(Update December 19: Rewrites first paragraph, adds Ian Runkle comment.)
TheGunBlog.ca — Alberta said today it’s expanding measures to protect gun owners from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “increasingly hostile” attacks.
Ian Runkle, a firearm lawyer in Edmonton, called it a political “show move.”
Two New Actions
Alberta Attorney General Tyler Shandro, also the minister of justice, outlined a two-part plan that takes effect January 01:
- Provincial prosecutors instead of federal prosecutors will choose who to charge under the federal Firearms Act.
- A new protocol for provincial prosecutors aims to avoid charging gun owners who ignore Trudeau’s mass-confiscation order of 01 May 2020.
Shandro: Feds ‘Increasingly Hostile’
“Today I’m pleased to be able to join you to provide an overview of two actions Alberta has taken in order to assert our constitutional jurisdiction and protect firearms owners from an increasingly hostile federal government,” Shandro said at a media briefing.
“It’s becoming increasingly clear that the federal Liberal government is pursuing a strategy to ban all legal firearms ownership,” he said.
Why It Matters: The Good
- Alberta is leading the defence against Trudeau’s attacks on honest citizens, including drafting its own Firearms Act.
- Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick are also working to block Trudeau’s crackdowns. The Saskatchewan Firearms Act is on track to become law.
- The pushback shows the importance of provincial governments to firearm policy and politics. Many gun owners wrongly believe it’s only a federal matter. #VoteSmart
- Trudeau’s confiscation fantasy will fail. Gun owners want to keep their property, and he lacks the means to seize it.
- The massive and growing opposition from provinces, police, and the public against Trudeau’s assaults is driving Canada’s anti-gun policy regime toward collapse. 😃
Why It Matters: The Bad
- Alberta’s new protections cover only rifle and shotgun owners targeted by Trudeau’s 01 May 2020 confiscation order, not his mass handgun confiscations.
- Shandro’s new protocol won’t prevent anti-gun prosecutors from ignoring his guidance and laying charges anyway.
- Alberta is taking over jurisdiction for charges under the federal Firearms Act only, not the Criminal Code that prosecutors would use to charge people for unlawful firearm possession.
- Even if provincial prosecutors don’t lay charges, federal lawyers could, said Jesse Hartery, a lawyer at McCarthy Tétrault, as quoted by CBC News.
- Future Alberta politicians who are hostile to firearm users could use provincial powers to hurt them. #VoteSmart
Runkle: Ineffective ‘Show Move’
“I certainly will not be relying on any of this to be effective in protecting me because I don’t think it will be,” Runkle, said in a December 17 video on YouTube. “It seems that this is more of a show move than a practical move.”
Bryant: Feds Broaden Attacks
Teri Bryant, Alberta’s Chief Firearms Officer, said at today’s media briefing:
“I have been increasingly disturbed to see our federal government ignore calls to redirect its attention to the real issues of smuggling and illegal-arms trafficking, and instead broaden its attacks to include evermore hunters, ranchers, sport shooters, Indigenous peoples, collectors preserving historical artifacts, and other law-abiding Canadians.”
Smith: ‘Pushing Back Against Federal Overreach’
“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,” Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said in a statement.
Shandro Sport Shooter
Shandro said last week from his personal Twitter account that he’s “a trap shooter and a target shooter” who enjoys taking his family to the local range.
He said today that rifle and shotgun owners targeted by a planned amendment to Trudeau’s Bill C-21 would be covered by the new protections.
Shandro’s Letter to Attorney General of Canada
Alberta Documents Published Today
- Attorney General Issues Protocol to Crown Prosecutors
- Alberta Takes Back Constitutional Jurisdiction
- Shandro’s Letter to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti