For the first time ever, the Vancouver Island Regional Library has pulled two magazines off its shelves because of their content.

The two titles, American Handgunner and American Rifleman, have been available for years before they were removed Friday.

The library’s review and the decision came after a complaint.

Gloria Lorenzen wrote a letter imploring the library to take the magazines off the shelves, saying the publications both covered topics that are illegal in Canada

“Purchasing guns that have longer barrels or shorter barrels than what Canadian law permits. Concealing weapons if that means carrying them on your body so that the public can’t see,” said Lorenzen.

Both magazine subscriptions were gifts from the Shooting Chapter of the Cowichan Fish and Game Club.

Members are outraged at what has happened and call it censorship.

“I got pretty upset about it and I think it’s Gestapo tactics on their part,” said Gary Sutherland, the Shooting Chapter president.

“The American Handgunner. There’s nothing else like it that you can get with the information in it and the Rifleman is more into rifles, target shooting and hunting.”

The library defended its decision saying it’s asked the gun club to donate a Canadian version of the magazines.

“We concluded that it would be more appropriate for us to offer Canadian alternatives that focus on gun ownership for Canadians within a Canadian legal landscape,” said Anne O’Shea, the library’s Chief Operating Officer.

“We don’t consider it censorship to ensure we have the absolute best example of something that we’re collecting.”

The gun club is urging those concerned to write letters to the library.

Kendall Hanson