© SUEANN MUSICK – THE NEWS
Gerald Hayman looks over a rifle with Bob Ferguson, owner of Ferguson Sports Shop in Westville. The general dear hunting season begins today across the province and Ferguson said there has been an increase in hunting sales since the gun registry has been dismantled.
WESTVILLE – Bob Ferguson is crediting the demise of the gun registry for his recent boom in business.
As owner of Ferguson’s Sport Shop in Westville, he said many people are returning to the sport of hunting now that they can take out their guns from storage without having to have them registered.
“Since the gun law changed, people are going out hunting again,” he said one day before the general deer-hunting season opened. “They are getting their guns back out.”
The federal long-gun registry was created in 1995 by the Liberal government. The system was plagued with billions in cost overruns and it was largely loathed in rural and Western Canada. The Conservative government got rid of it this past April.
Ferguson said he noticed a decrease in sales when the registry was put in place, but business has picked up again now that it has been lifted.
“People didn’t want to go out into the woods and be caught with an unregistered gun and have it taken away from them, so they just didn’t bother using it,” he said. “Now they are dusting them off and using them again.”
He said the demise of the gun registry also cut down on the paperwork he had to do every time he sold a gun from his store.
John MacGillivray, sports manager for the New Glasgow Canadian Tire, said they’ve also been very busy this week selling supplies to hunters.
“They’re picking up tree stands and bullets and some clothes and a lot of boots,” he said.
He said he expects the strong sales to continue through hunting season.
“Guaranteed,” he said. “We always do pretty good.”
The 2012 general deer-hunting season in Nova Scotia ends Dec. 1. Deer hunting has been open to bow hunters since Sept. 29, and will close Dec. 8.
"Deer hunting is a popular activity that many Nova Scotians look forward to every year," said Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker. "It's a great way to explore and enjoy nature while managing wildlife in the province."
Hunters with a valid licence and deer stamp may harvest one deer of either gender in zones 107, 105, and 102. A limited number of antlerless deer may be taken in the remaining mainland zones.
Hunters are reminded to wear orange-coloured clothing in the woods. Hunting is not permitted on Sundays.
For more about hunting regulations and safety in Nova Scotia, visit www.gov.ns.ca/natr/wildlife/hunting-furharvesting.asp.