The Coalition for Gun Control/Pour le Controle des Armes

Archive for July, 2009

Guns in the News: Thursday July 30, 2009

Posted by cgccanada on July 31, 2009

1. International : Chinaview, July 30, 2009, Most handguns in Canadian gun crime trace back to U.S. : report

A new study suggests most of the guns used to commit crimes in Canada have been smuggled in from the United States. The study, published Wednesday in the Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, found that the best available data suggests that about two-thirds of crime guns seized in Canada have their origin south of the border. It’s a situation the Americans would be unlikely to accept if it were reversed, said one of the report’s authors. “The U.S. never hesitates to draw attention to threats to its security,” said Wendy Cukier of Ryerson University, one of the report’s authors and a prominent gun control activist. “Canada seldom points to the obvious fact that lax U.S. gun laws not only result in high numbers of Americans being killed with guns, but fuel the illegal gun trade and handgun homicide in Canada, in Mexico, in the Caribbean and indeed around the world.” The study, conducted by Cukier as well as researchers in the U.S. and Great Britain, looked at the underground market between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. “It is not possible to determine with certainty the percentage of guns used in crime in Canada or Mexico that have been illegally exported from the Unites States, but there is some relevant evidence available that indicates the proportion is high,” the study says. “There are very few cases that show handguns used in crime coming from anywhere other than the USA.” In 2006, Toronto police successfully traced back 181 guns used in crimes to their original sale. The source of 120 of them was the U.S. An Ontario-wide gun tracing program found that 69 per cent of 705 guns used in 2007 in crimes in that province could be traced to the U.S. About 90 percent of those guns were either restricted or prohibited in Canada. That same year, the Canadian Firearms Program reported that of the 710 guns used by criminals it was able to trace in 2007, 54 per cent were smuggled. And last year, Canadian customs officials say they seized 514 restricted and prohibited weapons. Customs officials stop about three per cent of the traffic that flows across the border.”The patterns seem well-established,” said Cukier in an email. Most of the smuggled guns – and guns used in crime – are handguns. The majority of rifles and shotguns used in crimes originate in Canada. Criminal gangs are the recipients of most of the smuggled guns. “Illegal trafficked weapons are primarily used by criminal groups of varying degrees of organization,” the report says. Still, it’s tough to get complete data on the sources of guns used in crimes. Many crime guns aren’t recovered. Serial numbers are often erased and unrecoverable. And it’s doubly difficult to track guns from countries outside the U.S., such as China, Cukier said. Cukier said Canada should step up its efforts to fight gun-running.”Canada should be taking a lead role in international efforts to combat the illicit trade in small arms,” she said. Canada has yet to ratify the UN Firearms Protocol, under which countries promise to do more to fight the illegal traffic in small arms around the world.

2. North Shore Outlook, July 29, 2009, Letters: Gun registry has made Canadians safer

There is a fly in Prof. Mauser’s unequivocally pro-gun ointment.  Study after study has not shown that almost all guns used by criminals are smuggled into Canada, as Mr. Mauser asserts.  In fact, by most accounts, 60 per cent of guns found at crime scenes are smuggled into Canada, and the remaining 40 per cent come from legal gun owners.  Of the 8,281 firearms seized nationally since November, 43 per cent were registered.  Nearly 3,000 guns are stolen annually in Canada, by definition ending up in the hands of criminals.  Furthermore, if one cares to look through Stats Canada’s Homicide in Canada 2007, one would see that there has been a decline in homicides overall, despite an increase in gang-related homicides.  Although Mr. Mauser asserts more domestic murders continue to be committed with kitchen knives than with firearms, and that somehow this is supposed to equate to a lack of success attributed to the gun registry, Stats Canada tells a vastly different story.  It shows that spousal homicide rates fell by 18 per cent, and that the victims are at equal risk of being shot or stabbed. Perhaps Mr. Mauser should check his statistics before he begins to write about them, because the statistics as they stand point to the fallacies in his arguments.  The gun registry is not only an essential tool used by police to uncover the sources of guns used in crime, but also to remove firearms from potentially dangerous individuals, as well as people with a history of domestic violence.  Without a doubt, the gun registry has made Canadians safer. Gordon Steele, Edmonton, Alberta.

