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Wildrose proposes provincial Chief Firearm Officer appointment to protect law-abiding gun owner rights

EDMONTON, AB (May 16, 2012): Today Wildrose Justice & Solicitor General Critic Shayne Saskiw called on the PC government to more proactively stand up for the rights of firearm owners across Alberta by having future Chief Firearms Officers (CFOs) appointed by the province.

As has been recently reported, several CFOs have attempted to set up ‘shadow gun registries’, including in the province of Alberta, after the federal Conservative government passed strong legislation to put an end to the costly and burdensome long-gun registry.  The Wildrose proposal would make Alberta’s CFO answerable to the Solicitor General.  Currently the CFO is free to make decisions with respect to sales and permits – and in this case, registries - with no input from the provincial government.  Appointing our own CFO and administering the firearms program provincially, as British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, P.E.I and New Brunswick do, would trigger federal transfer payments to replace the current program being administered.  “After several years of fighting for the rights of law-abiding gun owners to no longer be treated as criminals, our friends in Ottawa finally put an end to the wasteful long-gun registry,” Saskiw said. “Though our ties remain strong with the current federal government, we believe it is important to ensure interference by Ottawa bureaucrats does not become common practice in future years.”  Saskiw also criticized the PC government and Premier Alison Redford’s soft stance on defending the rights of gun owners.  Early on this past year when visiting Quebec, the Premier defended the Quebec government who wanted to retain the data of law-abiding gun owners.  “Redford and her Solicitor General have been slow to react and stand up for the rights of firearm owners,” Saskiw said.  “Albertans deserve a government that is willing to stand up on these issues rather than sit on the sidelines.”