Times Colonist: BC Conservation Officer Service accused of purchasing ‘military-grade’ assault rifles

Below is an excerpt from the original article written by Stefan Labbe for The Times Colonist on October 25, 2022.

​An environmental group says it has gathered evidence the BC Conservation Officer Service (BCCOS) is quietly being armed with “military-grade” assault rifles. 

In an open letter to the Office of the Premier and premier-designate David Eby, Pacific Wild says it appears both civilian contractors and BCCOS officers are being issued .308 semi-automatic rifles with detachable high-capacity magazines. 

“They got money for a patrol rifle and turned around and bought an assault rifle,” said Bryce Casavant, director of conservation intelligence for the group. 

Or as the Pacific Wild letter puts it: “The deployment and use of these weapons sends a cumulative war-like provincial message to the public, a hardened stance that is militaristic in appearance and operational practice.”

In a photo posted to Twitter Sept. 25, 2022, BCCOS hold a 'military-style' assault rifles.BCCOS/Twitter