Right to bear arms

July 28, 2015

- Alberta's provincial government under the right-wing Democratic leadership of Joseph Mackenzie, is now planning something that will further enrage gun control activists in Canada.

American tourists, may be able to bring their concealed handguns, as well as other firearms into Alberta, as long as they have a license or a permit issued by their home-state to allow them to have their loaded firearms across the border, for use in self-defense. 

This is something that perhaps, nobody ever thought would happen in Canada. Alberta is often known as the "Texas" of Canada, their gun culture is among the highest in Canada. Alberta recently just last year of fall, opted out of the RCMP's Canadian Firearms Program, transferring all firearms laws to Alberta. A new system was created, which divided gun licenses into a provincial and federal level. Federal gun licenses are valid in any province, provincial ones are only valid in the province they were issued in.

In addition, law enforcement and military is also a very popular choice of occupation for the people of Alberta, as well as western Canada. Unlike the rest of Canada, Alberta police officers and "peace" officers are equipped with firearms as part of their career. The province also issues Authorization to Carry licenses (ATC), which in other provinces are nearly impossible for an average citizen to attain. 

Mackenzie stated that he plans on using a licensing system that would allow to visitors to Canada to bring their
Gun show

Calgary gun show, 2015

firearms for self-defense.

He said, "It's been a long time in the making, but I believe this to be beneficial for American tourists." 

The 49th PSH, an international yet local gun club consisting of Canadians and Americans living in the northern regions, did play a role in making this happen, as they stated that firearms and shooting enthusiasts, hunters and fishers from both sides of the border should enjoy easier interaction. 

Once a tourist signs a Firearms Declaration Form and shows their concealed-carry permit from their home state, the border officers would then issue a Visitor Authorization to Carry, or VATC, which is good for 60 days. 

Gun control activists are fuming over this. Wendy Cukier has accused Mackenzie and the Alberta Province of "falling down to American demands".

She said, "It is extremely shameful what Joseph Mackenzie is doing. He is literally now bowing down to American demands, and trying to turn Alberta into the American direction of vigilante firearms culture. This is not what a patriotic Canadian does."

Quebec and Ontario's premiers were also vocal, stating their opposition.

Gun show 2

Winter Shooters 2014 gun show in Winnepeg

Philippe Couilliard, Quebec's premier said, "Joseph Mackenzie is a stupid and sick pawn of the pro-American agenda. We worked hard to attain gun laws, and now Mackenzie is trying to turn western Canada into a 51st state of the United States?"

Couilliard reveals that he is a small-game hunter, who currently owns a .22 calibre rifle for duck-hunting. 

He said, "Before people get a chance to say that I hate guns, I have news for you, I myself own a .22 Ruger rimfire rifle for small-game hunting, and maybe on occasions, I'd take it to the range for some target-shooting. But that's it, I signed the paperwork, I went through the background and didn't cry about it. When not in use, I lock it up, unload it, and keep the ammunition separately locked in another container."

Like the other non-western Canadians, Couillard says that he would never use his firearm for self-defense.

"I know what many people are thinking, let me just say this, never, in my life would I ever use a firearm to take anybody's life, even for self-defense. We don't live in a society like America were gun crime and gun violence is high. This is Canada, not America, and self-defense is not what firearms are used for here. We have a standing police force that is ready to answer calls of duty any time. Joseph Mackenzie, Stewie Rivers and Christy Clark need to re-think their ways, and return their provinces to the Canadian way."

Kathleen Wynne, Ontario's premier claims that western Canada is now "extremely violent".

Wynne said, "I'm happy to be an Ontarian. Levels of gun violence and gun crime are now at an ultimate-high in western Canada."

The west is seeing a surge in gun shows in Canada, something that wasn't too common when all of Canadian firearms laws applied to all provinces. Cowboy culture is an all-time high in western Canada. 

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