRGC) recently hosted a sportsman’s show and swap.
On Saturday, June 11, people were invited to learn more about the local club, meet other outdoor sports enthusiasts and purchase shooting supplies, including rifles, ammunition and scopes.
It was the first such event since the COVID-19 pandemic, noted QRGC president Andy Voight.
“It gives people an opportunity to have a more social aspect, and it also helps from an educational point of view,” Voight said.
Voight was quick to point out as in the United States, there have also been tragic firearm-related incidents in Canada.
“Unfortunately, they get dramatized as being the fault of the gun rather than the lack of support for mental health issues,” he maintained. “Guns are just a tool, no different than a knife or a sharp pencil.”
Voight believes a proposed handgun freeze by the Government of Canada will hurt licensed gun owners who responsibly, legally and safely own and use firearms and directly impact organizations such as the Quesnel Rod and Gun Club.
New members won’t be able to enjoy handgun-related sports offered by the QRGC unless they perhaps tag along with a member who already has a handgun.
“Law-abiding citizens, again Canadian firearm owners, particularly for restricted firearms, have been severely vetted, and here we are again —we’re the first ones on the target list,” Voight said.
“We’re kind of used to it, but this is a big kick for us. A few things like that are definitely setting us back.”
Voight has been president of the Quesnel Rod Gun Club for the past three years and has worked hard with other members to grow the club and be more present in the community.
Before becoming president, their annual membership was around 175.
“As of today, we hit 514 and growing,” Voight said at the sportsman’s show and swap. “I’m quite convinced we’ll hit 600 before the year ends, so it’s really exciting.”
The QRGC celebrated National Range Day on Saturday, June 4, with a pancake breakfast, courses of fire and demonstrations from several disciplines.
On Sunday, June 19, they will host a ‘King/Queen of the Hill’ eTarget shoot.
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