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The province of Saskatchewan has chosen a new Chief Firearms Officer (CFO). Robert Freberg, well-known for years with shooting-related and conservation organizations, is taking the job.

The appointment was a break with tradition. For years, the federal government appointed Saskatchewan’s CFO. This time, provincial officials made the decision. In a statement, Corrections and Policing Minister Christine Tell said “We have many concerns about the decisions the federal government is making that affect law-abiding Saskatchewan firearms owners.”

For that reason, Saskatchewan’s leaders picked their own CFO this time. This ensures Saskatchewan and its firearms community have a strong voice on this issue, Tell said.

The province of Alberta has also been looking at axing its federally-appointed CFO, and choosing its own candidate. Like Saskatchewan, the idea picked up steam in Alberta after the federal government’s sweeping weapons ban of spring, 2020. However, Alberta was considering the idea months before that crackdown happened.

Who’s the new Chief Firearms Officer?

Who is Robert Freberg, Saskatchewan’s new CFO? He’s a guy who’s used to leadership roles, and he should be very familiar with the issues facing Canadian firearms owners. Freberg worked as CEO of Brigadier Security Systems and Elite Security Systems for 34 years, and also served as board member and volunteer with the Saskatoon Wildlife Federation for more than 40 years. He was president of the Federation for five years.

Freberg also served as an elected member of the National Board of Directors for the Canadian Sports Shooting Association (CSSA). He has also served as a firearms instructor for PAL and RPAL firearms safety programs.

What’s next?

What’s the long-term impact of this move? It’s going to be interesting to watch, as the majority of firearms law still falls under federal jurisdiction–even if Freberg wants to change something, there’s only so much he can do. In the CFO role, he’s responsible for administering the federal Firearms Act, and also has jurisdiction over the licensing, transporting and carrying of firearms. He will also be responsible for licensing instructors for PAL and RPAL courses in the province. Saskatchewan’s press release says “The province is currently working with the federal government to ensure a seamless transition from the federally-selected CFO to one that is provincially selected.” What, exactly, will that look like? Stay tuned.

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