WHEREAS the federal government continues to interfere with our hunting, trapping, recreational target shooting, agricultural usage of firearms, firearms collecting and historical firearms activities through federal legislation such as Bills C-17 and C-68 (Firearms Act), by imposing restrictive firearms and criminal legislation upon methods and tools used to carry out and enjoy this culture and these traditions;AND WHEREAS the methods and tools used for these purposes are part and parcel of this historically established culture and heritage and thus not negotiable to control or regulation by governments, as inscribed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (General #27), which reads This Charter shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the preservation and enhancement of the multicultural heritage of Canadians;AND WHEREAS the federal legislation existing in C-68 clearly infringes upon Canadians rights and freedoms to life and liberty, violating Section 7 of legal rights in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by creating cumbersome, expensive, absurd requirements for its citizens, thus forcing hunters, trappers, recreational target shooters, firearms collectors and historical firearms activities to change their culture and traditions towards ideals maintained by the political elite currently in power;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Government of Alberta to enact an Alberta Western Firearms Heritage and Historical Act, which states in part: Alberta residents shall have the right to own, enjoy and use firearms in a responsible manner, and no law will infringe upon heritage, culture, and other historical rights relating to hunting, trapping, recreational target shooters, firearms collectors, agricultural firearms usage, and other historical firearms activities, and the Government of Alberta will legally challenge any aforementioned infringements and will if necessary after a referendum invoke the Notwithstanding Clause so described within the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms towards any law which infringes upon the aforementioned western culture and historical heritage of individual Alberta residents.
The hunting, trapping, target shooters, firearms collectors, historical firearms and farm communities of Alberta ask that the Government of Alberta consider this resolution in view of the fact that federal multiculturalism expands and protects other cultures and traditions while at the same time, our Alberta western heritage, culture and traditions are under attack via intrusions into our property rights and our individual freedoms. We believe our western heritage and historical culture and traditions are equally important to preserve and protect.Nothing in the proposed provincial legislation shall be construed as limiting the legitimate right of governments to promote public safety and/or wildlife management through reasonable limits on the usage of firearms, such as regulation of shooting ranges, land use controls, restrictions of hunting seasons, etc. The following resolutions were passed at previous AAMDC Conventions: Resolution 15-98F, endorsed at the Fall 1998 Convention, calls on the Province to take whatever action it deems necessary to ensure that Bill C-68 is not legally binding in Alberta and urges the province to form an alliance with other provinces in opposition to the legislation. Resolution 12-01S, endorsed at the Spring 2001 Convention, calls on the provincial government to withdraw from participation in and enforcement of the federal firearms legislation, and to hold a province-wide referendum on the issue during the October 2001 municipal election.
The intent of this resolution is consistent with two previously endorsed resolutions (Resolutions 15-98F and 12-01S) which both seek to prevent federal gun control legislation from coming into effect in Alberta.While the AAMDCs analysis indicates that no provincial legislation is likely to succeed in creating a provincial right to invoke the notwithstanding clause in response to firearms control legislation, the resolution nonetheless sends a message which is consistent with the direction endorsed by members at previous conventions.