How Do Alberta Girls Get Guns? (2)

So, having given a high-level overview of the process involved in obtaining a firearm in Alberta, I decided to look into it a little deeper. It seems that the site I quoted in my last gun post was a bit out of date, so I have gotten information directly from the RCMP website. (Disclaimer: I have great respect for the men and women of the RCMP, the individuals who serve and work hard to perform their function to keep me safe. My problem is with the bureaucracy.)

There is only one license now, the PAL (Possession and Acquisition License), and if you specify that you want to obtain restricted firearms (read: any handgun), it costs more and looks a little different. You also must pass two safety tests, which you can either take as day classes, or study for and challenge the exam. Not so bad, right? Wrong!

The application (check it out here, it’s hilarious) is four pages long, plus three pages of instructions. Some of the fun stuff they ask includes “During the past five (5) years, have you threatened or attempted suicide, or have you suffered from or been diagnosed or
treated by a medical practitioner for: depression; alcohol, drug or substance abuse; behavioural problems; or emotional
problems?”, “During the past two (2) years, have you experienced a divorce, a separation, a breakdown of a significant relationship,
job loss or bankruptcy?”, and it requires the “Signature of spouse, common-law or other conjugal partner.”

If you answer “yes” to any of the questions about your past, you must attach an explanation on a separate sheet of paper. But they’re really nice about it: “If you answer YES to any of the questions in this section, you MUST provide details on a separate page. Add your name at the top of each page you attach. If details are not provided, your application cannot be processed. A YES answer does not mean your application will be refused but it may lead to further examination. If you have received a pardon for any offence listed in box 16 a), you are NOT required to disclose the offense.” Aren’t Canadians polite?

So, if you fill out all of the happy little boxes, provide two references who have known you for at least three years and will vouch that you are not dangerous, send in a photo that meets the requirements, and have a third person that has known you for at least one year, then you get to pay $80 to have them just look over your application. Oh, and if you answer that you have an ex spouse or conjugal partner that you were with in the last two years and don’t get them to sign, they may be notified that you applied for a license. Wow.

Now, I’m not a gun fanatic, I’m not going to freak out about having to get a license and register firearms, I actually agree with both of those on principle. I belong to a society, I enjoy rights and privileges that I would not if I were a one-woman island, so I think that there are sacrifices to be made for the greater good. (Call me pinko, if you must.)

However, there is a line. Honestly. Does it cost anywhere near $80 to process an application? If I have no record, do I really have to disclose details about my personal life? Would someone planning to commit suicide or go shoot an ex or go postal on their former workplace really apply for a license? People who intend to use firearms for illegal purposes will always be able to obtain them illegally. That is a fact of life. I just want to play, go to the range, see how good I can get at hitting the little target, maybe have a couple of cool and/or pretty firearms that I would keep safely stored. And hey, maybe I’d actually go bonding with my cousins and uncles and try not to get squicked out by the thought of killing a deer. They’d have to clean it, of course. I’m a wuss.

Next gun post will be a rant about carrying or transporting a firearm in Canada. It will not be pretty. But these guns are!

Kimber 1911 Gold Combat 2


Kimber 1911 Punisher Custom Grip



~ by Trillian on 11/03/2010.

2 Responses to “How Do Alberta Girls Get Guns? (2)”

  1. Take heart! In Taxachusetts, USA, the gun permit costs $150. But having a camo Walther P22? (And a few others) Priceless!

  2. Wow!!! My home and no longer native land. So sad. Now – in the land where the Second Amendment still reins in glorious freedom…I can get a gun. Yes ma’am. I saw it on a sign in my (shall remain unnamed) hometown for Direct TV and that’s my story. Sign up for Direct TV and get a rifle. Poor Canadians. BTW – GREAT idea to inform your ex—as we know lots of nasty men use their arduously acquired weapons to off their exes. Just remember – my home is protected by God and a gun. (And a lot of golf clubs and two very mean dogs, well, kind of mean, well, ok they will lick you to death).

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