“The federal government’s national handgun freeze is now in effect. The ban means that Canadians interested in becoming new handgun owners are unable to do so. Sadly, with no new purchases being made, ranges, sport shooting clubs and firearms-related businesses will slowly be forced to shut down, compromising livelihoods and recreational opportunities for tens of thousands of Canadians.

“This freeze led to a massive surge in handgun purchases from law-abiding firearms owners as they sought to make legal purchases for the last time. Ironically, there are now more legally owned handguns than ever before in Canadian history.

“The federal government will pretend that this is about public safety, deliberately conflating legal handgun ownership with the violence that we see in many urban centres across Canada. In reality, the handguns used to perpetrate criminal acts in our urban centres are typically illegally obtained and are smuggled across the U.S. border by weapons traffickers.

“The federal government’s real goal is to scapegoat handgun owners and use wedge politics to appeal to a narrow base of voters who wish to see legal firearm ownership in this country eliminated entirely.

“Alberta’s government will always stand with law-abiding firearms owners as we strive to keep our communities safe, put criminals behind bars and protect Albertans’ property rights.”