Alberta to table Firearms Act on Tuesday

According to government sources, Bill 8 builds upon Bill 211, the Municipal Government (Firearms) Amendment Act, 2020, to prevent municipalities from passing firearms bylaws unless authorized by the province.

Alberta to table Firearms Act on Tuesday
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Alberta is set to table its long-awaited firearms act on Tuesday in its fight against federal overreach, specifically Ottawa's gun grab.

In an exclusive report by the Western Standard, the publication uncovered that Bill 8, The Alberta Firearms Act, would require municipalities and municipal police services to meet specific requirements before entering into any firearms-related funding agreements with Ottawa.

According to government sources, Bill 8 builds upon Bill 211, the Municipal Government (Firearms) Amendment Act, 2020, to prevent municipalities from passing firearms bylaws unless authorized by the province.

On Tuesday, the UCP will follow through on a commitment to introduce an Alberta Firearms Act.

In December, Saskatchewan tabled its own Firearms Act to protect law-abiding firearms owners against creeping federal overreach into provincial jurisdiction.

The province positioned the Firearms Act as a new regulatory toolkit that promotes the "safe and responsible use of firearms." It educates and trains on "safe storage and firearms licensing" through a "made-in-Saskatchewan" marketing campaign.

According to the Western Standard, the Firearms Act would follow in its neighbour's footsteps and strengthen Alberta's ability to regulate, administer, and advocate for firearms owners.

Specifically, the act supposedly clarifies the Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) role within provincial legislation. Alberta's CFO will have a more explicit mandate and must issue an annual report to promote accountability.

Government sources also claim the act introduces regulations permitting seizure agent licensing.

In December, Attorney General Tyler Shandro said the province would assume jurisdiction of firearms-related Criminal Code cases rather than relinquishing the duty to the federal government. They believe Ottawa's firearms seizure goes too far.

Government sources also alleged Monday that the UCP would develop a Firearms Compensation Committee to determine fair compensation for firearms. They also intend to establish requirements for forensic and ballistic testing of all confiscated firearms when necessary.

Alberta currently has 341,988 firearms licence holders, who own the second most firearms nationwide that are classified as restricted or prohibited by the federal government.

Many legal firearm hunters head to one of the province's 127 approved shooting ranges if not used for hunting.

Annually, 30,000 Albertans complete mandatory firearms safety training to obtain their firearms licence — up to 38,000 as of 2021.

The announcement comes after the federal government failed to introduce amendments to Bill C-21 that would have targeted rifles and shotguns popular with hunters, sport shooters, and gun collectors.

The controversial legislation is not dead in the water despite withdrawing from its PEI pilot, as the Liberal Party restricts firearms ownership.

In May 2020, the federal government passed an Order-in-Council banning 1,500 assault-style firearms and distinguishing components of newly prohibited firearms. Owners have until October 2023 to comply with the law.

Alberta's Bill 8 is expected to be tabled by the Alberta Legislature at 3 pm on Tuesday.

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