3. Agence France Presse (Français), July 29, 2009, Violence au Mexique et au Canada: les armes améric

La majorité des meurtres par armes à feu qui ont lieu au Canada et au Mexique sont commis avec des armes acquises illégalement aux Etats-Unis, révèle une étude publiée mercredi dans la revue Criminology and Criminal Justice.  Les Etats-Unis sont “sans aucun doute un fournisseur majeur d’armes illégales, en particulier d’armes de poing, au Canada et au Mexique”, indiquent les auteurs, Philip Cook de Duke University (Caroline du Nord, sud-est des Etats-Unis) et Wendy Ryerson de l’université de Toronto au Canada.  “Les données disponibles montrent que la majorité des armes utilisées pour commettre des homicides au Canada proviennent des Etats-Unis”, notent les auteurs. Mais les réseaux criminels piochent tout autant dans des stocks d’armes volées à la police ou à l’armée de leurs pays respectifs.  Au Mexique, où la profusion d’armes nourrit les violences liées au trafic de drogue à la frontière avec les Etats-Unis, quelque 90% à 95% des armes sont d’origine américaine, selon cette étude qui se base sur les statistiques recueillies par les pays concernés.  Par ailleurs, les organisations criminelles mexicaines recyclent des armes américaines venues d’autres pays d’Amérique centrale, comme le Salvador, le Nicaragua et le Guatemala. Ces armes avaient été importées — illégalement ou non — des Etats-Unis tant par les gouvernements que par les groupes insurgés durant les périodes de guerre civile et de conflits larvés.  Les homicides par armes à feu ont réduit de plus de six mois l’espérance de vie moyenne des Mexicains, d’un peu plus de trois mois celle des Américains et d’un mois celle des Canadiens.  Le nombre d’homicides par armes à feu est 6,7 fois plus élevé aux Etats-Unis qu’au Canada, selon ces universitaires.

