Alberta’s government is providing clarity to municipalities, police services and police commissions about their responsibility when considering accepting federal funding to enforce a federal firearms confiscation program.
The regulation requires that municipalities, police services and police commissions receive written approval from Alberta’s minister of Justice and Attorney General before entering into funding agreements or accepting funding from the federal government to take part in the federal firearms confiscation program.
This requirement allows the minister of Justice and Attorney General to review funding agreements and grants to ensure they are consistent with safe delivery of firearms programming in Alberta.
“The Alberta Firearms Act was introduced on March 7. Twenty-one days later, the law took effect when it received royal assent. Now, merely a week later, Alberta’s government has moved to enable the first regulation under the act. This action demonstrates that Alberta stands unequivocally with law-abiding firearms owners, but there is more to do. Stay tuned.”
“Public safety should be the cornerstone and overriding factor in all decisions related to firearms programming. The federal firearms confiscation program will not improve public safety. The Alberta Chief Firearms Office calls on the federal government to put public safety first by focusing on the criminal misuse of firearms rather than on law-abiding firearms owners.”
- The Alberta Firearms Act builds upon steps taken in the Municipal Government (Firearms) Amendment Act, 2020, which amended the Municipal Government Act to prevent municipalities from passing firearms bylaws unless authorized by the province.
- This regulation does not impact normal police activity, such as having to confiscate a firearm as part of an investigation.
- British Columbia and Quebec both have legislation that regulates firearms outside of wildlife and hunting legislation. Saskatchewan recently introduced legislation to regulate firearms.
- There are 341,988 possession/acquisition licence holders in Alberta.
- Albertans own the second-highest number of firearms classified as restricted or prohibited by the federal government.
- There are 127 approved shooting ranges and more than 650 firearms-related businesses in Alberta.
- On average, an additional 30,000 Albertans complete mandatory firearms safety course training annually, as a first step to obtaining their firearms licence. In 2021, that number jumped to 38,000, indicating a significant upward trend in legal gun ownership in the province.