The Coalition for Gun Control/Pour le Controle des Armes

Archive for June, 2009

Guns in the News: Police put at risk by decline in gun-license renewals/L’enregistrement du permis de port d’arme en baisse

Posted by cgccanada on June 30, 2009

Updated Sat. Jun. 27 2009 1:43 PM ET
The Canadian Press CTV.ca

OTTAWA — The number of firearm owners who fail to renew their gun licences has steadily increased since the Harper government tabled legislation to scrap the federal long-gun registry. Opposition critics and the Coalition for Gun Control in Canada say the problem has increased risk for frontline police officers and undermines public safety.

Despite an amnesty the Conservatives introduced to coax gun owners into licence renewals, the latest RCMP figures show the opposite occurred.

The rate of non-renewals climbed to 25.3 per cent of expired licences in the first three months of this year, compared with 14.1 per cent in 2005.

Cabinet began the amnesty in 2006 and extended it for another year last month, waiving licence fees and providing protection from liability under the Firearms Act and the Criminal Code for those who take steps to comply with the law. But the government’s mixed message over the last three years — bringing in the amnesty along with legislation to dismantle the registry — has confused gun owners and is eroding the integrity of the program, critics say.

“The real issue is that there is a dramatic inconsistency between what the government has filed, in terms of its rationale for the amnesty, and its political statements on the program,” says Wendy Cukier, head of the Coalition for Gun Control.

A little-noticed RCMP report for 2007 on the Canada Firearms Centre contains positive information about the registry and its use by police that could surprise even diehard opponents. The report includes a groundbreaking RCMP survey that found general duty police officers use the online version of the registry at a high rate to check for potential weapons while responding to trouble calls. On average, 73 per cent of the officers said they log on to check for the presence of firearms en route. The rate was even higher for officers trained to use the online registry — 81 per cent of that group use it on calls.

A total of 408 officers with 56 police departments across Canada, representing large, small, urban, rural, federal, municipal and provincial police forces, responded to the survey. The government tabled the report from RCMP Commissioner William Elliott in the House of Commons during Parliament’s summer recess last August, while MPs were in their ridings or on vacation. The report covers the 2007 calendar year to Dec. 31.

A departmental spokesman, to whom the office of Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan referred all questions, did not respond to enquiries about the effect of the amnesty or the RCMP report. Officers with the Canadian Police Association and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police were unavailable to comment.

But a CPA spokesman said the group continues to support the registry. And the association of chiefs last April published an opinion piece saying “the registry has been instrumental in removing guns from potentially dangerous people.”

The high rate of police use of the online registry during service calls is central to a three-year battle over the amnesty between registry supporters and the Conservatives. As more firearm owners opt out of the licensing and take the government on its word that it will dismantle the registry, the system becomes less dependable for police on call, critics note.

“The main objective of the Canadian Firearms Program is to enhance public safety,” says the government’s own argument in favour of using the amnesty to encourage licence renewals.”This is achieved in part by maximizing the number of firearms owners who comply with the licensing and registration requirements set out in the Firearms Act and the Criminal Code.”

Once registered and licensed, gun owners are subject to continuous screening as a condition of possessing a licence and owning firearms. RCMP records show 24,234 firearm owners out of 171,133 whose licences were set to expire in 2005 did not renew them.

In 2008, the number of gun owners who did not renew their licences grew to 66,006 out of 309,161. For the first three months of 2009, non-renewals totalled 18,548 out of 73,261 set to expire. Only 2,596 rifles and shotguns were deactivated or destroyed in 2007. “It’s a problem for that police officer, when he goes into that house,” said New Democrat MP Joe Comartin. “The risk level has gone up dramatically.”

Liberal MP Mark Holland says the renewal statistics demonstrate the government rationale for the amnesty is a “fraudulent argument.” He accused the Conservatives of attempting to satisfy both sides in the registry debate by continuing to table legislation to dismantle the system, while taking no steps to try to push the bill through Parliament.

The government tabled its latest bill to disband the registry in the Senate, where it has been languishing without debate since last April 1. The Canada Firearms Centre cost $82.3 million in the 2007-2008 fiscal year, with $15.7 million going toward the registry and continuing registration of firearms.

