Supporting Hunter Safety

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The Province of Saskatchewan is committed to firearm safety and hunter education.

The province will pay the Saskatchewan Association for Firearm Education (SAFE) more than $200,000 to train people to be safe and informed hunters. This new contract, to March 2005, will allow the people of Saskatchewan to continue to receive the lowest cost hunter education training in the country.

While the SAFE program will allow Saskatchewan people to buy hunting licenses it will not allow them to meet the federal gun control laws that govern owning a firearm.

Until January of this year the provincial and federal courses were blended into the SAFE program and people could meet all requirements by taking it. However, the federal government decided to deliver its own program through the private sector.

"It's unfortunate the federal government has decided not to continue to be part of this internationally recognized firearm safety and hunter education program," Environment Minister Buckley Belanger said. "Its actions will mean increased costs and more red tape for the people of this province. Hunting has a long tradition in Saskatchewan and we are committed to making sure that tradition carries on in a safe manner."

Saskatchewan's firearm safety and hunter education program has virtually eliminated hunting accidents since it was established in 1960. It is accepted as meeting the requirements of all Canadian and United States jurisdictions as a prerequisite to buying hunting licenses.

The Saskatchewan Association for Firearm Education is a non-profit association whose members volunteer to teach firearm safety.

The money being paid to SAFE comes from the Fish and Wildlife Development Fund with the support of the Fund Steering Committee. Money in the Fish and Wildlife Development Fund comes from a portion of the cost of buying a hunting, fishing or trapping license.