4. Physorg, July 29, 2009, US guns fuel Canada and Mexico crimes, UK gun crime remains rare

Guns smuggled from the US arm criminals in Canada and Mexico, contributing to a higher murder rate in Canada and more intense drug crime conflict near the Mexican border, according to a study published today in a special issue of Criminology and Criminal Justice, published by SAGE.  However, authors Philip J. Cook, of Duke University Durham, NC, US, Wendy Cukier Ryerson of the University of Toronto, Canada and Keith Krause from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies Geneva, Switzerland highlight a dearth of empirical evidence on gun crime available to criminologists. Gun violence in North America remains the subject of considerable speculation and debate. In their paper The Illicit Firearms Trade in North America, the authors draw upon economics concepts, examining gun crime in the context of each country’s regulatory framework.  The US is undoubtedly a major supplier of illegal guns (particularly handguns) to both Canada and Mexico. But limited data hamper efforts to predict the effect of a successful crackdown on illegal firearms by US authorities, the authors suggest. Both policy makers and law enforcement would benefit from research to fill these information gaps. The data that are available show that the majority of traced handguns recovered from Canadian crime scenes originate in US. Another major source of illegal guns in Canada, and in many other countries is “leakage” from state stockpiles (police and military) through theft, corruption or other means. For instance, ‘insiders’ illegally sold over 3000 firearms recovered in crime or surrendered in amnesties to the Metropolitan Toronto Police Service.  Investigators have traced 90 to 95 percent of weapons in Mexico to the US, but how did they get there? The guns sampled may not represent the bigger picture: the figure reflects firearms submitted for tracing by Mexican authorities. Authorities recover only a fraction of firearms from crimes and gun battles, and traces are only requested on some recovered weapons. Central America, a region awash with weapons imported by both governments and rebel groups during the civil wars in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala, is a further potential weapon source to Mexico, as are Chinese, Russian, Eastern European, or other sources. To date evidence is mainly anecdotal. Still less is known about the third source of weapons, the Mexican security forces themselves. The Small Arms Survey 2008 showed that weapons diverted from police and armed forces are a major and sometimes the main source of illicit weapons in many countries. Some weapons used in Mexican crimes such as grenades, RPGs and fully automatic weapons are less easy to acquire in the US, and have probably arrived from elsewhere. This contrasts with Canada, where very few cases detail handguns from anywhere but the US, other than arms illegally diverted from legal Canadian supplies.  According to Cook, the specific impact and effects of illicitly trafficked firearms are unknowns. “Although we know that armed violence can have a variety of deleterious effects on perceived and real insecurity, public health, economic development, and political stability, we do not know how much of this can be associated specifically with changes in the availability of firearms,” he says.  Some values can be quantified: Previous research has shown that life expectancy is lowered by 0.6 years for all Mexicans as a result of armed violence, with the US and Canada figures at 0.31 and 0.08, respectively. But firearms’ negative effects are highly context dependent, with factors such as demand strength, types of weapons circulating, social groups with weapons access and reasons they possess them all contributing to the mix. “The use of guns by criminal groups increases their relative power, and in the dramatic circumstances we see in Mexico, contributes to subverting legitimate authority and creating such fear as to have a substantial economic and political impact,” says Cook.  The rate of gun homicide in Canada is statistically low and falling, yet public perception is that gun crime is rising. When Toronto, a city with 2.8 million people hit 52 gun homicides in 2005, it became “the year of the gun” in spite of the fact that the city had one of the lowest murder rates on the continent for a city of its size. Rates of homicide with guns are 6.7 times higher in the US than in Canada, and the US has 5.1 times Canada’s rate per 100,000 of gun robberies.  The authors speculate US authorities would not only have to stem the supply of smuggled weapons from the US, but also other potential sources to successfully block the flow of deadly arms to criminals and criminal organizations.  Statements made by public officials are usually intended to influence public opinion by offering conclusions, rather than to inform researchers’ analyses, the authors believe. They call for more data from criminal investigations and gun tracing to be made available to researchers.  “A broader inquiry is warranted,” says Cook. “The stakes are very high for developing effective strategies for limiting the illicit movements of guns.”  Another paper in the same issue on firearms discusses the UK and the Netherlands, which have among the lowest occurrence of gun-homicide in advanced industrial democracies. In Third Wave Criminology, guns, crime and social order, Adam Edwards of Cardiff University, UK and James Sheptycki, of York University, Canada use these examples to illustrate the evolution of criminology in the context of evolving paradigms from the sociology of science in the wake of postmodernism, and towards a basis for action in the face of scientific uncertainty.

Posted in Canadian gun control, Cost of gun violence, Current Events | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Guns in the News: Thursday July 30, 2009

Armes à feu: Illégales et américaines/Smuggled U.S. guns responsible for most Canadian armed crime: report

Posted by cgccanada on July 30, 2009

(Source: Radio-Canada) La majorité des armes à feu impliquées dans des crimes au Canada sont importées illégalement des États-Unis, montre une étude universitaire.
2009-07-29 11:55:12

Une nouvelle étude, publiée mercredi dans la Revue canadienne de criminologie et de justice pénale, laisse entendre que la majorité des armes à feu qui ont été utilisées pour commettre des crimes au Canada ont été introduites en contrebande des États-Unis.

L’étude, menée par Wendy Cukier, de l’Université Ryerson, et des chercheurs aux États-Unis et en Grande- Bretagne, a examiné le marché clandestin qui existe entre le Canada, les États-Unis et le Mexique.

« Il est impossible de déterminer avec certitude le pourcentage d’armes à feu utilisées pour commettre des crimes au Canada ou au Mexique qui ont été illégalement exportées à partir des États-Unis, mais certains indicateurs pertinents disponibles indiquent que la proportion est élevée », note la chercheuse.

