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In Alberta, criminal organizations perpetrate serious and violent crime. Help us keep Alberta safe and help your community with responsible, safe, and secure firearm practices. By being a responsible firearm owner, you’ll help make the biggest difference in reducing Alberta-based firearm trafficking.

Over 1,800 Firearm Seizures

ALERT has seized over 1,800 illegal firearms since its conception in 2006. Many of these seizures also involve illicit drugs.

Over 33,000 Charges

Have been laid as a result of CFSEU operations. Many of these involve firearm offences.


Reported shooting events across Alberta in the 2021 period, representing a 5% decrease from 2020[1]


Firearms seized by ALERT from serious and organized crime throughout investigations (2022-23 financial year)

0 %

Canadian percentage of all homicides that were firearm-related in 2021, of which 57% were committed with a handgun[2]

0 %

Increase in rate of firearm-related homicides 2013-2020 (Canada, long-term trend)[4]


Victims of violent crime where a firearm was present during commission of offence in 2021 (Canada)[2]


Total rate of victimization in Alberta for police-reported firearm-related violent crime, 2020 (national rate: 29)[5]

Number of Homicide Victims (Canada), by Type of Firearm Used to Commit Homicide[3]

No Data Found

No Data Found


Firearms are an integral part of organized criminal activity. Without firearm trafficking, it’s more difficult for organized criminals to obtain a firearm for the purpose of committing illegal activities.

These days, criminal networks rely on both technologically modern/emerging ways of acquiring firearms as well as traditional methods, both of which pose safety risks to Alberta communities.

Straw purchasing occurs when someone legally obtains/purchases firearms with a valid PAL (Possession & Acquisition License) with intention to sell or give these legitimately acquired guns to criminals, organized crime groups, or anyone involved in the criminal market.

Illegal firearms can land in the hands of criminals via cross-border smuggling. Typically, this issue is of greatest concern in eastern Canada, although illegal firearms can still make their way to Alberta through smuggling.

Theft is one of the most common ways that legal firearms end up in criminal hands. Guns can be stolen from homes, vehicles, and businesses. The easiest way to help keep your neighbourhood safe is by practicing responsible, safe, and secure gun storage.

Concerning new technologies add another layer of complexity to firearm trafficking in Alberta. Organized crime groups, and their facilitators can 3D-print firearms capable of shooting hundreds of rounds, and are unserialized/untraceable – “ghost guns.”


One of the easiest ways to help keep Alberta communities safe is by practicing responsible, safe, and secure gun ownership. Firearm theft is one of the top ways that guns enter the illegal marketplace, and it’s easy to prevent. Here’s how you can help:

Secure Storage

Arm yourself with the knowledge and practice on ⧉ securely storing your firearms. Secure storage helps prevent theft that fuels organized crime.

Report Stolen Firearms

Don't wait. As soon as you learn that a firearm you legally possess has been stolen, report it immediately to your closest police detachment.

Find a Detachment

Record Serial Numbers

When you acquire a legal firearm, keep records of the serial number and firearm information. This will help trace it in the event of theft.

Responsible Ownership, Safer Alberta.

Stolen guns are often involved in drug trafficking or used violently. The best way to prevent gun trafficking, violence and related drug trafficking is to prevent theft, and know how to respond if it does happen.

[1] – ALERT/CISA: Shooting is defined as any discharge of a firearm resulting in personal injury, property damage or corroborating physical damage

[2] – Statistics Canada: The Daily – A comprehensive portrait of police-reported crime in Canada, 2021

[3] – Statistics Canada: Number and percentage of homicide victims, by type of firearm used to commit the homicide (Homicide includes Criminal Code offences of murder, manslaughter and infanticide)

[4] – National Police Federation: Study on Gun Control, Illegal Arms Trafficking, and Gun Crimes. Submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee
on Public Safety and National Security

[5] – Statistics Canada: Characteristics of firearm-related violent crime in Canada, 2009 to 2020 (Firearm-related violent crime is defined as violent crime reported by police in incidents where a firearm was present. Rates are calculated as the number of victims per 100,000 population using revised July 1 population estimates from Statistics Canada, Centre for Demography.)

Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) involves images and/or videos that depict the sexual abuse of minors – the majority of which involve prepubescent children. Often, CSAM involves explicit and/or extreme sexual assaults against the child victim (

Learn more about Internet Child Exploitation and ALERT’s integrated teams combatting this issue.

Ghost Guns are illegal, privately manufactured firearms or lower receivers. These weapons are often made with 3D-printers, and undermine public safety due to their lack of licensing requirements, serialization and safety controls.

Learn more about Ghost Guns on ALERT’s dedicated Privately Manufactured Firearms info page