Canada: "Alberta will not ban gun law prosecution"


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cuchulainn
May 8, 2003, 10:23 AM
from the Calgary Sun

http://www.canoe.ca/CalgaryNews/cs.cs-05-08-0044.htmlThursday, May 8, 2003
Alberta will not ban gun law prosecution

By JERRY WARD, LEGISLATURE BUREAU

The Alberta government will stop short of mirroring a Manitoba directive to Crown attorneys to not prosecute any firearm registration offences.

But Justice Minister Dave Hancock said he is writing a letter to his counterpart in Winnipeg, Gord Mackintosh, to learn more about that province's "bold" opposition.

"I'm not adverse to taking that position," Hancock said yesterday. "We're very much aligned with what Manitoba is doing. We just haven't explicitly made that bold statement."

Manitoba recently said its tax dollars won't be spent on prosecuting gun registry offences issued under either the federal Firearms Act or the Criminal Code.

"It is not in the public interest to prosecute offences that are trivial in nature and do not enhance public safety," a policy of the ruling Manitoba New Democrats says.

Manitoba also said the feds are responsible for prosecution, and if Ottawa declines to prosecute, the province will stay charges on the basis prosecution is contrary to public interest.

Alberta Justice will still prosecute if gun registration charges are laid under the Criminal Code and involve other offences, said a spokesman.

Copyright © 2003, Sun Media Corporation

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