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Island adventure store manager explains AR-15 costs

Proposed prices for the federal government’s AR-15 buyback program are now released, but an island adventure shop says the proposed price might not be enough.

According to Public Safety Canada, the proposed buyback price for an AR-15 is $1,337.

While AR-15 rifles can start at around $1,000, Courtenay Gone Fishin’ manager Jordan Mackie says the rifles are quite customizable and can go up in value.

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“Typically, the sky is the limit depending on what accessories or manufacturing went into the firearm,” said Mackie.

“Typically on average you would be $1,000 to $2,500 on the firearm alone. The cost of things like a viewfinder would often be $300 to sometimes $1,500. Depending on preference, hand grips, hand guards or replacement butt stocks can add a couple hundred dollars on top of that.”

Mackie says customization, and the cost of the ammunition help make these weapons popular.

“You can make it as short or as long as you need,” said Mackie. “So having one firearm I can quickly shrink or elongate to make fit the shooter, it makes it a lot more versatile.”

The federal government says the price list was developed based on the average price Canadians paid for an assault-style weapon. The CZ Scorpion was the cheapest and the SG550 most expensive.

A complete list is as follows:

  • AR Platform: $1,337
  • Cx4 Storm: $1,317
  • CZ Scorpion: $1,291
  • M14 Rifle: $2,612
  • Robinson Armament: $2,735
  • Ruger Mini-14: $1,407
  • SG550 and SG551: $6,209
  • SIG Sauer MCX, MPX: $2,369
  • VZ.58: $1,139
  • Firearms with a >20mm bore diameter: $2,684
  • Firearms with a muzzle energy >10,000 Joules (e.g., 50 BMG): $2,819

Mackie says, however, fixed prices are tricky because of the variance in price with customizations.

“Unfortunately, it’s not really a set value that you could apply to any specific firearm,” said Mackie. “Somebody could come in and buy a Norinco brand which is probably sitting at around $1,000.”

“In the same instance, somebody else could come in here and get a really high-end firearm, spending $2,500 to $3,000 for the gun alone.”

Mackie feels the buyback program could be a case-by-case assessment of the firearm and its condition.

With the price list now released, the government says they will be gathering input from gun owners, businesses, and industry on the proposed compensation amounts from now until Aug. 28.

With files from Casey Kenny

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