Elle mentionne quatre de ces indicateurs:

• En 2006, la police de Toronto a retracé avec succès la vente originale de 181 armes à feu utilisées lors de crimes. Du nombre, 120 provenaient du voisin américain.
• Un programme ontarien visant à retracer l’origine d’armes à feu a révélé que 69 % des 705 armes utilisées en 2007 pour commettre des crimes dans cette province provenaient des États-Unis. Environ 90 % de ces armes comportaient des restrictions d’utilisation au Canada ou y étaient carrément interdites.
• La même année, sur les 710 pistolets utilisés par des criminels que l’organisation a pu retracer, 54 % avaient été introduits illégalement au pays, selon les responsables du Programme canadien des armes à feu.
• L’an dernier, les douaniers canadiens ont saisi 514 armes à usage restreint ou interdites, ce qui représenterait 3 % du trafic d’armes entre les deux pays.

La chercheuse note toutefois que la majorité des fusils à pompe et des mitraillettes utilisées pour des crimes proviennent du Canada. Les gangs criminels constituent les principaux preneurs des armes illégales, selon le rapport.

Il demeure toutefois difficile d’obtenir des données complètes sur les origines des armes, puisque les numéros de série sont souvent effacés. Les armes provenant d’autres pays, dont la Chine, s’avèrent encore plus difficiles à
retracer…lisez plus

______________________________________________________

Wed Jul 29, 1:48 AM
By Bob Weber, The Canadian Press

A new study suggests most of the guns used to commit crimes in Canada have been smuggled in from the United States.

The study, published Wednesday in the Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, found that the best available data suggests that about two-thirds of crime guns seized in Canada have their origin south of the border. It’s a situation the Americans would be unlikely to accept if it were reversed, said one of the report’s authors.

“The U.S. never hesitates to draw attention to threats to its security,” said Wendy Cukier of Ryerson University, one of the report’s authors and a prominent gun control activist. “Canada seldom points to the obvious fact that lax U.S. gun laws not only result in high numbers of Americans being killed with guns, but fuel the illegal gun trade and handgun homicide in Canada, in Mexico, in the Caribbean and indeed around the world.”

The study, conducted by Cukier as well as researchers in the U.S. and Great Britain, looked at the underground market between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. “It is not possible to determine with certainty the percentage of guns used in crime in Canada or Mexico that have been illegally exported from the Unites States, but there is some relevant evidence available that indicates the proportion is high,” the study says.

“There are very few cases that show handguns used in crime coming from anywhere other than the USA.” In 2006, Toronto police successfully traced back 181 guns used in crimes to their original sale. The source of 120 of them was the U.S. An Ontario-wide gun tracing program found that 69 per cent of 705 guns used in 2007 in crimes in that province could be traced to the U.S. About 90 per cent of those guns were either restricted or prohibited in
Canada… read more

Posted in Canadian gun control, news | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Armes à feu: Illégales et américaines/Smuggled U.S. guns responsible for most Canadian armed crime: report

Advocacynet: Interview with Wendy Cukier, President of the Coalition for Gun Control

Posted by cgccanada on July 29, 2009

July 28, 2009

In Canada, 85% of female homicide victims are murdered by their partners and in Ontario, possession or access to firearms is the fifth leading risk factor for femicide. These reasons are just two among many that led Wendy Cukier to work for stronger gun control in Canada.

For those of you who do not know who Wendy Cukier is, you must not be from Canada. Ms. Cukier, in addition to being a Professor at Ryerson University in Toronto, is a co-founder and the current President of the Coalition for Gun Control (CGC).

The Coalition for Gun Control is an alliance of more than 300 major policing, public safety and violence prevention organizations including the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, Canadian Public Health Association, and YWCA of Canada. It is also a founding member of IANSA.
The Coalition was founded in the wake of the Montreal Massacre. In 1989, a twenty-five year old named Marc Lépine entered a classroom at the École Polytechnique in Montreal, armed with a legally obtained semi-automatic rifle.

Lépine moved all of the women to one side of the classroom and shot them, declaring that he hated women and that he was ‘fighting feminism’. He then roamed the corridors, entered another classroom and the cafeteria, specifically targeted women, and shot them. In total, fourteen women were killed and ten were injured.

The mission of the Coalition is to reduce gun violence, injury, and crime. As the organization’s President, Cukier has for years been one of Canada’s leading voices on the necessity of gun control. Working together with the police, health care agencies, women’s groups, and victims, CGC and Cukier have helped to lead the efforts to defend Canada’s Firearms Act.

