The Government of Alberta is moving forward to create the Alberta Firearms Advisory Committee which will explore ways in which the Kenney government can “better assert areas of provincial jurisdiction” when it comes to respecting Albertan firearms owners.
In a Wednesday press conference, Premier Kenney insisted that they would continue to crack down on criminal activity involving firearms. He announced that the government would be opening a provincially maintained forensic unit to examine firearms that have been used in crimes. That centre will have the ability to inspect and document 750 firearms per year — well over the 600 firearms used on average in crime per year in Alberta.
Currently the province relies on the RCMP to do this work but claim that there is an eight-month backlog — an unacceptable wait time.
The province has hinted that a Chief Firearms Officer will be appointed in-house, replacing the CFO sent in from Ottawa.
“Personnel is policy,” Kenney said, saying that an Alberta appointed CFO would better serve the needs and expectations of Alberta’s large firearm community. He added:
“The federal government has introduced hasty and ill-thought-out measures that penalize law-abiding gun owners while doing little to stop criminals who traffic or use illegal firearms. The vast sums of money Ottawa will spend would be far better used to pursue the smugglers and drug gangs that plague our society. In Alberta, we will take action to protect Albertans, prosecute criminals and deter illegal gun crime and trafficking rather than persecuting law-abiding citizens.”
The committee (which is another in a long list of Kenney created panels) will feature a dozen Albertans from across Alberta and the firearms community – including Olympians, Armed Forces veterans, ex-police chiefs, and professors.