TheGunBlog.ca — Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders and at least five other active and retired Canadian police leaders have a message for politicians campaigning to ban guns from hunters, farmers and sport shooters: No.
Saunders yesterday declined to support Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mayor John Tory’s marketing for massive bans to win votes.
He was responding to reporters at police headquarters asking about Tory’s renewed calls to eliminate federally licensed handgun owners from Toronto, after more than 20 gang shootings across the city this month.
‘No One Solution’
The chief of Canada’s largest municipal force didn’t mention the word “ban” during the 23-minute press conference.
“Anything that helps is a benefit, but there is no one solution to this,” Saunders said. “That’s the message I’m trying to get across.”
Saunders joins the heads of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Winnipeg police and a national police lobby among officers who don’t support mass confiscation.
The growing opposition to bans over the past year highlights a deepening rift in Canadian culture.
Trudeau, Tory and their allies are ramping up efforts to criminalize the country’s safest and most-lawful citizens and take away their firearms, while more and more people oppose such authoritarian moves.
Some police want honest citizens disarmed. Trudeau’s minister for confiscation, Bill Blair, was the Toronto police chief before Saunders.
Bans for Votes
Blair in June promised the biggest single gun bans in Canadian history if Trudeau’s Liberal Party is re-elected, as opinion polls show Liberal voters are the most hostile to firearm owners. Seizures would start with rifle and shotgun owners, before bans on handgun owners.
Tory won a second term as mayor campaigning to eliminate target shooters. He asked them to leave Toronto.
Respect for hunters and sport shooters is now the most-critical issue in the October election for many of Canada’s 2.2 million men and women with a gun permit, and their families.
All guns are banned already for anyone without a licence.
Ban ‘Will Do Nothing’
“A handgun ban in Toronto will do nothing to abate gun crime,” Chris Lewis, the retired commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, Canada’s second-largest police agency, said yesterday on Twitter.
A handgun ban in Toronto will do nothing to abate gun crime. A city ban would have to be a bylaw, and criminals are totally ignoring criminal law, so a bylaw ticket likely won’t scare them! And the “law abiding” handgun owners are just that, and not a threat.
— Chris D. Lewis, C.O.M. (@ChrisLewisLLS) August 9, 2019
Asylum or Jail?
Any ban would push gun owners to seek refuge in countries that accept civilian ownership, force them to surrender their firearms, or put them at risk of jail.
Some will seek asylum in the U.S. if the Liberals proceed with their plan to seize and destroy firearms from hundreds of thousands of families.
Saunders countered the Trudeau-Tory tactic of blaming permit holders for the gang shootings that have surged since the two politicians took office.
“It is predominantly street-gang related,” Saunders said.
About 326 people charged with firearm offences are free on bail, Saunders said. Several were involved in new attacks in recent weeks.
‘Domestically Sourced’ Destroyed
The chief used another reporter’s question about bans to negate the Trudeau government’s claims that violent offenders are getting most of their firearms in Canada.
“Eighty percent of the firearms coming in are coming in through the borders, and the other 20 percent are domestic related,” Saunders said.
Trends in geography and so-called “straw buyers” have shifted in the past few years, he said.
Blue vs. Blue
Any new law ordering firearm seizures directly affects police since they would be in charge of enforcing it.
Officers would have to take away guns from their own families, friends and each other, since many have personal firearms in addition to their duty gear. They would have to deal with conscientious objectors — including many police and military — who will refuse to comply.
Bans raise moral questions about whether unelected police should obey unjust orders and laws from elected governments.
Police Leaders Against Gun Bans (Partial List)
- Mark Saunders, Toronto Police Chief
- Brenda Lucki, RCMP Commissioner
- Chris Lewis, Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner (Retired)
- Adam Palmer, Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police President; Vancouver Police Chief
- Danny Smyth, Winnipeg Police Chief
- Mark McCormack, Toronto Police Association President
- Max Waddell, Winnipeg Police, Organized Crime Unit
- Mike Earl, Toronto Police, Holdup Squad (Retired)
Bans Beyond Bill C-71
The Liberals in June did more than promise sweeping new gun bans.
They also passed Bill C-71 as a new law to seize rifles from more than 10,000 families after the registered owners die. The law invents new crimes for every licensed gun owner and business.
In speaking to media this week, Blair didn’t mention the election goal of mass gun seizures against responsible shooters.
Bans ‘Not the Solution’
“They don’t commit the crimes,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford told media yesterday as he rejected bans, CityNews reported. “That’s not the solution, to be very frank. It’s to make sure we come down hard and heavy on these gangs.”
The premiers of Saskatchewan and Alberta also oppose confiscation.
“A gun ban is not the solution,” Mike McCormack, the president of the Toronto police labour union, said on Twitter a year ago.