In a line by line analysis of the Alberta Provincial Firearms Act, we at FIRE have found many items worthy of discussion. As with most legislation this bill could be a double edged sword, mostly good ideas, but, if an anti-gun government took power, could be a nightmare for gun owners of Alberta.
Section 2(1) proclaims provincial jurisdiction over the office of the Chief Firearms Officer, which will make sure the CFO is not under federal control.
Section 3 is a detailed list of responsibilities is laid out for the CFO, which is good, but section 3(h) refers to the establishment of advisory boards by the minister in charge, which can be very problematic depending on the party in power, the reason for the advisory board, and the people chosen to be on the board. An elected CFO could help mitigate this issue.
Section 6 specifies a requirement for the CFO to make an annual report as well as any recommendations for that fiscal year to the minister and make the report public.
Sections 8, 9, 10,13 will challenge or take away the ability of the Federal government to confiscate guns in Alberta using the RCMP, or military. Creating a provincial government approved and licensed ‘seizure agent’ makes the confiscation or seizure of firearms in Alberta, the sole responsibility of the province. Fines of $20,000 to $100,000 will act as a deterrent to any person or corporation attempting to confiscate guns in Alberta.
The down side to this plan, is if a gun hostile government takes power, these ‘seizure agents’ can be turned against Alberta’s gun owners by using provincial OIC’s to change the, as yet unwritten, regulations of this bill. The devil is in the details, and the regulations of this bill are what are going to be the issue.
Sections 11 and 12 propose putting in place a compensation program for seized guns, as well as a forensic and ballistic testing program, which are good ideas.
Section 16 will not allow any deal making with the federal government to bypass any provincial laws that will negatively impact Alberta’s gun owners. A good way to keep the federal government from making backroom deals with cities, municipalities, or police forces in Alberta.
There is one detail that I am disappointed not to see, is the option of the provincial government to resell seized guns for a revenue stream and to save money in destruction costs. I am of the opinion that the gun owners of Alberta would thrilled with this idea.
Bill 8 could be a very good thing for Alberta’s gun owners, making future federal gun confiscation plans very difficult to implement.
Know your rights or you won’t have any
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