*****

http://www2.canoe.com/infos/quebeccanada/archives/2009/06/20090627-192125.html

Le nombre de propriétaires n’ayant pas renouvelé leur permis de port d’armes a augmenté depuis que le gouvernement Harper jongle avec l’idée d’éliminer le registre des armes à feu.Selon l’opposition et la Coalition pour le contrôle des armes à feu au Canada, ce problème met en danger la vie des policiers et sape la sécurité de la population.

Le gouvernement conservateur espérait, en accordant une amnistie, convaincre les propriétaires d’armes à renouveler leur permis, mais le plan n’a pas fonctionné si on se fie aux dernières statistiques de la GRC. Le pourcentage de non-renouvellement s’est élevé à 25,3% au cours des trois premiers mois de 2009, comparativement à 14,1% en 2005.

La mesure d’amnistie a été adoptée en 2006 par le conseil des ministres et a été prolongée d’une autre année, le mois dernier. Le gouvernement a également annoncé une prolongation d’un an de la dispense des droits à payer pour le renouvellement et le reclassement des permis d’armes à feu. Enfin, les titulaires de permis de possession simple pourront présenter, au cours de l’année, une nouvelle demande de permis.

Les opposants soutiennent que le signal du gouvernement _ accorder une amnistie tout en affirmant son intention d’abolir le registre  a jeté la confusion chez les propriétaires d’armes à feu tout en sapant l’intégrité du programme. La présidente de la Coalition pour le contrôle des armes à feux, Wendy Cukier, a déploré l’incohérence «dramatique» du discours gouvernemental au sujet de l’amnistie et du registre.

Un rapport de la GRC, dont le gouvernement avait fait peu de cas en août dernier, inclut un sondage mené auprès de différents corps policiers à travers le pays. Les résultats indiquent que beaucoup de policiers consultent la version Internet du registre pour identifier la présence potentielle d’armes à feu dans un endroit donné. En moyenne, 73% des agents ont dit consulter le registre avant de procéder à une intervention. Ce taux était encore plus élevé parmi les policiers formés à l’utilisation du registre _ 81 pour cent d’entre eux affirmant l’utiliser dans les opérations

courantes.

Un total de 408 agents de 56 corps policiers au pays ont répondu au sondage. Le rapport du commissaire de la GRC,
William Elliott, couvre l’année 2007. Un porte-parole du ministère de la Sécurité publique n’a pas répondu aux questions sur l’effet de l’amnistie ou sur le rapport de la GRC.

Les représentants de l’Association canadienne des policiers et de l’Association canadienne des chefs de police n’étaient pas disponibles pour commenter. Mais un porte-parole de l’Association canadienne des policiers a indiqué que l’organisation était toujours en faveur du maintien du registre.

Le haut taux d’utilisation du registre pour les opérations courantes se trouve au coeur d’une bataille de trois ans sur
l’amnistie entre les partisans du registre et les conservateurs. «L’objectif principal du programme canadien des armes à feu est d’améliorer la sécurité du public. Cela est accompli en partie en maximisant le nombre de propriétaires d’armes à feu qui se plient aux exigences de permis et d’enregistrements inclues dans la Loi sur les armes à feu et dans le code criminel», fait-on valoir au gouvernement pour justifier l’amnistie. Un projet de loi sur le démantèlement du registre se retrouve au Sénat, mais n’a pas fait l’objet de débats depuis le 1er avril.

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Guns in the News: From Columbine To Dawson: Psychological Impact Of Mass Shootings

Posted by cgccanada on June 29, 2009

ScienceDaily (June 29, 2009)

Less than two percent of the community were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress, and seven percent report post-traumatic stress symptoms, as a result of the shooting at Dawson College on September 13, 2006. However, over 80 percent of those who received care reported that they were satisfied with the services provided, according to a new study by researchers from the Fernand-Seguin Research Centre of Louis-H. Lafontaine Hospital and the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), in Montreal, Canada.

The preliminary findings of this first-of-its-kind study will be presented at the 31st International Congress on Law and Mental Health in New York on June 29, 2009.

Since the 1999 Columbine tragedy, there have been 60 school shootings – double the rate seen in the previous decade,” says Dr. Warren Steiner, head of the McGill University Health Centre’s Department of Psychiatry and one of the key figures involved in implementing the emergency psychological intervention plan following the Dawson College shooting. “These school shootings have resulted in 181 deaths,” he said.

