Status: The Alberta Firearms Act received royal assent March 28, 2023.
Ministry responsible: Justice
The Alberta Firearms Act (formerly Bill 8) gives Alberta more tools to protect areas of provincial jurisdiction over firearms while expanding the role of the Alberta Chief Firearms Office.
The act provides flexibility for Alberta’s government to quickly develop regulations if necessary to protect provincial areas of responsibility for firearms and the rights of law-abiding firearms owners. The act also raises awareness and strengthens accountability of the Chief Firearms Office by requiring them to produce annual reports.
Alberta’s Chief Firearms Office was created in 2021 to administer federal firearms legislation, advocate for lawful firearms owners and promote public safety.
With this act, we are taking another step to stand up for the rights of Alberta’s lawful firearm owners and protect our province’s unique heritage.
The Alberta Firearms Act:
- enables Alberta to protect its areas of responsibility over firearms through regulations to help preserve confidence in the integrity of the firearms control program. This could include:
- limiting municipalities and municipal police services from entering into firearms-related funding agreements with the federal government
- allowing Alberta to create regulations regarding which individuals or organizations can participate in the seizure and confiscation of firearms
- creating regulations to establish Alberta’s expectations for fair treatment of firearms owners regarding compensation for confiscated firearms, and the safety and integrity of any program that involves handling large numbers of firearms
- puts in legislation the Alberta Chief Firearms Office’s role in administering the federal Firearms Act and expands the role to include engaging with and advocating for Alberta’s firearms community, while allowing for further definitions of the office’s role through regulations
- requires annual reports from the Chief Firearms Office to show accountability and raise awareness of the office’s work
For more information, read the Alberta Firearms Act fact sheet (PDF, 358 KB).
The Alberta Firearms Act took effect when it received royal assent on March 28, 2023.
- The requirement for an annual report takes effect April 1, 2025.
- Sections related to confiscation and compensation for seized firearms, and safety requirements for programs handling large number of firearms will take effect upon proclamation.
- A regulation to clarify that municipalities, police services and police commissions must get provincial approval prior to accepting federal funding to enforce a firearms confiscation program has been published.
- A regulation to establish a provincial licensing regime for individuals and organizations acting as federal firearms seizure agents has been published. This will ensure those who participate in a federal confiscation program are licensed by the province, and outline confiscation activities that require the licence, such as seizing, storing and destroying firearms.
- Second action taken under the Alberta Firearms Act (April 24, 2023)
- First action taken using the Alberta Firearms Act (April 5, 2023)
- Alberta Firearms Act introduced (March 7, 2023)
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