An international arms dealer operates in the Parksville Qualicum Beach region, and it’s all legal.
Bill Lineham buys and sells firearms. He said he has a licence to do so from the RCMP and he also said his business picks up when police, every couple of years, offer amnesty for those who want to get rid of their rifles, shotguns and handguns.
“I will buy essentially anything, but I like to help older people,” said Lineham. “They may have a bunch of guns in the closet and they don’t know what to do with them. And some of the elderly people, they need the money.”
Law enforcement agencies announced last week that people in B.C. with unwanted guns can call police in the month of October and officers will come to their homes and take the firearms, no questions asked. In the Parksville Qualicum Beach region, call the RCMP at 250-248-6111.
The last province-wide gun amnesty program in 2013 collected 1,801 firearms, 155 other weapons and roughly 30,700 rounds of ammunition, according to the B.C. government.
Lineham said the amnesty is a “political ploy” set up to “appease” people who live in big cities “and don’t understand guns.” He said instead of handing the guns over for free to police, people can contact him (250-951-1385) and see what kind of money they can get for the weapons.
Lineham said he sells some of his guns through the Internet, but he’s been in the business so long
“I have people contacting me on a regular basis.”
People who buy guns from Lineham must have licences to both purchase and acquire weapons of this nature, he said.
That includes seven handguns he said he sold to a dealer in Alabama in the last year.
The federal Liberal government under Prime Minister Jean Chretien instituted a long-gun registry about 12 years ago that was scrapped by the Conservatives when they came to power.
“It was a horrendous waste of two billion of taxpayers’ dollars and it accomplished nothing,” said Lineham.
One can go to the “seedier” parts of Nanaimo and Victoria and get a handgun, with its serial number scraped off, and ammunition, for about $250, said Lineham.
“The criminals do not register their firearms.”
Lineham said he is a member of the National Firearms Association, the Canadian equivalent of the National Rifle Association in the U.S.
“I’ve been around guns my whole life; my dad had guns,” he said. “That’s how I learned to respect and handle them safely.”
Shooting deaths are in the news almost every day, but that doesn’t seem to alter Lineham’s opinion of guns.
“I honestly don’t believe that firearms are any more dangerous than baseball bats or knitting needles,” he said.