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LETTER: Kenney’s firewall can be a win for gun rights

Kenney’s speech in Red Deer was not just important for firewalling off federal intrusion in Alberta. It was a huge leap in the right direction for gun owners.

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Kenney’s speech in Red Deer was not just important for firewalling off federal intrusion in Alberta. It was a huge leap in the right direction for gun owners.

I am talking about the possibility of having our own provincial police, but especially being able to appoint our own provincial Chief Firearms Officer (CFO).

Currently, Alberta does not have a choice in who our CFO is. When Ralph Klein was premier, he did not want anything to do with the Firearms Program, and chose to opt-out. This was actually a mistake, but it looked good politically. Ottawa responded by using federal regulations in appointing a bureaucrat to administer federal law within provincial jurisdiction. Alberta had no alternative but to accept the person Ottawa appointed. We have no choice who he or she is to this day. We also have no influence over policies this appointment may want to impose.

Using section 58(1) of the Firearms Act, the provincial CFO can create regulations   (backed by law) based on policies they (the CFO) “consider desirable”. What would they “consider desirable”? That depends on what their (the CFO’s) opinion of civilian gun ownership is.

Most CFOs are senior RCMP officers, who do not like the idea of guns in the hands of civilians. What is considered “desirable” to this unaccountable bureaucrat, is an infringement of personal property rights to gun owners.

Gun ownership is now privilege in Canada, not a right, thanks to the Firearms Act. This is a great example of why Alberta should fire the RCMP and create our own provincial police force. We would be able to direct provincial police not to enforce bad federal laws. A provincial police force can apply only the laws Albertans believe in. 

Here is an example of CFO overreach. The CFO has a requirement for target shooters that have a restricted licence to buy a range membership to simply possess their own firearm. This is not law, but a CFO policy. Nowhere in the FA does it state that a range membership is a requirement to possess a restricted firearm. If you refuse this requirement, you will receive a letter threatening confiscation of your restricted firearms.

What makes this more difficult for gun owners is that there are fewer and fewer ranges in Alberta. Guess who controls the regulations concerning ranges? You guessed it, the CFO.

The CFO makes policies as he pleases.

What can Alberta do to have influence over what the CFO does? We can appoint, or better yet, elect our own CFO.

We will have to ‘opt in’ to the Firearms program. This will allow Alberta to choose our own CFO.

Under section 95(a) Alberta will be reimbursed for the administrative costs of running the program. It will not cost Alberta taxpayers anything to opt back into the Firearms program.

Legally, only the premier’s cabinet can appoint a CFO, however, Alberta licence holders can choose a pool of people who would be good candidates for the position. Having licence holders part of the selection process would make the position of CFO accountable. Any position in government capable of making regulations or law should be an elected and accountable position.

Alberta has to start building a firewall against federal intrusion, and these ideas would make very strong bricks.

Todd Brown
Executive Director
FIRE (Firearms Institute for Rational Education)

Letters to the Editor of the Western Standard are posted under this account. Letters do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of the Western Standard or its columnists.

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LETTER: Slobodian exposing Butts

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Re: Butts attempts to pit East vs West with anti-trucker tweet

Thank you for writing and publishing the excellent article about Gerald Butts Twitter comment, and the hope that the truckers have given to Canadians.
I subscribe to the Western Standard because it provides news that I want to hear and read, like this article.


Sincerely,

Kathleen Seutter
Sherwood Park, AB

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LETTER: Aww shucks, this letter is making us blush

“I am so pleased to have had the opportunity to subscribe to this great media outlet.”

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RE: The Western Standard

Just want to say a huge thanks to Western Standard for their up-to-date presentation of what’s happening around us…..unbiased. 

I am so pleased to have had the opportunity to subscribe to this great media outlet.  

Keep up the great work.

Sylvia Brecknell
Sherwood Park, AB

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LETTER: AHS undercover agents’ practises raise lots of question

“Seems strange to me that we do not know more about this secret branch of law enforcement….”

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RE: AHS says deploying undercover agents ‘normal’ practice

Alberta Health Services Red Deer has been in correspondence with me on this issue.  They are not answering my specific questions around training, but they are suggesting that their actions are in alignment with the Alberta Health Act.

Seems strange to me that we do not know more about this secret branch of law enforcement, as they are able to operate within the province under their own set of rules that are private to them. 

Maybe this has always been a thing, but they seem to be able to operate outside of the rules that bylaw officers are to follow.

Larry Charles
Calgary, AB

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