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Premier says Alberta centralizing firearms testing to prevent trial delays

Jason Kenney
Premier Jason Kenney declares COVID-19 a public health emergency on March 17, 2020. GOVERNMENT OF ALBERT PHOTO

EDMONTON — Alberta is making some changes when it comes to guns and forensic firearms testing.

Premier Jason Kenney says his government will centralize all firearms testing tied to criminal cases to reduce wait times and prevent prosecutions from being potentially abandoned due to delays.

Kenney says Calgary police already do their own testing and Edmonton police are setting up their own lab, but Mounties and other forces must have gun tests done out of province.

He says that leads to eight-month delays on average.

The premier also says a 12-member panel made up of United Conservative legislature members and weapons experts to advise on firearms policy.

He says Alberta must take more control over its firearms policy, given recent actions by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government.

Kenney noted the federal government is taking action to ban some weapons, which he says penalizes law-abiding gun owners, while failing to address root causes such as cross-border smuggling.

The Canadian Press