A firearms rights group has challenged an organization of gun control advocates to a public debate, promising to donate $10,000 to charity if the latter accepts.

The Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights (CCFR) issued a public challenge Thursday to Dr. Najma Ahmed of Doctors for Protection from Guns, asking that she join CCFR Executive Director Rod Giltaca for a debate on gun control in March.

CCFR says the debate is to “politely and maturely discuss the most important questions concerning the relationship between private firearm ownership and public safety in Canada.”

If Ahmed agrees to the debate, CCFR will donate $5,000 to Big Brothers and Sisters of Toronto and an additional $5,000 to a charity Dr. Ahmed and Giltaca will decide on together.

The leading question of the debate would be “Is there evidence to support further regulation of firearms in Canada?”

So far, Doctors for Protection from Guns has not responded to the challenge. The organization did not respond to a request for comment from True North. 

Doctors for Protection from Guns is an advocacy group that supports increased gun control and research into the root causes of gun violence.

In February, Ahmed, on behalf of Doctors for Protection from Guns, testified before a senate committee on Bill C-71, a bill imposing on law-abiding gun owners extra background checks and record-keeping. Ahmed’s testimony advocated for increased gun control.

That same month, Ahmed received multiple formal complaints accusing her of unfairly using her position as a doctor for political advocacy. She says that the complaints started after the CCFR wrote an article critical of her.

Ahmed would later tell CBC that the article was an attempt to intimidate her.

CCFR claims to have offered this debate to encourage polite dialogue.

“For the donations to be awarded, both parties must act in a respectable and polite manner throughout the event and participate in the conversation in its entirety. Political talk will be kept to a minimum so the conversation can remain productive and on topic,” the organization said.

CCFR gave Ahmed until Jan. 10 to accept.

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