Jason Kenney

Source: November 30, 2019 Deirdre Mitchell-MacLean

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says Alberta is looking at getting intervener status in upcoming court challenges to the federal Liberals new gun control laws.

“We believe that individual citizens who are impacted by these new regulations would have a stronger standing in a court challenge, and we are serious about potentially coming in to support a legal action by an individual citizen or group of citizens,” Kenney said Wednesday in announcing two new gun initiatives in Alberta.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has made similar comments about his provinces joining the court battle.

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Kenney has previous said Alberta will begin appointing its own chief firearms officer, which had previously been chosen by Ottawa.

Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick already appoint their own chief officers.

The Western Standard earlier reported the RCMP are quietly adding more guns to the list of 1,500 banned by the federal government earlier this month.

The RCMP, which manages the FRT through the Canadian Firearms Program, sent a statement confirming the re-classification was taking place beyond the original list of 1,500, and so far no public notification has taken place.

Alberta announced Wednesday, Alberta is establishing a provincial firearms examination unit to speed up testing of guns that have been seized as evidence in criminal investigations and striking a firearms panel to help advise the government.

While the Calgary Police Service (CPS) carries out this testing in its own facility and the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) is establishing a lab of its own, most police services in Alberta rely on the RCMP’s National Forensic Laboratory Services in Ottawa to fulfil this requirement with a straightforward test-firing procedure.

“In the fall of 2019, data indicated it was taking an average of eight months for the national RCMP laboratory to process a routine firearms testing request from Alberta. To prevent lengthy court delays from putting the prosecution of violent criminals at risk, Alberta is ending its reliance on the federal laboratory by establishing a provincial unit to perform tests on firearms used in crimes,” the government said in a release.

“Justice and Solicitor General is working on a plan with its partners at CPS, EPS, RCMP and Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) to establish a team and protocols for conducting firearms testing at the existing lab in Calgary and the forthcoming facility in Edmonton.”

In early May, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday they are banning 1,500 different makes and models of what he called “military-style” and “assault-style” guns in Canada.

The ban came into effect immediately and was ordered by the cabinet without any bill or debate in Parliament.

The Liberals campaigned in the last election to ban assault rifles and introduce legislation allowing cities to ban handguns.

The federal government still has to work out the details of a buy-back program to compensate the owners of previous legal firearms.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

News Editor & Calgary Bureau Chief

Dave Naylor is News Editor & Calgary Bureau Chief of the Western Standard based in the Calgary Headquarters. He served as City Editor of the Calgary Sun & covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years.

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