Dave Kunstler shows off just a few of the petition sheets that have been circulating in Mission.

Proposed bylaw change raises the ire of recreational shooters

Public information meeting scheduled for June 19 at Mission municipal hall

A petition is circulating decrying a proposed ban on all firearm discharges in Mission, with the exception of the local rod and gun club.

A public input meeting is scheduled for June 19 to hear views on the District of Mission’s suggestion to alter its firearms bylaw, and at least one local business owner plans to be present.

High Caliber Service Corp.’s Dave Kunstler has pages of signatures from residents protesting the proposed changes, and he says more than 15,000 views have been recorded after he posted the information on a firearms enthusiast website.

The First Avenue business owner, whose shop specializes in gun parts and accessories, says an outright ban isn’t the correct choice, but rather, certain areas should be designated as approved shooting zones.

“Like an outdoor public range,” he said.

Mission is a place for outdoor lovers, and recreational shooting is part of the experience, Kunstler contends.

Currently, many people travel up either side of Stave Lake, and the rural areas east of downtown Mission to target shoot or hunt.

Other visitors to those zones, including firearms owners, are disgusted with the amount of trash and shells littering some areas.

“The problem is not firearms owners, it’s idiots littering,” said Kunstler. “[The litter] makes my blood boil — it bothers shooters too. We live in beautiful country and we have to take care of it.”

He said people who do choose to shoot should put down tarps first to ensure they catch spent shells.

When reached for comment, Mission Rod and Gun Club spokesperson Ron Tarnowski said they will make a presentation on June 19, but declined to share details.

He said the club became aware of the proposed changes nearly three weeks ago, and met with council June 5.

“We fully understand and support the responsible use of firearms,” he said, and MRGC will work with the municipality.

The public input meeting will take place June 19 at 6:30 p.m. inside council chambers.