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UCP announces new firearms committee and firearm examination unit

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced two firearms related initiatives to support law-abiding gun owners.

The province will set up a firearms advisory committee and a firearms examination unit. The committee will give recommendations on provincial policies targeting criminals while respecting law-abiding gun owners.

It will be chaired by Michaela Glasgo, MLA for Brooks-Medicine Hat, and will have representation from former police officers, hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts. The committee includes:

  • Todd Loewen, MLA for Central Peace-Notley
  • Shane Getson, MLA for Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland
  • Rick Hanson, former chief of the Calgary Police Service
  • Teri Bryant, associate professor at the University of Calgary Haskayne School of Business
  • Bob Gruszecki, president of the Alberta Hunter Education Instructors’ Association
  • Phil Harnois, gun shop owner and 25-year Edmonton police veteran
  • Gail Garrett, vice-president of the Alberta Federation of Shooting Sports
  • Lynda Kiejko, member of the 2016 Canadian Olympic shooting team
  • Andrew Blundell, vice-president of the Canadian Historical Arms Society
  • Linley Coward, co-owner of Bullets and Broadheads Range in Grande Prairie
  • Nicholas Lui, competitive shooter and a Canadian Armed Forces veteran

“I’m confident that they’ll provide the Minister of Justice with thoughtful sensible ideas to help us craft policies for responsible Alberta firearms owners,” Kenney says.

Alberta Firearms Examination Unit

The unit is being set up to provide the province with a laboratory to perform tests on guns used in crimes. The province says most police services in Alberta outside of Edmonton and Calgary rely on the National Forensics Laboratory Services in Ottawa to perform these tests. They say it is an eight month process and causes court delays in prosecuting criminals.

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“This puts successful prosecutions at risk, that eight month delay, and due to the Supreme Court of Canada’s Jordan decision long delays in the justice process can result in criminal prosecutions, including those involving gun crimes, being dismissed outright and allowing criminals to go scot-free.”

Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer is working on a plan in partnership with several law enforcement agencies in the province to establish protocols for firearms testing at the existing lab in Calgary and the facility in Edmonton which is currently in development.

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