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Image: Submitted/New Brunswick RCMP

N.B. Opposes Using Police Resources To Confiscate Firearms

By Brad Perry Oct 17, 2022 | 8:06 AM

New Brunswick is among several provinces opposing the federal use of police resources to confiscate banned assault-style firearms.

Public Safety Minister Kris Austin issued a joint statement Friday with his counterparts from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.

“New Brunswick’s bottom line is this: RCMP resources are spread thin as it is,” Austin was quoted as saying in the release.

“We have made it clear to the Government of Canada that we cannot condone any use of those limited resources, at all, in their planned buyback program.”

Ottawa has proposed a mandatory buyback program for the more than 1,500 models and variants of assault-style firearms it has banned since 2020.

According to the joint release from the four provinces, the buyback program would involve more than 100,000 legally acquired firearms.

“Manitoba has consistently stated that many aspects of the federal approach to gun crimes unnecessarily target lawful gun owners while having little impact on criminals, who are unlikely to follow gun regulations in any event,” said Manitoba Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen in the statement.

Alberta Justice Minister Tyler Shandro said the buyback program will cost billions and will not improve public safety.

“Alberta’s government is not legally obligated to provide resources and will not do so,” Shandro said in the statement.

The four provinces also called on Ottawa to ensure no funding for the Guns and Gang Violence Action Fund or other public safety initiatives be diverted to the federal firearms confiscation program.

Instead, they said, funding should be used to fight the criminal misuse of firearms by addressing border integrity, smuggling and trafficking.


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