Wayne Cheveldave has been training and competing at the Alberni Fish and Game Club and the Campbell River Gun Club. Photo contributed

Competitive shooters shutdown by federal gun ban

The world of 3-Gun Competitive Shooting is the fastest-growing shooting sport in the world but two successful local competitors may have seen their sport shot down by federal gun legislation.

3-Gun involves the nuances of operating shotguns, rifles and handguns through a dynamic and entertaining course of fire. Scores are measured through a combination of speed, precision and accuracy and final scores are compared to other competitors worldwide.

Two Vancouver Island Competitive 3-Gun Shooters have obtained PRO Status in 2020. PRO status means their scores are equivalent to or faster than 95 per cent of the competitors in the association.

For several years, Wayne Cheveldave has been training and competing at the Alberni Fish and Game Club and the Campbell River Gun Club. He officially retired from working with the City of Port Alberni in 2020 and the very same month, he obtained PRO status at the Campbell River Gun Club by setting a new record on one of the competitive courses of fire.

Reg Creighton is the volunteer Multi-Gun Section Director and Executive Range Officer at the Campbell River Gun Club. He has trained with Cheveldave for about five years now and competes in Western Canada and the USA. He is also a Director of the Professional Firearms Instructors Canada Corp., and a firearms instructor. Creighton obtained PRO status in February at the Campbell River Gun Club.

Both competitors credit their success to the invaluable support of the on-Island gun clubs as well as the positive atmosphere within the Vancouver Island competitive shooting sports associations.

“Shooting sports are like any other sport. It takes time, strong discipline, and lots of practice. These are two level-headed and entertaining competitors, and we are thrilled to see them represent Vancouver Island in these competitions. It is just as fun to watch these competitions as it is to compete in them,” says Crystal Power, President of the Alberni Fish and Game Club and long time high-level ladies competitive shooter.

But along with the good news comes some bad news as well.

Dan Cahill, Director of Public Relations at the Campbell River Gun Club, says, “It is fantastic to see locals compete on the world stage. Having said that, can you imagine what it was like to have the federal gun ban put in place right after obtaining PRO status? If you did not know, in May 2020, the government banned the use of the primary firearms they use for these competitions, impacting every 3-Gun competitor in Canada and shutting down a large portion of their training and competitions.”

That’s disappointing for Creighton and Cheveldave.

“It’s a tough pill to swallow; receive PRO status after years of training, and a week later we lose the ability to practice or compete in Canada. We are not even allowed to transport our equipment to the USA for training or competitions. It’s a heartbreaker. We train hard and normally compete year-round,” Creighton says.

Cheveldave of Port Alberni notes, “We spend a ton of time practicing and have made considerable financial investments to participate at this level of competition. 3-Gun is unique and I have my fingers crossed we can get back to it asap. It’s a fantastic and entertaining sport and getting PRO status was worth every second of training.”

“Both competitors are ready and eager to get back to the sport they love, but in the meantime, we congratulate Wayne and Reg on their efforts and hope they get to keep representing the island in the future,” says Cahill.