‘Red-Flag’ Abuse: Police Raid ‘Kassandra’ and Take Away Her Guns
TheGunBlog.ca — Three Toronto police officers and two paramedics raided the home of “Kassandra” on the morning of Oct. 1, 2019, after her ex-husband called 911 to say she might use her guns to hurt herself or others.
The five invaders entered her condo and took her away in handcuffs without verifying the man’s claims or the ex-couple’s history, she said in a series of exclusive interviews this week with TheGunBlog.ca.
Coerce and Confiscate
- The police used a master key to enter Kassandra’s condo without a warrant and without knocking.
- They yanked her out of bed in her nightgown and handcuffed her.
- They intimidated her and searched her home.
- They bullied her into opening her locked gun safe to confiscate her legally owned firearms.
- They coerced her to get into an ambulance, handcuffed her to the stretcher, and drove her to Mount Sinai Hospital for a forced mental exam, initially refusing to let her get dressed for the trip.
Targeted By Ex-Husband
Kassandra wasn’t a threat to anyone that morning or ever, she told us in a 90-minute Skype video chat available on YouTube.
Instead, the 38-year-old mother of two boys said she was the target of a violent and vengeful ex-husband out to harass her by abusing so-called “red-flag” laws.
‘Weapon of Revenge’
“My ex-husband continues to use the system as a weapon of revenge,” Kassandra, who asked us to use a nickname to protect her privacy, told TheGunBlog.ca.
Police didn’t charge him, she said.
Firearm Legal Defence
TheGunBlog.ca hasn’t verified Kassandra’s statements with the ex-husband or the police. We reviewed an e-mail she sent to the police after their assault.
Firearm Legal Defence, the legal insurance and hotline that assisted her, wrote about her case on Oct. 16 and helped TheGunBlog.ca contact her.
Team of Accomplices
Instead of protecting the innocent, Canada’s legal regime enabled an abuser through a team of accomplices including:
- Government staff who drafted the laws.
- Politicians who voted for them.
- Police who enforced them.
‘I Was Violated’
“The system that was supposed to protect me abused me and failed me,” said Kassandra. “I feel like I was raped by the system and its representatives. I was stripped of my dignity. I was violated.”
Kassandra said police handcuffed her to a stretcher in the ambulance and then left with the key during the drive to the hospital, putting her life at risk in case of an emergency.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in my professional career,” said “Jake,” a paramedic friend of hers who knows one of the paramedics who took Kassandra in.
He asked us to use a pseudonym to avoid professional implications.
The owners now risk jail unless they allow police to seize their newly blacklisted rifles and shotguns by 30 April 2022, potentially triggering a wave of confiscation raids.
Red-flag assaults are advertised as “wellness checks” or “mental-health calls,” for personal or public safety.
In many cases, they save lives. In some cases, they victimize the innocent.
“They are mostly based on innuendo without the caller making a sworn statement before the Police Act,” said Edward Burlew, a firearm lawyer in Toronto who has handled more than 100 red-flag calls over the past 20 years. “With these being about gun owners, a SWAT team usually comes out too.”
“Creating this red-flag system is an open door for the abusers,” Kassandra said. “You are enabling, you are encouraging, you are supporting those who abuse the system.”
“The scariest part is that you are empowering them,” she said.
Prosecute and Punish
Although any abuser or prankster can hijack provincial mental-health laws, federally licensed firearm owners face an increased risk under federal gun laws.
The Liberals in the 1990s expanded the Criminal Code to deliberately crack down on hunters, sport shooters and firearm collectors.
They designed rules that can wreck the lives of people like Kassandra.
Corrupt By Design
Sections of the Criminal Code targeting gun owners treat them as guilty until proven innocent, in a deliberate corruption of ethics and an inversion of justice known as “reverse onus.”
“It’s very easy to take candy away from a child,” Kassandra said. “All the legal gun owners will simply say, ‘Yes, Sir!’ because we always obey the law.”
Deny and Delay
Firearm Legal Defence provided Kassandra a lawyer. It took him three months to get back her guns. She said the police refused to return them to her after the Mount Sinai doctor cleared her.
She taped the lawyer’s name and phone number to the outside of her gun safe in case the police raid her again.
Kassandra is a high-level pistol competitor with a Black Badge certification from the International Practical Shooting Confederation. Winning an IPSC match requires running around obstacles while placing the most-accurate and fastest hits on target.
Her gun expertise far exceeds what’s required for a personal firearm Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) or to pass qualifying tests for police officers.
During our video interview, the left sleeve of her blue IPSC T-shirt showed the organization’s badge, and her right sleeve showed a Canada flag.
She posts on Instagram as @CommanderStiletto.
Protect Our Community
We asked Kassandra how it feels to share her experience with us.
“It was liberating,” she said. “I couldn’t have done any of this without the gun owners who supported me.”
“I wanted to go public to protect our gun community,” Kassandra said.
“It’s our silence that allows people to abuse the system.”
- Blair’s Office Outlines New Gun Restrictions, Classification System
- How to Buy a Handgun in Canada: Regulatory and Procedural Steps
- Canada Gun Facts & Stats
- Liberal Gun Bans
- Oct. 25: Rewrites sentence on reverse onus.
- Oct. 24 at 19:25 Toronto time: Adds Edward Burlew comment.
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