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Albertans invited to have a say on provincial firearms policy

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November 10, 2020 at 1:02 pm - Home, Local News
By Erika Chorostil

Albertans are being invited to have their say about provincial firearms policy and the changes to federal firearms rules.

The Alberta government has launched an online survey and will be holding two telephone town hall meeting events on November 17th and 23rd.

Each town hall will be able to accommodate 1,000 people and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The government says more information on participating in these activities is available through the Alberta Firearms Advisory Committee website.

“The Government of Alberta is committed to protecting public safety and ensuring law-abiding firearms owners are respected,” said Kaycee Madu, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General.

“Recent legislation announced by the federal government would punish hard-working farmers, hunters, and other lawful gun owners while failing to address the true problem: the flow of illegal firearms throughout Canada from south of the border. Albertans must be heard, and these consultations will help Alberta’s government develop a responsible firearms-use policy that deters criminals without attacking law-abiding gun owners – and in turn, free up the courts for serious matters.”

The Alberta Firearms Advisory Committee, chaired by Brooks-Medicine Hat MLA Michaela Glasgo, is examining the impact of the federal ban of more than 1500 firearms and is considering how provincial firearms policies can best meet the needs of legal gun owners in Alberta.

The provincial government says the work will support responsible gun owners, as will the establishment of a provincial firearms office and the appointment of a chief provincial firearms officer (CPFO).

An implementation team has been set up to oversee the transition to the provincial firearms office, and this winter they will begin a process to identify a suitable CPFO. The Chief Provincial Firearms Office will then be operational next summer.

“This engagement will help the committee develop recommendations on how the province of Alberta can better assert itself in areas of provincial jurisdiction,” said MLA Glasgo.

“Alberta’s long history of responsible firearms ownership by law-abiding citizens deserves respect; so do Albertans’ property rights. The committee will also make recommendations on how a Chief Provincial Firearms Officer can strengthen the administration of the firearms program to improve services for gun owners.”

On May 1, 2020, the federal government prohibited buying, using, and selling thousands of firearms. The federal Canadian Firearms Program is responsible for the administration of the Firearms Act and regulations and works closely with partners and stakeholders to promote firearms safety.

The program’s latest report highlights the following:

3,427 firearms were seized by public service agencies in Alberta during 2018. Nationally, 25,430 were seized. Across Canada, between 2014 and 2018, 84,576 firearms registrations were refused or revoked. There are 316,791 licensed firearms owners in Alberta. At the end of December 2018, there were 218,305 firearms registered to businesses or individuals in the province

Follow @ErikaChorostil

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