By Matt Hipwell, President, Wolverine Supplies
I am shocked by the reaction that came from the vast number of people in the firearms community yesterday.
I have been involved in the fight for legal and responsible firearm ownership for over 30 years. It has had an impact on me in more ways than you can count; from Bill C-68 and converted autos being banned, the high-capacity magazine debacle, short barrel handguns, the current OIC and any future amendments.
I have worn a uniform for over half my life and carried a badge for most of those years, and I have argued in support of firearms owners in parliament, before the senate and was one of the first to join the CCFR court challenge. Does this sound like someone who sold out individual firearms owners on April 26th?
Why is the firearms community so divided? Much like our country we come from many different backgrounds and beliefs with different levels of conviction. In the 1990’s it was the military firearm owners who had their firearms banned, while many others stood by and said it won’t happen to me. Then the magazine ban, everyone thought their sport would have exemptions. Short-barrel handguns were next, and these were met with the same answer, but the crowd was getting smaller. Owners asked for consultation with the government – there was none. Next came the OIC, met by many court challenges, including the CCFR one which I am an integral part of.
Owners began to slowly unite; organizations grew in many areas, but there was still missing communication between them all. The Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA) went to bat for wholesalers, retailers, and manufacturers – whether they were a member or not. There was finally some consultation with the government, and they were commissioned to complete a research survey to those businesses who wanted to participate, regardless of membership.
The Liberal government took advantage of this and spewed their own version.
As a board member of the CSAAA, we voted on this contract, and we were told as board members that the NFA, Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA) and CCFR were all consulted with. This survey was to determine what non-saleable inventory businesses were sitting on and provide numbers to the government for potential payment. This was a voluntary process for all firearm business licence holders.
Yesterday I learned that varying levels of details were disclosed in these consultations. The lack of clear information is now being used against the CSAAA by many. Personally, I am disappointed by the lack of detail provided and by the reaction of many individuals in the firearms community.
When I had a concern with an organization a few years back, I went to that organization and met with them in person to discuss the issues regarding support. I didn’t hide online, and I didn’t speak ill of them. I met with them, and we moved forward together. This organization was the CCFR, and I believe we now work very well together. I have since raised / donated many thousands of dollars in support of individual firearm owners and am part of the CCFR legal challenge for you the firearm owner.
Wolverine Supplies has belonged to the CSSA, the NFA, the CCFR, and the CSAAA over many of our 34 years in business. My father John was the Manitoba President of the NFA for many years, and a director of the CSSA. My sister Danielle was a past board member of the CSAAA. Our family has spent countless hours advocating for your rights to own all types of firearms in Canada. It is disheartening when the moment something goes sideways, the comments that flow in are “I’ll never support them again”, “boycott them”, “only trying to make a quick buck”, the list gets worse and more personal from here. I ask each of you, “What have you done for firearms owners?” If you can honestly say you did everything you could, I congratulate you.
As of today, I am stepping down as a director from the board of the CSAAA, I do not want to muddy the political and legal waters any further.
I am an integral part of the CCFR’s legal challenge and fight for all Canadians’ rights to own firearms. Do I support the option for businesses to be compensated for non-saleable inventory, yes, I do as it sits today. However, this is a decision that may change. This is a decision for each individual business to make, not everyone else. Everyone is in a different financial situation. This compensation must be reasonable in nature, and I have my own questions for the CSAAA and will seek those answers in the weeks ahead.
My continued focus, as always is to support all firearms owners; from the gopher shooter, IPSC competitor, big game hunter, trap shooter, to the next PRS champion. I have a business to run, employees to support and a family to champion and encourage along with trying to find time for some hunting and fishing.
I encourage you to reach out to me with your concerns and as always Wolverine Supplies is here to support you.
President, Wolverine Supplies
- For Members: CSAAA Signs $700,000 Contract With Liberals to Help Compensate Gun Shops
- Government of Canada: Government of Canada Announces Agreement With Industry
- 26 April 2023: ‘Federal Buyback Program & The Firearm Industry’
- 27 April 2023: Re: Public Safety Announcement on the Industry ‘Buyback’
- Wolverine Supplies: ‘Never Stop Fighting … Time to Take a Stand’