The debate over firearms ownership in Alberta and Canada will almost certainly continue well into 2023, and maybe far beyond, as the federal Liberals and the provincial UCP remain miles apart on all the relative key issues.
Whether hunters, sportsmen and gun collectors in Mountain View and Red Deer counties and elsewhere in the province will end up being the big losers in the debate remains to be seen.
What is known is that with a federal election not currently on the horizon, the fight over guns and gun ownership is sure to heat up in the coming days and months.
For his part Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seems bound and determined to push through with his government’s firearms agenda, which includes the banning of hundreds of models of guns.
“Our focus now is on saying OK, there are some guns, yes, that we're going to have to take away from people who were using them to hunt,” Trudeau said last week. “We're not going at the right to hunt in this country. We are going at some of the guns used to do it that are too dangerous in other contexts.”
On the other hand, Premier Danielle Smith recently announced that Alberta is taking over enforcement of charges under the federal Firearms Act.
“The federal government’s firearm ban does not stop illegal guns from crossing the border and making it into the hands of criminals. Instead of targeting criminals, the ban targets law-abiding firearms owners,” said Smith.
With Alberta families and businesses facing huge challenges – including the ongoing health-care crisis and the skyrocketing cost of living – the debate over gun ownership in Canada is probably quite a ways down the priority list for many people.
Nevertheless, with both the UCP provincial government and the Trudeau Liberals at the federal level continuing to push their respective and diametrically opposed agendas when it comes to gun control, the great firearms debate is sure to be much talked about well into 2023.
Dan Singleton is an editor with the Albertan.