Gun owners who had their unsecured firearms removed from their evacuated homes by RCMP officers during the High River flood can now get their weapons back.
Sgt. Patricia Neely of the RCMP says “The RCMP is making the return of weapons as seamless as possible for residents already dealing with the stress of returning to flood damaged homes”.
Anyone wanting to retrieve their firearm from the RCMP is asked to bring along government issued photo ID. Neely says “all persons seeking return of their guns, require the proper authority to take possession of them from the RCMP”.
For most guns that were secured by police, the owner needs to provide a Possession Acquisition License or PAL. If a resident does not have a PAL on them, police will confirm the existence of the document through the Canadian Police Information Centre Computer. The guns will then be returned.
If a gun owner does not have a PAL, an alternative person who has a PAL can store the guns for them. Alternatively, the gun owner can leave the weapon secured at the RCMP detachment while they apply for and receive a PAL. Neely adds “as there is no longer a requirement for long guns to be registered, a PAL is the only required document for the return of an unrestricted weapon”.
Sgt. Neely says “the requirements for restricted weapons or prohibited weapons has been communicated to those residents specifically dealing with these weapons. All weapons will be returned in accordance with the law”.
There was an uproar last week when it was discovered that police had taken unsecured weapons from homes in High River as they were searching evacuated homes for victims. Neely says many gun owners have told the RCMP that they are grateful that police worked to protect their firearms, some of which are worth tens of thousands of dollars. She says many gun owners have decided to leave their firearms in safe storage with police until they get their homes in order following the flood.