”Despite the frequency of these incidents, there are very few empirical studies on their psychological effects and no studies have evaluated the effectiveness of psychological interventions,” says Dr. Steiner. “It is crucial that we learn from these experiences to better help those affected by such tragedies.”

The study, conducted with 949 members of the Dawson community, including students, faculty and staff, found that some students who needed psychological assistance were reluctant to seek help due to the fear of being stigmatized by friends and loved ones.

The research team also found that among male support staff, many were equally averse to seeking professional help. “People were disinclined to seek help because of prejudices related to mental illness, fear of showing weakness or appearing vulnerable to one’s peers or supervisor and the false perception that time would solve everything,” says Alain Lesage, a researcher at the Fernand-Seguin Research Centre of Louis-H. Lafontaine Hospital and a professor of psychiatry at the Université de Montréal.

The researchers also discovered that certain groups, such as cafeteria staff (who are not Dawson College staff), college support staff, some of whom witnessed the shooting, and those who were hospitalized, were overlooked, and the repercussions of their psychological damage were underestimated. In addition, some professors felt powerless and incapable of helping students.

University of Montreal (2009, June 29). From Columbine To Dawson: Psychological Impact Of Mass Shootings. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 29, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2009/06/090629100641.htm

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Guns in the News: Man Faces Gun Charges

Posted by cgccanada on June 26, 2009

Edmonton Journal

June 26,2009

A 60-year-old man faces numerous firearms charges after he allegedly went home and grabbed a gun to settle an argument with his neighbour about noise. Around 11:30 p. m. Wednesday, the man and his neighbour got into a physical fight about loud music and an all-terrain vehicle. Tofield RCMP were called about the assault, but while officers were on the way they got another call that the man had “gone home and was loading the guns to settle the dispute himself,” according to a news release. RCMP surrounded the man’s house in a rural subdivision 10 kilometres northwest of Tofield. Police say the man fired his guns several times. “We have no idea what he was shooting at, all we know is we could hear the shots going off. We couldn’t tell where he was shooting from, what he was shooting at. It might have been us, we don’t know,” said Sgt. Jim Warren. No one was shot. The man came out of the house around 2:30 a. m., carrying a weapon. He was arrested by RCMP officers and was bitten by a police dog in the process. He was sent to hospital and released soon after, Warren said. The man now faces a number of driving and firearms offences. (…)

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Guns in the News: Man who kept cache of firearms sentenced to three years

Posted by cgccanada on June 25, 2009

Cambridge’s Daniel Kesselring also banned from possessing weapons for life

The Kitchener Record,

June 25,2009

A Cambridge man who kept prohibited guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition at his home was sentenced yesterday to three years in prison.

Daniel Kesselring pleaded guilty to possessing a prohibited firearm with readily accessible ammunition. He had no licence for the gun. A first offence carries a mandatory minimum penalty of three years in jail. Second offence is five years. The law prohibits anyone from having a loaded or unloaded prohibited or restricted firearm with readily accessible ammunition unless they have a licence or registration certificate for the gun.

Kesselring, 30, also pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm while he was under court order not to have any weapons, and careless storage of 15 high-capacity magazines. He originally faced more than 30 charges. Two Waterloo Region Police officers flew to Vancouver earlier this month to bring Kesselring back after he failed to show up in court in April.

He was charged after police searched his home at 318 Dolph St. S. last September. Emergency response officers seized 600 rounds of ammunition, a shotgun, a .22-calibre handgun, a .22-calibre rifle, 15 high- capacity magazines and other loaded magazines. Members of the police anti-violence intervention strategy team and the intelligence branch were involved.

Police began investigating Kesselring for the possession and sale of illegal guns and ammunition trafficking in October, 2007 after receiving confidential information, Kitchener’s Ontario Court heard. Kesselring ran an online business called Tac Shot. He sold firearms parts and accessories.

He was originally charged with 11 counts of possession of a firearm while prohibited, nine counts of unlawful storage of a firearm, five counts of possession of a firearm without a licence, four counts of unauthorized possession of a weapon and two counts of possession of a prohibited device. A .22 calibre rifle with no serial number was found under a bed. It had no trigger lock.

Two Ziploc bags holding 578 bullets were also discovered in the bedroom. A 12-gauge

shotgun was in a closet. Kesselring has a long criminal record, dating from 1994. It includes offences of violence. Justice Margaret Woolcott said neighbours would likely have been very concerned if they’d known what was in Kesselring’s home. He is now prohibited from possessing weapons for life.

