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Iqaluit woman says city's shooting association not offering programs to community

cbc.ca logo cbc.ca 2019-07-26 Jackie McKay

An Iqaluit resident wants to start a new shooting society to take over the city's gun range because, she said, the current group is not active.

Robynn Pavia spoke to city council about creating a new non-profit Tuesday. 

She said she's reached out to the existing society — the Iqaluit Shooting Association — to find out what is going on with the organization, but never heard back.  

"We want to start a group that is active, that cares that they are not leaving garbage behind, leaving brass, or that can offer some programs," said Pavia, an army reservist who has been shooting guns since she was 12.

"I know there are some really good shooters in the community."

The current association is not in good standing with the Nunavut legal registry office. It needs to file financial statements and notice of directors every year, but the last time it did that was for the year 2011.

It's the only registered gun organization incorporated with Nunavut legal registries and the chief firearms officer.  

City clerk Rod Mugford told council during the meeting the city is currently in a 10-year lease agreement with the organization to run the range near the Road to Nowhere. The lease expires next year. 

No one at council seemed to know the status of the lease, or if the Iqaluit Shooting Association was in compliance with the terms. 

"The city wasn't given any notification by the executive board of the association that they weren't in good standing," said Mugford, who said he's contacted the organization which now needs to respond within 10 days with a plan on how it will rectify the situation.

a man standing in front of a mountain: Robynn Pavia spoke to Iqaluit city council Tuesday about creating a new non-profit. She said the current Iqaluit Shooting Association is not active and wants to creat a new group to take over the shooting range. © Tavis Burke/CBC Robynn Pavia spoke to Iqaluit city council Tuesday about creating a new non-profit. She said the current Iqaluit Shooting Association is not active and wants to creat a new group to take over the shooting range.

Mugford said the Iqaluit Shooting Association's status does not void the lease agreement. 

'I guess we got kind of tardy'

Walter Oliver, vice-president of the Iqaluit Shooting Association, said changes in executive members and construction on the Road to Nowhere bridge cutting off access to the range have contributed to the organization's problems.

"I guess we just got kind of tardy on the paperwork," he said. 

Oliver said the association hopes to have its standing sorted out with the legal registry office within a month. 

It currently has 40 members who pay an annual $100 fee which goes into the maintenance of the range. Oliver said the association has invested about $80,000 into the range.

"That's the kind of money involved," said Oliver.

He said he is surprised to hear Pavia wants to create a new organization. 

"If there are people out there with that level of enthusiasm I don't understand why they wouldn't want to get involved and join the existing organization," said Oliver.

Restricted gun owners need association

City Councillor Kyle Sheppard told council he's interested in seeing the issue settled as a functioning organization is required for restricted gun owners. 

"There are gun owners in town that require a range in the municipality to own the firearms they own," said Sheppard. 

Right now, the Iqaluit Shooting Association remains an approved organization through the Chief Firearms Officer. 

Residents with restricted firearms licences are allowed to own weapons such as hand guns, or guns that fire in a semi-automatic manner. 

People with these licences usually have them for the purposes of target shooting but in this case must be registered to an approved shooting club or range.

"We haven't had any feedback from the CFO about any issue with us not being in good standing," said Oliver.

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