Opinon: Defending Alberta firearms owners and property rights

Alberta’s government is committed to protecting the property rights of responsible Alberta firearms owners. Unfortunately – with the recent introduction of nonsensical, made-in-Toronto firearms legislation that criminalizes law-abiding firearms owners while doing little to address the scourge of illegally-smuggled firearms, which are used in the vast majority of crimes – the same cannot be said for the Trudeau Liberals.

Among other problematic measures, the new legislation would allow individual municipalities to run their own firearms bans if they so choose. This would lead to a patchwork of firearms laws across our province. While many municipal leaders understand and appreciate the role of firearms in the lives of farmers, ranchers and sport shooters – others have pledged to try and ban certain types of firearms because the woke elites of Hollywood told them to.

None of this makes sense for Alberta, where the vast majority of firearms owners are responsible, trained and law-abiding – not criminals. Unfortunately, we know the federal government cannot be trusted when it comes to the property rights of firearms owners, as evidenced by the High River “gun grab.” That is why Alberta’s Firearms Advisory Committee unanimously passed a motion to begin the process of appointing our province’s own chief provincial firearms officer to replace the one appointed by Ottawa.

This is a great step for our province, but I am of the belief that more needs to be done. That is why I tabled Bill 211: the Municipal Government (Firearms) Amendment Act. If passed, Bill 211 would amend the Municipal Government Act to state that municipalities do not have the power to pass laws on firearms unless authorized by the province. This is a proactive step to protect the rights of responsible Alberta firearms owners, and is similar to legislation recently passed in Saskatchewan.

Enough is enough. Albertans who followed the law and purchased their property in adherence to all the rules and regulations should not be targeted like criminals by Ottawa or their local governments, especially when the new federal legislation does little to address illegal firearms and illegal firearms crime.

If the Liberals have proved anything to Albertans, it’s that they will stop at nothing to infringe upon personal property rights while ignoring gangs and thugs smuggling guns across the border. The federal Liberals and NDP even voted previously against a private member’s bill that would have increased prison time for those caught using illegally-smuggled firearms in the commission of a crime. And just the other day, the Liberals introduced legislation that would remove mandatory sentencing provisions for those found guilty of firearms crimes, paving the way for softer sentences.

Picking on law-abiding Canadians is cowardice. Hunters harvesting food for the winter are not criminals. Farmers protecting their livestock from deadly predators are not criminals. Sport shooters who enjoy competitive and recreational firearms activities are not criminals. Bill 211 recognizes this and would, if passed, protect the property rights of responsible firearms owners in Alberta for generations to come.

I grew up around firearms. I know how important it is to treat firearms with respect and care, and so do you. That is why I am committed to standing up for you against an intransigent federal government. It is also why Alberta is appointing its own chief provincial firearms officer and why Bill 211 is a priority today.

Michaela Glasgo is the UCP MLA for Brooks-Medicine Hat and the chair of the Alberta Firearms Advisory Committee.

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