TheGunBlog.ca — RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki questioned the value of banning handguns from Canada’s licensed sport shooters to stop criminal violence and said she isn’t aware of data showing where outlaws get their weapons, she told CBC radio in an interview broadcast today.
It’s worth listening to the replay. The tone of Lucki’s response is at least as significant as her words.
Firearm policy in general, and a ban in particular, are sensitive topics philosophically, politically and practically for the Ottawa-based Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The very idea of banning firearms for legal users to stop their use by illegal users is a non-starter. All guns already are banned for everyone who hasn’t been vetted by the RCMP and obtained an RCMP-authorized firearm Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL). Bans don’t stop bad guys.
Then you have the data: more than half a million individuals (including RCMP officers and employees) own a million handguns. You are neighbours with the world’s largest manufacturer and seller of firearms. You have a relatively open border. You might have to justify confiscating private property that was lawfully acquired by people who are strongly attached to that property. It’s difficult.
I agree. It would be unmanageable and unfair to the majority of handgun owners who obey the law and always use their guns safely. Let’s effectively deal with the criminals that do NOT obey the current criminal law.
— Chris D. Lewis, C.O.M. (@ChrisLewisLLS) August 18, 2018
Even if you can exploit the politics, the deal breaker is enforcement.
The federal police manage the firearm-licensing and registration system. Millions of people have voluntarily provided information about themselves and their guns. If the government or the police use that data against their owners, it would extinguish any shred of trust between gun owners and the RCMP, non-compliance would skyrocket and the grey and black markets would explode.
The RCMP would be on the front line of enforcing any ban. Some officers would quit on principle and for their safety. It would be Lucki’s men and women knocking on doors and in some cases kicking them down. It would take years, and it would be risky.
Even if a ban applied only to new purchases, tens or hundreds of thousands of guns would end up in the grey market of “good guys” who skip the paperwork.
And after all that, a ban on licensed owners wouldn’t change a thing for violent outlaws. They wouldn’t even notice.
Lucki discusses guns from 6:20 to 8:20 in the CBC interview.
RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki Speaks With CBC Radio’s The House
18 August 2018
Excerpt transcribed by TheGunBlog.ca
CBC: I want to talk about guns right now. We’ve had a series of shootings in Toronto. We’ve had the unfortunate circumstance where two Fredericton police officers and others were killed. Some cities — Montreal, Toronto — have talked about a mandatory ban on handguns. From your perspective, how is the situation now? Looking ahead, how can we deal with the number of guns and how they’re being used in the streets now?
Lucki: We definitely have to work with government and legislation to see if there’s something that we’re missing in the legislation or something that needs to be amended.
CBC: Would an absolute ban on handguns be something that the force would say was workable?
Lucki: [Pause] I’m not sure at this juncture if [Longer pause] Like, it’s difficult for me to say, honestly. [Pause] I’m not sure if a complete ban is the answer, or tweaking the legislation to ensure more accountability. That’s definitely something we need to study. But the bottom line is: one life taken by one handgun is one life too many. So we definitely need to look at alternative ways of dealing with that situation.
CBC: What are you hearing from your front-line officers about their encounters? I know they don’t police in many urban centres, but what are you hearing about the prevalence of handguns in their day-to-day duties?
Lucki: I haven’t heard directly from the front line in that regard. But I know in some of the bigger areas that we police, it’s definitely — handguns are definitely an issue, and it’s something that our members are always aware of. For myself, every night I go to sleep, I just hope that my members aren’t complacent and take every one of those calls seriously.
CBC: Do you know where they’re coming from, the guns that are now here? We hear a lot about being smuggled in from the United States. Is that your sense of what you’ve seen of the data?
Lucki: I can’t say for sure, honestly, I’m not aware of the data.
We shoot along side their members at the range. They know damn well we aren’t the issue. Common sense and reality will prevail over ignorance and the fear of the unknown.
— Thirteen (@ThirteenCanuck) August 18, 2018
The most important part of gun rights isn’t “gun,” it’s “rights.”