When Ms. Cukier took time to sit down with me last week for an interview, one question I posed relates to the interrelatedness of licensing and the registry. I explained that many opponents of the registry claim it to be unnecessary, and asked how she would explain that the two are indeed interconnected.

In response, Ms. Cukier asserted that as Canada’s Supreme Court concluded in their 2000 opinion regarding the Act’s constitutionality, it would be impossible to ensure that licensed individuals do not give their guns to others not holding a license without the registry. The registration of firearms helps to enforce the licensing provisions of the Act.
To explain this, Ms. Cukier provided the example that if an individual has a license and purchases firearms without a registration requirement, there is no way to hold them accountable for those firearms or to prevent them from lending or giving them to an unlicensed person. In other words, registration results in accountability…more

Posted in About us, Canadian gun control, Current Events, Gun Registry, news | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off on Advocacynet: Interview with Wendy Cukier, President of the Coalition for Gun Control

From Advocacynet, July 26, 2009: An Interview with Detective Rick Hawes, Peel Regional Police

Posted by cgccanada on July 28, 2009

By Elizabeth Mandelman

This week I was lucky enough to meet and talk with Detective Rick Hawes of the Peel Regional Police in Ontario.  Detective Hawes has been a police officer since 1978 and for the last four and a half years, has been the Coordinator for the Family Violence Unit.

As part of his position, Detective Hawes holds multi-day classroom seminars for officers on how to properly handle domestic dispute calls, as they are much different from other situations to which officers respond.

Talking with Detective Hawes solidified for me many of the things I have learned and heard during my weeks in Canada.  For example, knowledge of a firearm in the home makes it more difficult for a victim of domestic abuse to seek help and leave their abuser, as firearms act as tools of intimidation and work to induce fear.  In fact, on the question form victims are asked to complete when officers respond to a domestic call, six out of the twenty-eight questions are related to firearms and licensure.

In addition, exiting an abusive relationship is not as simple as just making the decision to leave and leaving.  Often times, there are elements involved in abusive relationships that prevent victims from seeking help, such as children, housing, or financial dependency.

When I asked Detective Hawes about the registry included in Canada’s Firearms Act, he asserted that it is helpful in eliminating the guessing game of whether or not households to which officers respond have firearms.

Although cautious officers responding to calls never assume that a home is free of firearms even if the registry has nothing on record (especially with the rise of unregistered firearms by once legal owners), Detective Hawes views the registry as a very useful safety tool for both officers and victims.  The only substantial argument Detective Hawes has heard against the Firearms Act relates to cost and according to him, it is hard to put a price on public safety… more

Posted in Canadian gun control, Canadian Police Association, Gun Registry | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on From Advocacynet, July 26, 2009: An Interview with Detective Rick Hawes, Peel Regional Police

Guns in the News: Friday Roundup

Posted by cgccanada on July 27, 2009

1. The Red Deer Advocate, July 24, 2009, Lawyer takes on gun charges

By Jack Wilson

TO RESPOND :  editorial@reddeeradvocate.com

A lawyer who specializes in defending firearms owners across Canada is acting for a Red Deer small businessman charged with several firearms charges.  Richard Fritze of Red Deer reserved his client David Glenn Elliott’s plea on 16 charges until July 30 during a brief provincial court appearance on Thursday. Lawyer Kevin Sproule acted as Fritze’s agent.  Fritze has defended numerous Canadians charged with various firearms offences.  Elliott wasn’t present on Thursday.  Elliott, 46, who owns Hempnstuff Exotic Boutique, is charged with one count of uttering threats, two counts of possession of marijuana and 13 counts of unsafe storage of a firearm.  He was charged on July 2 after RCMP officers found more than 100 firearms, comprised of pistols, rifles, shotguns and antique guns. Police said they also seized 500,000 to one million rounds of live ammunition, an undisclosed amount of marijuana and other property from the business.  Elliott’s website suggests a downtown storefront would soon be opening to sell the firearms.  The website shows Elliott as a contact and lists antique firearms in prices of up to $10,000 for a Colt 1873 with pearl handles or a Mauser c96, an antique semi-automatic pistol created from the late 1800s until the late 1930s in Germany.  Fritze is also acting for a Quebec man who has launched a constitutional challenge against Canadian gun control regulations. Fritze has also handled gun control charges for defendants in Alberta and Saskatchewan.  He also defended Bruce Hutton, founder of the Law-abiding Unregistered Firearms Association of Rocky Mountain House.

