Alberta not interested in assault weapon confiscation

AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File

While there are profound similarities between the United States and Canada, there are also major differences. For one thing, Canadians have a reputation for being polite while we…well, let’s just say we don’t.


We Americans are a contentious lot at the best of times while our neighbors to the north are more likely to go along with stuff.

This is why this news out of Alberta surprised me.

The Alberta government says it’ll work to disarm the federal government’s bid to seize assault-style firearms and is asking the RCMP to refuse to enforce it.

On Monday, Justice Minister Tyler Shandro said the province doesn’t think Mounties should confiscate about 30,000 firearms under legislation targeting the weapons that Ottawa considers assault-style.

The province will also seek intervenor status in six judicial reviews constitutionally challenging the federal government’s efforts to restrict the ownership of legally acquired firearms whose buy-back confiscation through its Bill C-71 will do nothing to enhance public safety, he said.

“(It’s) overreach into the lives of law-abiding firearms owners … this is politically motivated confiscation, pure and simple,” said Shandro.

“While the federal government has labelled them as ‘assault-style,’ that’s a label designed to scare Canadians who are unfamiliar with firearms. These guns are not materially different from any semi-automatic.”


Of course, this is an argument we routinely make here in the United States in similar circumstances. However, the issue Canadians have is that they don’t have a Second Amendment to protect the right to keep and bear arms.

Moving on, though, we get to some specifics about what is going on.

Federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, Shandro noted, has asked the province to provide resources to enable RCMP to seize 1,500 models of firearms this autumn that include antique collector pieces and shotguns.

He said that means Ottawa intends to “conscript” RCMP officers in Alberta as agents; and, he’s been advised the commanding officer of the Mounties’ K-Division is not supportive of the federal plan.

“But we believe the federal government will continue with their plans undeterred,” said Shandro, adding he’s instructed the RCMP’s Alberta command to refuse to carry out the confiscations given they’re not a policing priority.

In other words, Alberta is interested in basically ignoring a gun control law.

Sounds a bit like they’re trying to become a sanctuary province.

Shandro argues that this whole scheme is politically motivated, and he’s right. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau started pushing gun control as a way to deflect from his brown face scandal and now he’s simply doubling down from there.


“But the shooting in Nova Scotia…” someone might start, but they’ll forget that the killer there had pretty much all of his guns illegally anyway, so there’s no reason to believe he’d have been stopped by laws like this.

Then again, we all know this isn’t about stopping tragedy. It’s about pretending to do something without having to do the ugly work of actually doing anything. That’s all gun control really is.

I’m glad Alberta is resisting. I hope they resist even further and put this stupidity to rest forever.

After all, terrible ideas in Canada have a nasty habit of showing up here as well.

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