Alberta Premier Jason Kenney sharply criticized the federal government gun ban, making it clear that his government opposes the move.
“Today’s order by Ottawa does little to target criminals. Instead, Ottawa is singling out law-abiding Canadians who purchased their property legally, have owned these items safely for years, and who have committed no crimes,” he said.
On Friday Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a ban on 1,500 types of guns, including AR-15 and Mini-14 models.
Effective immediately, Canadians are not allowed to buy, sell or import any prohibited guns.
Kenney added that evidence suggests that taking guns away from law-abiding owners will not stop gun crime in Canada.
“We know that the overwhelming majority of firearms used criminally in Canada are smuggled in illegally from the United States. Instead of addressing this, Ottawa will instead spend vast sums of money to criminalize law-abiding Canadians,” he said.
“That money would be far better used to pursue the smugglers and drug gangs that plague our society.”
In November the Alberta government passed a motion vowing to protect the rights of gun owners and support their ability to own guns.
Alberta Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer said that the government will be considering this motion when deciding on an appropriate response to the gun ban.
“The Government of Alberta will scrutinize today’s move by Ottawa and explore potential responses through this lens,” said Schweitzer.
Schweitzer said the province is considering appointing a new chief firearms officer (CFO) for Alberta to replace the one appointed by the federal government.