2. Abbotsford Mission Times, July 24, 2009, U.S. traveller facing five charges for loaded gun

The man who tried to get through the Huntingdon border crossing with a loaded handgun will face five counts of firearms offences when he appears in Abbotsford Provincial Court on July 30. Gary Michael Donske was arrested July 10 at the border crossing at Abbotsford when Canada Border Services Agency officers found a cocked and loaded 32-calibre Derringer handgun under the driver’s seat of his vehicle. Border officers decided to have a closer look at a family who were travelling from the United States into Canada, and found the handgun during a vehicle check. Donske was immediately arrested and the others in the vehicle returned to the U.S. Donske is charged with smuggling goods into Canada, unauthorized possession of a firearm, possession of a prohibited firearm with ammunition, storage contrary to regulations, and careless use of a firearm. Donske was released on bail into CBSA’s custody and returned to the U.S.

Posted in Current Events, news | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Guns in the News: Friday Roundup

Guns in the News: Thursday Roundup

Posted by cgccanada on July 24, 2009

1. The Telegraph-Journal, July 23, 2009, Ohio man piles up $2,500 in fines stemming from gun violation

ST. STEPHEN – An Ohio couple headed for home Tuesday after an expensive Canadian vacation. William Michael Rudlasky, 56, of Kent, Ohio, pleaded guilty in St. Stephen provincial court to failing to declare a prohibited 9 mm Smith & Wesson handgun at the St. Stephen border crossing into Canada on July 17. He also pleaded guilty to a related charge of making a false statement to a Canada Border Services Agency officer. Judge David Walker fined Rudlasky $1,000 for failing to declare the gun, plus $500 for making the false statement. On top of this, the Ohio man had to pay a civil penalty of $1,000 to get his pickup truck and camper trailer back, and he forfeited the gun to the Crown for destruction. The Rudlaskys pulled up to the St. Stephen border crossing at about 8 p.m., intending to tour eastern Canada for a week and a half, federal Crown prosecutor Peter Thorn said. Rudlasky answered “no” when the border officer asked if he had firearms. The officer entered the licence plate into the computer, and got a reply back to do a “random referral search.” The officers doing the secondary search found the unloaded gun, along with bullets and two magazines, under the bed. Rudlasky admitted to making a mistake by not declaring the gun. “A different culture” in Canada compared to the United States respecting guns accounted for this lapse, duty counsel Glen Larsen said. “It’s a mistake about what is standard practice between these two different countries.” The short barrel made the Smith & Wesson a prohibited weapon, but the Crown did not charge Rudlasky with possessing a prohibited weapon, Larsen said. “I’d like to apologize for my error in judgment,” Rudlasky told the court. A Canadian citizen would go to jail for driving through St. Stephen with a weapon such as the border agency found in the Rudlaskys’ camper, the judge said. He credited Rudlasky for returning to court and pleading guilty at the first chance, but said the court must deter others. The judge ordered Rudlasky to serve 15 days in jail if he did not pay the $1,000 fine, and another seven days consecutive if he did not pay the $500 fine. He would pay via credit card before leaving the courthouse, Rudlasky said. The border services agency escorted him to the nearest crossing into the United States immediately afterwards.

