Alberta's provincial government is refusing the federal government's request to assist in confiscating about 30,000 firearms from Albertans.
According to Justice Minister Tyler Shandro, the federal government recently requested Alberta aid in the confiscation of 30,000 firearms in accordance with federal legislation.
In an announcement on Monday (Sept. 26,) Shandro announced the province would be ignoring the request and will be advising Alberta RCMP not to do so either.
Shandro stressed the province's view that the confiscation of these firearms is "politically motivated," and that their classification as "assault-style" is arbitrary.
"To be clear, these firearms were acquired legally. The list of over 1500 banned models were all previously non-restricted restricted firearms, and include hunting rifles and shotguns as well as historical artifacts, almost 100 years old. While the federal government has labelled them as, in their words, 'assault-style,' that's a label designed to scare Canadians who are unfamiliar with firearms. It's a description based purely on their appearance and not on any unusual dangers that they pose or mechanical capability they possess."
Shandro is quoted in a provincial release directly referencing the confiscation of firearms in High River by the RCMP in 2013.
"Alberta has been told that the federal government will use the RCMP to confiscate firearms – as they did during the 2013 floods – when the RCMP seized over 600 firearms during the notorious High River gun grab. Actions taken today will seek to prevent history from repeating itself. Further options are being explored and all options are on the table."
He says the province has been informed that the federal government plans to utilize Alberta RCMP officers to enforce the federal "buyback program."
To combat this, the province has written to the RCMP K-Divison (Alberta) commanding officer to assert that the confiscation of firearms is not an objective of the Alberta RCMP and that doing so would not be "appropriate to the effective and efficient delivery of police services."
Shandro cited Articles 6.0, 2.3(a), 7.2(a) and 23.0 of the Provincial Police Service Agreement, claiming Alberta has provincial authority to decline the use of RCMP officers' participation in the confiscation of firearms.
The province will also seek to intervene in six judicial review applications challenging the constitutionality of this federal firearm legislation.
Their goal is to provide arguments that the federal government has overreached on its plan to ban 1500 firearm models.