Ettore Russo fires his pistol at an indoor shooting range during a qualification course to renew his Carry Concealed handgun permit at the Placer Sporting Club in Roseville, Calif., on Friday, July 1, 2022. The California Department of Justice improperly revealed names and other identifying information on a website that was designed to show general data about the number and location of concealed carry gun permits.. The Placer Sporting Club provides instructions and qualifies gun owners who want to carry a concealed weapon. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Alberta standing up to ‘federal firearms agenda,’ says premier

The provincial government says it is expanding the Alberta Chief Firearms Office and patriating more administrative firearms authority to Alberta.

With a funding increase of $700,000 for the current year, growing to more than $7 million next year and $5.2 million the year after, the ACFO will be able to hire 40 new positions.

With these new resources in place, the ACFO will be able to process licence applications, transfers, authorizations to carry and other administrative tasks faster and in Alberta, the government said in a statement this week.

“Boosting resources to the Alberta Chief Firearms Office means law-abiding firearms owners in Alberta won’t have to wait while their applications and transfers are held up by bureaucratic red tape in Eastern Canada,” said Premier Jason Kenney.

“This is one more way Alberta’s government is standing up to Ottawa’s ridiculous firearms agenda and asserting our provincial autonomy.”

Recent federal legislation has banned handgun imports. The provincial government said this has led to an “unprecedented increase” in sales and transfers of more than 178,000 handguns since spring.

Typically applications are processed out of Miramichi, N.B., by the Canadian Firearms Program, administered by the RCMP, and wait times have ballooned to up to six months, said the Government of Alberta.

Tyler Shandro, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General said the firearms program administered by the RCMP in Miramichi, N.B., is “poorly managed and subject to the political whims of Ottawa.”

“Our province has the third-largest and fastest-growing rate of firearms ownership in the country. By greatly expanding the Chief Firearms Office, Alberta’s government will be able to provide faster and more efficient service and will be better positioned to protect firearms owners’ property rights,” said Shandro.

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