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Guns in the News: 92 handguns collected in city since fall

Posted by cgccanada on June 24, 2009

Firearm inventories offer police tool in war on weapons trafficking

From The Ottawa Citizen

By Ian Macleod, with assistance from researcher Ken Rubin, The Ottawa Citizen; with files from Canwest News Service

May 29, 2009

About 100 illegal handguns have been confiscated by Ottawa police over the past six months, part of a national haul of 8,200 firearms seized since just last fall.

What’s more, 43-per-cent of the weapons seized nationally were entered in the Canadian Firearms Registry, which the federal government is once again attempting to kill.

Yet without the registry, about 3,560 of the seized guns would have been more difficult, if not impossible, to locate and confiscate, federal Registrar of Firearms Jeffrey Brandt suggested in an interview Thursday.

“Police knew about the whereabouts of those firearms because of the registry,” he said.

The numbers are the first time national gun-seizure statistics have been compiled in Canada and police are wasting no time analysing the data.

Officers from the RCMP’s Firearms Investigative and Enforcement Services Directorate, including its tactical analysis unit, convened Thursday in Ottawa to begin the process of mining the information for trends, patterns and investigative leads to shut down firearms traffickers and solve outstanding gun crimes.

Here’s some of what they know so far:

– A total of 8,281 guns have been seized or otherwise surrendered to police across the country since November.

– 6,146 were non-restricted firearms, mostly shotguns and rifles. They were typically confiscated because the owner threatened another person, was deemed to be a public safety threat, violent or a court prohibited them from possession a weapon.

– 1,340 were restricted weapons, mostly handguns.

– 795 were prohibited firearms, such as full automatics and short-barrelled handguns such as the little Saturday Night Special, easily hidden in a pocket.

Ottawa police, meanwhile, confiscated 92 handguns.

The most-wanted pistol in the city remains the one fired in the unsolved May 7 ByWard Market bar slaying of Mohamed Jama Ali, a 26-year-old member of the Ottawa street gang Ledbury-Banff Crips.

City police also took in 158 shotguns and 278 rifles. In all, 528 guns have been seized since November.

“This is actually brand new information for us,” Brandt said of the new national tally.

“We didn’t know how many firearms police were seizing,” or what kinds. “That there are so many non-restricted firearms is a big surprise for us.”

By tracking the history and, in some cases, analysing the ballistics of the restricted and prohibited weapons, police hope to uncover new leads on sources of international gun smuggling into Canada. Further, they may match the ballistics of a particular seized gun to an unsolved crime.

The numbers result from a little-known regulation in the federal Firearms Act requiring police departments and other government agencies to report their firearm inventories, including guns seized and surrendered. The regulations came into force Nov. 1.

Initially intended to serve as an auditing and inventory tool for police guns and firearms owned by other “public agents” such as the Coast Guard, prison guards and wildlife conservation officers, the Public Agents Firearms Regulations also created the swelling, national file of seized guns.

Before, information on confiscated weapons was typically not widely shared between individual police departments.

“Law enforcement agencies, they might be neighbouring, and they might not know, for example, that there’s a common source for crime guns in their jurisdictions. With this information we can (now) do that,” said Brandt.

“We can find out now, for example, are there sequential serial numbered firearms that are being seized across the country … a common source.”

A requirement for police to report their seized weapons within 30 days is expected to offer additional gains.

“If you’re involved in chasing firearms smugglers and importers, generally speaking you’re going to get that information (now) when these guys are still involved in trafficking so your going to get an opportunity to shut them down,” said RCMP Supt. Geoffrey Francis, head of the firearms services directorate.

“If you can get a trafficker after he’s trafficked only 20 or 30 guns, as opposed to 400 or 500 guns, think of the potential criminal violence you’re going to save.”

In the Commons, meanwhile, Conservative MP Candice Hoeppner has introduced a private member’s bill that would repeal sections of the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act that now require owners of all guns to obtain a certificate. If Bill C-391 becomes law, only owners of restricted or prohibited weapons would be required to register.

Conservatives hope and expect that C-391 finds support among NDP and Liberal MPs who represent rural ridings where the gun registry is unpopular, although private member’s bills rarely become law.

