Minister Madu slams federal firearms ban, seeks Albertans’ input on provincial gun policies

Justice Minister Kaycee Madu reiterated his government’s criticism of Ottawa’s ban on hundreds of assault-style firearms on Monday and announced Alberta is seeking input from residents on the province’s firearms policies.

“Recent legislation announced by the federal government would punish hard-working farmers, hunters and other lawful gun owners, while failing to address the true problem: the flow of illegal firearms throughout Canada from south of the border,” he said in a news release.

“The government of Alberta is committed to protecting public safety and ensuring law-abiding firearms owners are respected.”

The Liberal government’s firearms legislation saw 1,500 assault-style firearms banned for use, sale, import or transport in Canada and includes a two-year amnesty period for current owners.

READ MORE: Federal government unveils ban on 1,500 ‘assault-style’ firearms 

The province has launched an online survey about guns through the Alberta Firearms Advisory Committee website. The survey will be open until Dec. 6 and the province will also hold two telephone town hall events on the issue later this month.

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“Albertans must be heard, and these consultations will help Alberta’s government develop a responsible firearms-use policy that deters criminals without attacking law-abiding gun owners — and in turn, free up the courts for serious matters,” Madu said.

The province said the Alberta Firearms Advisory Committee is still studying the Liberal government’s firearms ban and working to establish a provincial firearms office and the appointment of a chief provincial firearms officer (CPFO).

READ MORE: Alberta to appoint chief provincial firearms officer 

The committee is expected to work on choosing someone to fill that position this winter and the government said the firearms office will be operational in the summer of 2021.

Michaela Glasgo, the MLA for Brooks-Medicine Hat, chairs the Alberta Firearms Advisory Committee. In a news release, she said the survey and town halls will “help the committee develop recommendations on how the province of Alberta can better assert itself in areas of provincial jurisdiction.”

“Alberta’s long history of responsible firearms ownership by law-abiding citizens deserves respect; so do Albertans’ property rights,” she said.

“The committee will also make recommendations on how a chief provincial firearms officer can strengthen the administration of the firearms program to improve services for gun owners.”

The provincial government says there are 316,791 licensed firearms owners in Alberta. The government announced the creation of the provincial firearms advisory committee in June.

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Watch below: Some Global News videos about firearms policies.

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