The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have confiscated a “substantial amount” of guns in the town of High River, which is located in the province of Alberta in Canada.
The small town was recently hit with heavy flooding, forcing the evacuation of residents and confiscation of guns left behind (video below).
“We have seized a large quantity of firearms simply because they were left by residents in their places,” Sgt. Brian Topham told the Calgary Herald on Thursday.
Sgt. Topham added that the guns will be returned to owners after they are allowed back in town, if they can provide proof of ownership.
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As to why the guns were seized, Sgt. Topham said: “We just want to make sure that all of those things are in a spot that we control, simply because of what they are. People have a significant amount of money invested in firearms... so we put them in a place that we control and that they’re safe.”
In addition to losing their guns temporarily, angry residents have been blocked from re-entering the town because of a RCMP blockade, which includes a spike belt on the road.
The Calgary Herald reports that residents' reactions have included “What’s next? Tear gas?” and “It’s just like Nazi Germany, just taking orders.”
According to the National Post, the Alberta province government declared a provincial state of emergency and took responsibility for emergency operations.