Vancouver Police Says AR-15s Deter Terrorists: Georgia Straight — A Vancouver police memo said officers armed with long rifles such as AR-15s can deter terrorists or stop them after they have begun to attack, the Georgia Straight website said, quoting the police report.

The document by Ken Athans, acting Inspector with the Emergency and Operational Planning Section of the Vancouver Police Department, is on the agenda for review at a board meeting tomorrow, the Georgia Straight said yesterday on its website.

Athans wrote the memo in response to a complaint about the display of rifles at a public event in June, the news site said.

Semi-Auto C8

The AR-15 is a favourite of militaries, police, home defenders, plinkers and competitive shooters around the world for its accuracy, reliability, weight, size and versatility. Almost every police cruiser in Canada is equipped with one, Blue Line magazine reported a year ago.

The Vancouver police told today by e-mail they use a semi-automatic version of the C8 rifle made by Colt Canada Corp. They provided a link to the three-page Athans report.

From the Georgia Straight, Quoting the Athans Report

Evidence demonstrates that the presence of long rifles, with or without vehicle barriers, can serve to deter a terrorist attack.

When a terrorist attack does occur … a trained police member armed with a long rifle improves his or her ability to stop the continued path of a vehicle borne attack and can react swiftly to stop an assailant who exits a suspect vehicle to continue the attack by other means.

The single biggest advancement in police capability to respond to active deadly threats in Canada has been the introduction of the patrol carbine.

When equipped with the modern electronic sight, the carbine is both incredibly fast and extremely accurate at distances much farther than handguns, and could achieve a disabling shot, including in crowd situations.

From the Georgia Straight, Quoting the Complainant

In my opinion, assault rifles in public crowds are unsafe. I feel this level of weapons is overkill. What are the police going to do open fire and spray a hailstorm of bullets into a crowd?

Vancouver Police Department Comment to

We typically do not share details about our operations plans or tactics, including the number of officers deployed or type of equipment used, as that would be counterproductive and potentially unsafe for the public and our officers.

We have a process in place where we assess intelligence and plan for special events. The VPD’s Emergency and Operational Planning Section is responsible for preparing for more than 1,000 events in the City of Vancouver annually. Each event is unique and we use sound principles for preparing threat assessments for each event, and make every attempt to mitigate potential threats. Of course we take financial implications into consideration as well.

We continually review our approach to events, especially in light of the present environment globally. Specifically, over the past two years, we have added extra resources, including equipping some officers with carbine rifles and using heavy vehicle barriers at events with large crowds, in response to world events.


Related Information

Update 18:45 Toronto time: Adds comments by Vancouver Police Department and link to full report.

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