Currently, the federal government handles cases involving the federal Firearms Act. However, provinces have the constitutional authority to handle federal criminal law charges, including charges related to the act. 

With resources in place and the constitutional authority to deal with these matters, Alberta’s attorney general, Justice Minister Tyler Shandro, has directed that the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service handle charges involving the Firearms Act starting Jan. 1.

“As government, we do all we can to ensure the safety of Albertans. The federal government’s firearm ban does not stop illegal guns from crossing the border and making it into the hands of criminals. Instead of targeting criminals, the ban targets law-abiding firearms owners. Taking back Alberta’s constitutional jurisdiction and the authority to handle charges under the Firearms Act is one more way our province is pushing back against federal overreach.”

Danielle Smith, Premier

Minister Shandro has sent a letter to the federal minister of justice informing him that Alberta will be taking back constitutional jurisdiction for charges related to the federal Firearms Act.

“Alberta has the expertise and the ability to handle Firearms Act matters. By taking back our constitutional jurisdiction, we are not only asserting Alberta’s rightful place in Confederation but also better serving Alberta’s law-abiding firearms community. Most importantly, Alberta can ensure that resources can be prioritized to go after violent and repeat offenders – not otherwise law-abiding Albertans.”

Tyler Shandro, Minister of Justice

“Alberta already administers firearms legislation through my office. Having provincial jurisdiction to handle firearms offences makes sense and is in the best interests of Albertans’ rights and safety.”

Teri Bryant, chief firearms officer

Quick facts

  • Provinces have constitutional authority to handle Criminal Code matters, including charges related to the Firearms Act.
  • Alberta’s Chief Firearms Office administers federal firearms legislation, advocates for Alberta’s lawful firearms owners and promotes public safety.