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Province passes Sask. Firearms Act unanimously

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On Thursday, the province passed the Saskatchewan Firearms Act, a law that will make it harder for police to seize firearms.

The act passed its final reading at the legislature unanimously with all members present voting in favour. The act is now law.

Firearms enthusiasts were at the legislative building to join the provincial government in opposition to the federal ban on assault style firearms, which is supposed to take effect this fall.

“They seem to be going after legal firearms owners when they really should be investing that kind of money going after criminals,” said Gil White with Recreational Firearm Group Saskatchewan.

Three years ago, the federal government banned 1,500 models of assault style firearms in an attempt to protect against gun violence and mass shootings.

It takes effect this fall and includes a mandatory buyback program. On Thursday, Saskatchewan passed a law requiring RCMP officers to obtain a license and local police to seek approval.

“If they are performing that specific function to expropriate firearms from lawful firearms owners at the requests or behest of the federal government or another agent, I probably won’t grant that permission,” said Christine Tell, minister of corrections and policing.

Multiple organizations are siding with the province.

“Certainly going to make it more difficult for the federal government to take firearms from lawful citizens,” said David Yorke, president of the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation.

The NDP is onside with the provincial government.

“We stood in support of the act and we stood united in this assembly in the past as well against some of the overreach of the federal government,” said NDP MLA Trent Wotherspoon. “I think today in respect to the act, we stood in support of common sense measures to ensure fairness.”

The provincial legislation won’t prevent the federal government from achieving its objective but it will slow down the process and make it more difficult to seize firearms.

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