Even though the owners of rifles and other long guns would not have to register their weapons under

C-391, they would be required to have a valid firearms licence, and go through a police background check and safety training to purchase or possess firearms and to purchase ammunition.

The existing law requires all gun owners to register their firearms, but the Conservatives have twice extended an “amnesty” on that requirement. The current amnesty, renewed earlier this month, gives firearms owners until May 16, 2010, to register their weapons.

The government has drawn up its own legislation to kill the long-gun registry, although it tabled that legislation in the Senate where it languishes. Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan would not explain why he decided to introduce it in the Senate, where the Liberals hold a majority of seats, rather than in the House.

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

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Guns in the News: Firearm smuggling on rise

Posted by cgccanada on June 23, 2009

By BILL KAUFMANN, SUN MEDIA

Edmonton sun

Last Updated: 15th June 2009, 2:12am

CALGARY –The number of prohibited firearms being intercepted at the Alberta-Montana border is creeping up and on pace to surpass last year’s tally, say the agents seizing them.

Last year, 21 prohibited guns were discovered as they crossed from the United States into Canada, compared to 20 in 2007.

Already this year, 13 have been uncovered, said Lisa White, spokesman for Canada Border Services Agency.

“I would say the numbers we are getting are significant numbers, particularly the prohibited numbers,” said White.

The number of restricted firearms –mainly handguns or semi-automatic rifles –seized at Alberta’s borders in 2008 numbered 24, the same as the year before.

Last month, a Montana-based agent with Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms told Sun Media that handguns are increasingly being smuggled into Alberta.

White said Canadian border agents are serious about cracking down on the activity. “Our officers are trained to detect all kinds of firearms, and part of that training is keeping up with concealment methods, which are constantly changing,” she said.

In January, agents discovered 10 semi-automatic handguns, 11 high-capacity magazines and 300 rounds of ammunition hidden in the inside panels of a minivan.  Adrian Le-Mon Barnes, 30, of the Edmonton area, is to appear in Lethbridge provincial court Friday to face dozens of firearms charges.

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Gun Control News for June 22, 2009

Posted by cgccanada on June 22, 2009

INEWS 880, June 19, 2009,  Edmonton gun-runner sentenced

A 31-year-old Edmonton man has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for smuggling guns, silencers and ammunition into Canada from the United States. Adrian Barnes was arrested at a border crossing south of Lethbridge after a search of his vehicle found nine illegal handguns, two silencers and six boxes of ammunition. Barnes pleaded guilty today in Lethbridge provincial court to nine counts of smuggling. The judge said these type of weapons have no place in society and anyone who brings them into Canada must suffer severe consequences.

Diario de Noticias (Lisbon), 12 June 2009, Lusophone Police Chiefs Seek to Curb Arms Trafficking

CPLP (Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries) police chiefs have created a committee to fight arms trafficking through tighter controls of legal arms sales. The PSP (Portuguese Public Security Police) has suggested to the CPLP chiefs of police a harmonization of legislation relating to the trade and transport of firearms. The objective is to prevent the considerable number of weapons circulating legally between these countries falling into criminal hands. The CPLP police chiefs’ council, chaired by PSP national director Superintendent Oliveira Pereira, took place last week in Praia, Cape Verde. The Portuguese Judicial Police national director, Almeida Rodrigues, the SEF (Foreigners and Borders Services) national director, Manuel Palos, and the GNR (Republican National Guard) general-commander, Lt-Gen Nelson Santos also attended the meeting.  Portugal closed the meeting with a proposal which promises to control arms trafficking: the creation of a weapons and explosives committee in the heart of the CPLP (Portugal, Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Sao Tome e Principe and East Timor) — the proposal was approved. This body will allow police forces from member states to monitor import and export licences for weapons and explosives and the identification of owners and companies. “Every year Portuguese hunters take big-game hunting riffles to Angola and Mozambique. Here we have different controls from there — where any private bodyguard carries a Kalashnikov. It is urgent to standardize the controls,” Superintendent Elias, who attended the meeting, told Diario de Noticias. On the other hand, most of the guns on sale in Portuguese gun shops are Brazilian, for example the Taurus. “Brazil is one of the largest gun exporters in the world,” a PSP officer said. “It is necessary to monitor where they end up,” he added. There are also many African citizens from Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Angola and Mozambique living in Portugal. This increases the circulation of people between these countries — it is easy to move weapons in the black market. Another issue discussed at the meeting was efforts to curb illegal immigration. It was proposed that Cape Verde introduce electronic passports to enable better controls at Portugal’s border. A pilot of this project is already in operation in Brazil.

