In the one month the Alberta government will sit ahead of a spring general election, it plans to table firearms regulations to protect gun owners from the federal firearms confiscation program.

On Wednesday, Government House Leader Joseph Schow announced that firearms legislation will be one of three bills the United Conservative Party government will introduce in the next session.

Schow said a number of Albertans have reached out to him and his colleagues to say they feel federal legislation to confiscate legally purchased firearms is “overreaching.”

“As a province, we’re taking action within our abilities to protect firearms owners,” he said.

“We’re enacting this bill because it’s important that we’re defending Albertans, we’re defending firearm owners in this province and making sure that everyone feels that the government has their back.”

Canadian Coalition for Firearms Rights spokesperson Tracey Wilson said Alberta is once again leading the fight to hold the federal Liberals to account for their failure to address actual crime and violence, while at the same time protecting constituents from government overreach.

“We applaud this move, as we did with Saskatchewan, and implore the federal government to listen to law enforcement and experts across the country calling for bail reform, not gun bans against hunters and sport shooters.”

As part of the proposed legislation, Bill 8, the government will also establish a provincial firearms regulatory system that will promote a safe and responsible use of firearms.

Schow declined to comment on the specifics on the legislation when pressed on Wednesday.

“I’m going to leave that to the minister,” he said. “It’s his bill, I’m going to leave that to him.”

The fourth session of the 30th legislature is expected to last until the end of March. The writ for the general election is expected to drop in early May.

In May 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced he was banning more than 1,500 models of firearms, including AR-15s, through an order in council. He said owners of these guns would have a two-year amnesty period to come into compliance with the prohibition.

The buyback program requires firearms owners to sell their guns to the government or have them rendered inoperable at federal expense.

Under new amendments to Bill C-21, the proposed legislation to codify the order in council, the prohibition now applies to over 1,800 firearms — including those primarily used by hunters, farmers and sport shooters.

Last month, the Federal Court of Canada granted Alberta intervenor status in six ongoing lawsuits against the Liberal government’s firearms ban.


  • Rachel Emmanuel

    Rachel is a seasoned political reporter who’s covered government institutions from a variety of levels. A Carleton University journalism graduate, she was a multimedia reporter for three local Niagara newspapers. Her work has been published in the Toronto Star. Rachel was the inaugural recipient of the Political Matters internship, placing her at The Globe and Mail’s parliamentary bureau. She spent three years covering the federal government for iPolitics. Rachel is the Alberta correspondent for True North based in Edmonton.