Alberta government challenges federal firearm ban

The Alberta government announced Monday it will not help the federal government confiscate around 30,000 firearms from Albertans.

The Alberta government announced Monday that it will not offer assistance to the federal government in the confiscation of 30,000 firearms.

The federal Liberals say the RCMP will be deployed to confiscate firearms under the buyback program, which launched in 2021 as a result of the prohibition of 1,500 types of firearms on May 1, 2020.

However, the province says that it has sent a written request to the Alberta RCMP that the confiscation of the guns is not an “objective, priority, or goal,” and something the RCMP should not do.

Justice Minister Tyler Shandro says the province will formally dispute any attempt from the federal government to deploy the RCMP and will enact the Provincial Police Service Agreement (PPSA).

The agreement, according to Shandro, is so the province can advise the RCMP if an objective is not in the best interests of the province. As a result, Shandro says Mounties would listen and “refuse to participate,” particularly with the gun buyback program if the province is able to identify it as “a priority objective.”

The minister says if the federal government still tries to enlist the RCMP in being “agents to confiscate firearms,” the province can use Article 23 of the PPSA, which would see the province “dispute” the federal government in a written notice.


“This is not about keeping our community safe. This is pure politics from the perspective of the federal government and I think it’s important for us to make sure that the money that we spend on provincial policing is focused on provincial policing and not wrong-headed policy ideas that the federal government is trying to impose upon us,” Shandro said in a press conference.

“As the federal government continues to try and figure out how to operationalize this proposal, more and more Canadians are going to find out how bad of a boondoggle this is proposed to be.”

Shandro proposed a provincial police force earlier last month, one that would not have the same obligations to the federal government that the RCMP currently does.

In addition, pushback from the provincial government to not follow through on federal policy has been proposed by UCP leadership front-runner Danielle Smith in her “Sovereignty Act.”


However, Shandro says what the province is doing is not the same thing.

“If the federal government is going to propose policy and legislation that we think isn’t in the best interests of community safety, then we have the ability to at least ask the court to allow us to intervene and to be able to make sensible arguments in front of the court representing the best interests of Albertans,” Shandro said.

“We think we can provide a perspective within the courtroom to represent Albertans and make sure that what is decided by the federal government when it comes to legislation related to firearms is going to be focused on community safety.”

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