RCMP Labour Union Opposes Liberal-RCMP Mass Gun Confiscations

TheGunBlog.ca — The RCMP labour union today opposed the Canadian federal government and federal police’s attacks against hunters, sport shooters and firearm collectors, the strongest police challenge to the May 1 crackdown.

The National Police Federation, in the first position statement by Canada’s largest police union, asked the government to help officers stop violent gangs instead of wasting money seizing guns from police-licensed firearm owners and stores.

‘Misdirected Effort’

Photo of Pete Merrifield, Vice President of the National Police Federation
NPF Vice President Pete Merrifield. Source: National Police Federation

“We’re saying that in our opinion as police officers, this is a misdirected effort when it comes to public safety,” Pete Merrifield, a vice president of the NPF union, said in a phone interview with TheGunBlog.ca.

Criminalize and Confiscate

The governing Liberal Party and Royal Canadian Mounted Police drafted their confiscation Order in Council in secret before unleashing it on May 1.

The plan threatens many of the country’s 2.2 million licensed firearm users with jail unless they surrender their suddenly blacklisted rifles and shotguns to the police by 30 April 2022.

The crackdown against honest individuals violates fundamental principles of ethics, justice and governance, and will cost hundreds of millions or billions of dollars in taxpayer funds.

Not Public Safety

“Our concern representing 20,000 police officers is that it is not a public-safety action that correctly targets crime or criminals,” Merrifield said. “Second, it diverts valuable resources that could go into funding of a vibrant enforcement program to stop criminals and smuggling and help with issues like mental health and poverty.”

Read: RCMP Union’s Pete Merrifield Comments on Opposition to Liberal Attacks

Strengthening Resistance

The RCMP union’s rejection of the Liberal-RCMP attacks boosts a growing movement of grassroots and institutional opposition.

  • In addition to the RCMP, many other police across Canada are against a crackdown that would force them to seize gear from their families, friends and each other. (Many officers own personal guns.)
  • Six cases are in Federal Court and at least one is in provincial court challenging the confiscations as unconstitutional and illegal.
  • Alberta and Saskatchewan have put in place measures to protect their residents from the attacks. Manitoba and Ontario are also opposed.
  • More than 230,000 Canadians signed a petition against the crackdown, making it the No. 1 e-petition in House of Commons history.
  • None of the more than 100,000 targeted gun owners wants to participate in the forced surrender.

NPF Documents

RCMP National Police Federation Quote

The National Police Federation said in today’s statement:

Costly and current legislation, such as the Order in Council prohibiting various firearms and the proposed “buy-back” program by the federal government targeted at legal firearm owners, does not address these current and emerging themes or urgent threats to public safety.

It also does not address:

  • criminal activity,
  • illegal firearms proliferation,
  • gang crime,
  • illegal guns crossing the border or
  • the criminal use of firearms.

In fact, it diverts extremely important personnel, resources, and funding away from addressing the more immediate and growing threat of criminal use of illegal firearms.

Source: National Police Federation, Inaugural Position Statement, 23 November 2020

RCMP Response

The Ministry of Public Safety, which is overseeing the May 1 criminalizations-confiscations, referred questions from TheGunBlog.ca to the Ottawa-based RCMP.

Caroline Duval, a spokeswoman for the RCMP, e-mailed the following to TheGunBlog.ca in response to our questions:

“We are aware of the NPF’s position paper and respect their role in bringing  issues important to their members and to the public to the forefront. The RCMP and the NPF enjoy a positive and productive relationship and will continue to work with the NPF, as well as our federal, provincial and municipal partners to ensure the safety of our employees and the communities we serve.”

RCMP, Response to TheGunBlog.ca, 23 November 2020

RCMP 2019 Commissioner of Firearms Report

Separately, the RCMP published its 2019 Commissioner of Firearms Report today, with data and analysis on the gun users it reviews under the Firearms Act and Criminal Code.

“All applicants are screened to ensure that there are no reasons why, in the interest of public safety, they should not possess a firearm,” the RCMP report said.