UN Office for Disarmament Affairs / M2 PressWire Media release, 19 June 2009, United Nations Regional Meeting On Small Arms Programme Of Action To Be Held In Sydney, Australia, 22-23 June

NEW YORK — A United Nations meeting on the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects for States of the Pacific region will be held on 22 and 23 June in Sydney, Australia. The meeting is organized by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, including its Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific, in partnership with the Government of Australia, which will be hosting the event. The Governments of Japan and New Zealand are providing additional support. Officials from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu, as well as representatives of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, have been invited to participate. Duncan Kerr SC MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, will make welcoming remarks on behalf of the Australian Government. Pablo Macedo of Mexico, recently appointed Chair-designate of the Fourth Biennial Meeting of States on the Programme of Action (2010), is expected to attend the meeting, as are representatives from civil society. The meeting in Australia is the first of a regional series planned in follow-up to the report of the Third Biennial Meeting of States, held in New York from 14 to 18 July 2008 (see http://disarmament.un.org/cab/bms3/1BMS3Pages/1thirdBMS.html ). The second meeting of the series is scheduled for 8 and 9 July in Kigali, Rwanda, for States of the Horn of Africa, the Great Lakes region and Southern Africa.

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Study shoots holes in $2B ‘fabrication’

Posted by cgccanada on June 19, 2009

From the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal, June 18, 2009
By Rob Linke

The $2-billion figure often cited as the cost of the gun registry is a Saskatchewan MP’s “fabrication” that took on a life of its own as Conservative MPs and the media repeated it for years, says a new study.

In late 2002, a report by auditor general Sheila Fraser said the cost of the federal gun registry tallied nearly $1 billion from 1996-2006. Her figure became political ammunition in the hands of Saskatchewan backbench MP Garry Breitkreuz, an opponent of gun control who was in the Reform Party, then the Canadian Alliance, and is now a Conservative. He began calling the gun registry a “$1-billion boondoggle.” But within four months his language had escalated into “a $2-billion boondoggle.” The study says Breitkreuz “strategically created” that catch phrase.

The study calls it his “fabrication.” Breitkreuz said in an interview Wednesday that at one level, the study’s authors are “disingenuous” for “quibbling over $1 billion or $2-billion.” Either figure “is horrific. It’s wasted money that would have been much better spent going after organized crime and other serious things.”

The study’s lead author, Peter Malachy Ryan, said there’s a current relevance to debunking the $2-billion figure. The Conservatives have introduced legislation to scrap the long-gun registry. “It’s relevant to the current debate because if most people think it ran over costs that wildly, it changes its value in people’s minds,” said Ryan, an instructor at Ryerson University. “There needs to be the other story that it saves lives, that it saves health- care dollars, that it’s a public-safety issue.”

Breitkreuz was quoted in a Calgary Herald story in March 2003 explaining the origin of the $2 billion figure. He said then he’d added Fraser’s $1 billion figure to another $1 billion estimated cost of enforcing the legislation. The latter $1 billion came from a paper Breitkreuz asked a researcher at the non-partisan Library of Parliament to produce. The $1-billion in that paper reflected the potential cost of 500,000 convictions over five years for violating the new firearms legislation. But it’s clearly a hypothetical figure, since the Library of Parliament paper itself shows only a fraction as many firearms offences have occurred.

Wednesday, Breitkreuz said the second $1 billion did not come from the Library of Parliament study but reflected the “economic cost” of the gun registry. He said it was based on his own calculations of an estimated $200 cost for each licensed firearm owner as well as a decline in hunting and tourism that he argued could be blamed on the registry. In fact, he said, “when you take into account all of that and the loss of revenue to the government, it goes well beyond the $2 billion.”

