Sask. appoints first provincial chief firearms officer
Saskatchewan has formally appointed its first provincial Chief Firearms Officer (CFO), Robert Freberg.
Chief firearms officers are responsible for administering the federal Firearms Act in the provinces, and have jurisdiction over the licensing, transporting and carrying of firearms.
This appointment signifies the transition from a federally selected firearms officer to a provincially selected one.
Freberg was the past CEO of Brigadier Security Systems and Elite Security Systems. He worked with the company for 34 years. He has been a board member and volunteer with the Saskatoon Wildlife Federation for more than 40 years. He served as president of the organization for five years.
He was also a former elected member of the national board of directors for the Canadian Sports Shooting Association.
In 2018, Freberg received the Canadian Sports Shooting National Recognition Award for outstanding contributions to the Canadian firearms community.
He is a firearms instructor for the Pal and RPal programs.
The province decided to choose its own chief firearms officer this year. The role has previously been chosen by the federal government.
"I have known Saskatchewan gun owners my whole life and I know they stand for safe, responsible, and accountable ownership of firearms," Freberg said. "It will be an honour to serve them and to advocate for them at the provincial and national level."
While the position will not have the power to change federal firearm laws, Freberg believes that having a provincially appointed CFO will allow Saskatchewan to have a stronger voice in the debate over firearms legislation in Ottawa.
“Our hope is that having a seat at the table with the federal government now, we can talk about that ahead of time and maybe put some other recommendations forward that’d be more cost-effective, maybe more effective in actually reducing crime,” Freberg said.
Provincial organizations like the Saskatchewan Recreational Firearms Association (SRFA) are looking forward to having better communication with a provincial CFO.
“Having access to the CFO's office, I know myself I've tried to contacting the federal one on multiple occasions and it's quite delayed if you can even get through to them at all,” Gil White, chairperson of the SRFA said.
Saskatchewan will become the seventh province to have a provincial CFO. Going forward, Freberg will consult with other provincial counterparts and has faith that there will be positive change with the new position.
In a news release, the Government of Saskatchewan said it continues to oppose the federal government’s firearm control measures.