TheGunBlog.ca — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said he expects to pass a motion to name a provincial Chief Firearms Officer “in the days to come,” as he shields hunters and farmers from the federal Liberal Party’s “regulatory harassment.”
Why It Matters
- Alberta joins Saskatchewan in saying it may fight the Liberal gun confiscations in court.
- The premiers of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario are among the most-powerful and vocal opponents of the Liberal crackdown against honest citizens.
- Risk of politicizing bureaucracy: A future government that is hostile to strong and free individuals could appoint a Chief Firearms Officer that acts against gun owners.
Transcript: Jason Kenney, Doug Schweitzer
The following are comments by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Minister of Justice Doug Schweitzer at yesterday’s media briefing in Edmonton.
Headings and bold were added by TheGunBlog.ca.
Premier Jason Kenney
We have a motion before the legislature that is being debated to support the creation of an Alberta Chief Firearms Officer, a prerogative that the province has had but not exercised since the adoption of Bill C-69 back in, I think, 1995. [Could mean Bill C-68?]
Other provinces have used that power to create Chief Firearms Officers.
It is our intention to do that.
I anticipate the government side of the House will pass that motion in the days to come.
And again, this comes back to what I said earlier, that often personnel is policy.
By appointing an Alberta Chief Firearms Officer, we believe we can have somebody who, while obviously committed to upholding the law, will do so in a way that focuses enforcement on criminal misuse of firearms rather than regulatory harassment of safe, legal, law-abiding farmers and duck hunters.
And we acknowledge that the government of Canada has established through the courts over the last 20 years clear constitutional jurisdiction over the regulation of firearms.
This goes back to a challenge that Alberta led against that Bill C-69 in the late 1990s, Supreme Court of Canada clearly established federal paramountcy in this area, as it did more recently in another case.
Now having said that, we understand that there may be some private Canadian citizens, including Albertans, filing legal challenges against recent actions by the federal government targeting legal, law-abiding firearms owners, and we, the government of Alberta will keep its options open about potentially supporting those legal challenges.
Federal Liberals Are ‘Missing the Target’
Our view is the government of Canada is missing the target.
If it wants to reduce criminal gun abuse of firearms in Canada, criminal misuse of firearms, they should be redoubling efforts to interdict the importation of illicit firearms primarily from the United States.
The data, the evidence is clear, as the significant majority of firearms used in criminal acts in Canada are firearms that were smuggled in from the United States.
They are not hunting rifles used by rural Albertans, for example. They are overwhelmingly firearms brought in across the U.S. Border.
And so if the federal government were really serious about tackling that kind of gun crime, which tends to be fuelled mainly by drug gangs, then they should be focusing on the border crossings and on those illicit firearms being smuggled into the country.
‘Makes No Sense’
And so telling law-abiding firearms owners, who have a perfect record — by the way, who have acquired their firearms based on their firearms-acquisition certificate, based on continued monitoring, people who are law-abiding, safe, respectful, upright citizens — to tell them that their firearms are going to be seized or criminalized because some gangs down east are importing weapons across the border, makes no sense.
Doug do you want to comment further on that?
Minister of Justice Doug Schweitzer
This Liberal policy has caused huge frustrations in Alberta.
We’ve held telephone town halls, talked to stakeholders about this issue and it’s just causing an immense amount of frustration for law-abiding citizens here in the province of Alberta.
Earlier this year we had an opportunity to meet with all the justice ministers across Canada, as well as with the public-safety minister federally.
We asked them to consult with Albertans, tread softly on this issue, make sure that they listened to Albertans.
And instead we’ve got a half-policy that was rushed through that really isn’t focusing on why we have gun crimes in our country. And it’s really stemming from illegal guns that are being imported to our country through organized crime.
If the federal government was serious about tackling gun crimes, they’d be cracking down on the borders and going after organized crime.
Source: Jason Kenney and Doug Schweitzer, Media Briefing, 01 June 2020
Government Motion 20
Be it resolved that the Legislative Assembly
Source: Government Motion 20, 27 May 2020
- recognize that the criminal use of firearms primarily involves unlicensed individuals, often using illegally smuggled firearms;
- express its opposition to the Government of Canada’s recent decision to amend regulations to the Criminal Code to prohibit the possession, transportation and sale of certain types of legally-acquired firearms by licensed, law-abiding citizens; and
- urge the Government of Alberta to take all necessary steps to assert provincial jurisdiction in connection with these matters, including replacing the Chief Firearms Officer having jurisdiction for Alberta as designated by the federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness with a chief firearms officer for Alberta designated by the Government of Alberta in accordance with the Firearms Act (Canada).
TheGunBlog.ca is aware of two lawsuits filed in Alberta or by Albertans:
- Saskatchewan to Name Own Chief Firearms Officer, Opposing Feds
- Alberta to Study Naming Its Own Chief Firearms Officer: Kenney
- Alberta Government Statement on Federal Firearms Ban
- Lawsuits News
- June 3: Deletes date of motion.
- June 14: Corrects name of Jason Nixon.