Discharge of Firearms – Frequently Asked Questions
Discharge of Firearms – Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does the District of Mission regulate Hunting?
It is important to note that the District of Mission does not regulate hunting. Only the Province of BC can regulate hunting in accordance with local municipal bylaws and the Special Area Hunting Brochures directs callers to the city Clerks.
The purpose of the bylaw is to regulate where firearms are permitted to be discharged within the District of Mission.
Q: What was the process for amending the bylaw?
The DOF regulation bylaw 2568-1993 was last amended in 1996 when a review noted that the bylaw needed to be updated with a number of changes to bring it into compliance with the Community Charter. It allowed the use of particular firearms in specific areas subject to all the applicable federal and provincial licensing and regulations and did not allow target practice anywhere except on a legal shooting range.
There has been a long history of unauthorized discharge of firearms in certain areas around the Municipal Forest. Not only are there substantial public safety concerns, but also costly vandalism to equipment and gates, considerable environmental impact with the shooting of live gees and the amount of garbage being left behind.
In 2010, an informal staff committee was established to review the DOF bylaw. In 2012 Council stated that they would like the DOF bylaw to be amended to reflect the banning of discharge of firearms in the area around the Florence Lake Forest Service Road in light of all the work being done to enhance recreational use and be compatible with current uses at Zajac Range, and new Sayres Lake Campground.
In 2013 the staff committee presented a report to Council that recommended a total ban on the DOF within the municipality except at the Mission and District Rod and Gun Club.
In May 2013 Council gave the first three reading to the new DOF regulation bylaw 5362-2013. Council directed that it be forwarded to a public input session before Council considered it for adoption.
The resulting public notice of the proposed changes generated a well-attended public input session on June 2013. A stakeholder task force was formed in response to the public input session. The DOF Bylaw task force was mandated to provide advice to Council on a new discharge of firearms regulation bylaw before summer 2014.
The Discharge of Firearms Bylaw Task Force was formed to provide recommendations to Council regarding a new Discharge of Firearms Regulation Bylaw that would not only update some of the antiquated or redundant wording, but also to advise on any proposals with regard to areas that may be considered as open or closed to the discharge of firearms, with primary consideration being given to the public and worker safety, and to proximity to popular recreation and camping areas.
The task force membership consisted of Mayor, Councillor, reps from Zajac Ranch, Tim Horton Children’s Foundation, Chamber of commerce, Mission Rod and Gun Club, Fraser Valley Mt. Bike Association, Mission Horse Club, BC Wildlife Ref, BC Min of Agriculture, Trails BC, ATV Club, 4 Wheel Drive Ass, RCMP, Forestry Department, MOFLNRO and two members chosen from the general public from letters of interest received.
The task force met over three meetings and reviewed thoroughly each of the current bylaw areas to come up with recommendations for improvements or deletions of specific areas.
The result is the current bylaw approved May 2014.
Mapping changes were forwarded to the Ministry of Environment for inclusion in the 2014/2015 Fraser Valley Special Area Hunting Licence Brochure. There is one outstanding mapping issue that was not taken into account which will be corrected in the 2015 printed version.
Q: Where can I shoot?
What are you shooting?
Target shooting has been prohibited in the District of Mission since 1993 unless at the Mission and District Rod and Gun Club.
Hunting in regulated by the Province of BC, and within Mission in accordance with the areas in the DOF bylaw and Fraser Valley Special Area Hunting License.
Q: Where can I target shoot in the District of Mission?
At the Mission and District Rod and Gun club.
Q: Is Sylvester Road/Lost Creek Forest Service Road in the District of Mission?
No, that area falls within the Fraser Valley Regional District. Refer to the Province (Service BC) or Special Area Hunting Brochure for further information.
Q: Where does the municipal boundary end on the west side of Stave.
At the north end of Morgan Lake.
Q: Does the bylaw apply to hunting with bows and arrows.
No, refer to the Bow and Arrow bylaw and the Provincial Hunting Regulations
Q: Where can I hunt with a rifle, where can I hunt with a shotgun?
Q: My farm is in Area A – No shooting? Can I still protect my livestock and crops?
Yes, in accordance with the Provincial regulations; including but not limited to: Migratory Birds Convention Act, Wildlife Act, and Farm Practices Protection Act.
Q: Do I require a permit to discharge a firearm in area A?
No, the District will not issue a permit. You are required to follow the provisions of the Provincial/Federal Acts.
Q: What is the fine for contravening the DOF Bylaw?
Any person guilty of an infraction of this Bylaw shall be liable, upon summary conviction, to a fine of not less than $500.00 and not more than the maximum penalty provided by the Offence Act, and where the offence is a continuing one, each day that the offence is continued shall constitute a separate offence.
For questions or comments regarding the Discharge of Firearms bylaw please contact:
Michael Boronowski, MA
Manager, Civic Engagement & Corporate Initiatives