07/03/2013 02:28 EDT | Updated 09/02/2013 05:12 EDT

High River Guns Seized: Mounties Outline How Evacuees Can Get Firearms Back

HIGH RIVER, Alta. - Mounties have outlined the process for evacuees in a flooded southern Alberta town to get their seized firearms back.

The Mounties took the guns as officers searched homes in High River's flood zone to look for flood victims, pets and anything that might pose a threat to returning residents.

Some residents were up in arms that police seized their guns, and the office of Prime Minister Harper issued a directive to Mounties demanding the weapons be returned as soon as possible.

The RCMP say people must present a Possession Acquisition Licence to get their weapons.

If they don't have that with them, police say they can verify the licence through the Canadian Police Information Centre computer.

Mounties say if people never had the licence, the guns can be securely stored in the police detachment until the person applies for and gets the licence.

"Many gun owners whose weapons were secured have expressed appreciation to the RCMP for its assistance is protecting their possessions, some of which were worth tens of thousands of dollars," the RCMP said in a news release.

"Many others have voluntarily chosen to leave their weapons in safe storage at the RCMP where they know they do not have to worry about them while they deal with the more pressing issues of returning their homes to a livable state."

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