Once it was in the Herald article, “$2-billion boondoggle” became the catch phrase “in Parliament and the media, continuing unabated to the present day,” said the Ryerson study. As recently as June 5, Conservative backbench MP *Mark Warawa* used the $2 billion figure in tabling a petition opposing the gun registry. He erroneously referred to the registry as spiraling out of control to “$2 billion a year,” even though neither the auditor general nor Breitkreuz generated a $1-billion annual cost. Since the Harper government took office in 2006, 14 different Conservative MPs have used Breitkruz’s fictitious $2-billion figure, says the study, including cabinet ministers. The study found Breitkreuz played an influential and dominant role in debates in all three stages. His use of the term “boondoggle” gained traction in 2002.

Ryan countered that when both the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and the Canadian Medical Association “are adamant that it’s valuable, it should definitely not be scrapped.” The registry was begun in 1995. In 2006, Fraser’s latest look at it concluded the total net cost up to March 2005 was $946 million. The old registry in place before C-68 cost $30 million a year. The current registry costs $82.3 million a year, according to Treasury Board.

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More on the Disarm Domestic Violence Campaign

Posted by cgccanada on June 18, 2009

From the IANSA website:

During the Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence events will be held in 85 countries to draw attention to the human toll of small arms proliferation and misuse. Perhaps most shockingly, the greatest risk of gun violence to women around the world is not on the streets, or the battlefield, but in their own homes.

Women are three times more likely to die violently if there is a gun in the house. Usually the perpetrator is a spouse or partner, often with a prior record of domestic abuse. Gun violence can be part of the cycle of intimidation and aggression that many women experience from an intimate partner. For every woman killed or physically injured by firearms, many more are threatened. This is why IANSA has launched a campaign to demand policies which would keep women safe from gun violence.

Disarming Domestic Violence is the first international campaign to protect women from gun violence in the home. The main goal is to ensure that anyone with a history of domestic abuse is denied access to a firearm, or have their licenses revoked.

IANSA women from over 28 countries are already involved and collecting information about the scale of the problem in Argentina, Brazil, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, DR Congo, El Salvador, Haiti, Liberia, Macedonia, Mali, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, Uruguay, and Venezuela…..

Read more at IANSA Women’s Network

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Gun Violence in the News: CBC News, June 15, 2009, “Growing gun and gang problems plaguing Winnipeg, say police”

Posted by cgccanada on June 17, 2009

A weekend of violence in Winnipeg’s North End is an indication of a growing gun problem in the city, according to police Chief Keith McCaskill.

Wayne Roger Michelle was shot to death in the 500 block of Manitoba Avenue on Saturday night. It was just one of many violent acts that occurred in the city over the weekend. In less than 24 hours, four men were shot and five people were seriously assaulted. ‘And not only is it difficult for our officers, but it’s difficult for the public that are in the neighbourhoods to have any sense of real safety any longer.’—Mike Sutherland, Winnipeg Police Association.

One of the shootings was a drive-by that targeted a house on Redwood Avenue, and officers reported responding to at least a dozen other suspected shootings. “This is pretty much off the charts in terms of the number of violent firearms-related offences that have occurred over the course of the weekend,” said Mike Sutherland, president of the Winnipeg Police Association. “And not only is it difficult for our officers, but it’s difficult for the public that are in the neighbourhoods to have any sense of real safety any longer because you just never know when the bullets are going to start flying.”

The high numbers of gun calls police rushed to this weekend are part of gang retaliation in the North End, said McCaskill. He said the street crimes unit was on the ground there all weekend and were able to perform CPR on one shooting victim because they heard the gunfire themselves. Witnesses afraid to come forward According to McCaskill, who acknowledged that many people are too afraid to come forward as witnesses in the North End, police have plans to get more officers embedded in the affected communities, and that recruiting informants is one way to reduce gang violence.

The gang situation is coming to a head, said Sutherland, adding there needs to be a more organized attack on gangs in the city, or this weekend’s violence will only be the start. “At some point we’re going to need to take serious steps or this is going to become relatively commonplace, not just this weekend and not just in certain neighbourhoods within the city but in many other neighbourhoods within the city,” Sutherland said. In response to the increase of gun-related crimes, Sutherland suggested a project similar to Winnipeg’s Auto Theft Suppression Strategy. The monitoring program, launched in 2005, contacts the highest-risk auto thieves every three hours with at least one in-person visit every day. It will cost money and require buy-in frm the courts and the justice system, he said, but it would be worth it.

Posted in Cost of gun violence, Current Events | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Gun Violence in the News: CBC News, June 15, 2009, “Growing gun and gang problems plaguing Winnipeg, say police”