2. National Post, July 22, 2009, Gunrunner Faces 10 Years for Toronto ‘Havoc’

U. S. prosecutors are seeking a 10-year prison sentence for a Chicago gunrunner who smuggled more than 200 firearms into Canada and sold them to a Toronto organized crime ring. Ugur Yildiz sold the handguns to a Toronto man known as Mikey at a meeting at a Canadian strip club in 2006, the prosecutors allege in a sentencing memorandum filed in U. S. District Court. The guns then made their way into the hands of gang members and drug dealers around Toronto, and several were used in shootings, most recently a Dec. 17 murder. Canadian police have so far recovered only 34 of the guns. “The havoc wreaked in the Toronto area by Yildiz’s firearms deal is not even close to being over — approximately 200 firearms are still unaccounted for, last known to be in Canada,” U. S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald wrote in the sentencing memorandum. Yildiz is to appear in a Chicago courtroom next Friday for sentencing. He has pleaded guilty to illegally exporting firearms to Canada and faces a maximum sentence of less than five years. Prosecutors, however, are seeking to convince the judge to double that. “An appropriate sentence is a message to our Canadian neighbours that we take their safety very seriously, and that we will punish conduct which jeopardizes their safety accordingly,” the memorandum reads. The prosecutors’ memorandum identifies “Mikey” as Huy Ta, a target of a “Canadian investigation of an Asian organized crime ring.” It alleges Yildiz sold the guns to Ta knowing they would be used for criminal activity. More than two-thirds of the crime guns seized by Toronto police originate in the United States but few smugglers are as brazen as Yildiz, who owned an Illinois gun shop until federal authorities revoked his licence in 2005. In April 2006, Yildiz loaded more than 200 guns into his green Chrysler Caravan and drove to Windsor. He told the border officer he was coming to Canada for a “visit.” He made three trips to Canada altogether. In Windsor, he met Daniel Wasiluk, who allegedly locked the guns in a local storage facility. Canadian police later arrested Wasiluk, who told them he had introduced Yildiz to “Mikey” at a strip club. “Wasiluk stated that he heard defendant [Yildiz] and Mikey discussing a gun deal,” says the sentencing memorandum. “Wasiluk heard Yildiz state that he had volume and could not do anything small, and heard Mikey state that he was interested in buying all the guns.” Around that same time, “multiple confidential sources” told Canadian police an Asian drug and gun trafficking organization had obtained a large cache of firearms from Yildiz, the memorandum says. Ontario Provincial Police launched an investigation called Project Blackhawk that, two years later, resulted in the arrests of 36 people on more than 400 charges. Police also seized cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy pills and firearms, and uncovered what they called the largest ecstasy and methamphetamine lab ever detected in Ontario, and possibly Canada. Ta was arrested in January, 2008, after police responded to a call that he had fired gunshots out his window and shot up his neighbours’ vehicles, the sentencing memorandum says. He pleaded guilty to illegal possession of firearms. Yildiz is a Turkish-born American, but the prosecutors say he obtained his U. S. citizenship under “suspicious circumstances.” Ontario Provincial Court issued a warrant for his arrest last July 2. The Ontario government has told U. S. authorities it wants to extradite Yildiz to Toronto to stand trial but it is unclear whether that will still happen following his conviction in Chicago.

Posted in Cost of gun violence, Current Events, news | Tagged: | Comments Off on Guns in the News: Thursday Roundup

Guns in the News: Parolee linked to shooting spree

Posted by cgccanada on July 23, 2009

Sparks leads feuding group, cops say in parole documents
By DAN ARSENAULT Crime Reporter, Halifax ChronicleHerald
Thu. Jul 23 – 4:46 AM

Halifax Regional Police think a parolee from a 2005 beating and killing in Dartmouth is the leader of a crime group involved in some drive-by shootings in April.

Aaron Mandell Sparks, 24, received a five-year sentence in February 2007 for aggravated assault in a March 19, 2005, attack that killed 21-year-old Christopher Clark of Dartmouth.

The conditions of Mr. Sparks’s parole were altered in April because of a police investigation into shootings that month.

“According to police, you are the subject of an ongoing investigation that involves drive-by-style shooting as a result of an ongoing feud between two criminalized groups,” states a National Parole Board document dated last Friday.

“Police suspect that you are the leader in one of those groups and that violence has increased in the area during the past couple of months. It is believed that numerous individuals are armed with illegal weapons including firearms and that you are one of the individuals carrying a handgun.”

The parole board notes that Mr. Sparks, a first-time federal offender, denied those allegations and said he spent most of his free time either with his mother or visiting his child… more

Posted in Current Events, news | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Guns in the News: Parolee linked to shooting spree

From IANSA: Victims of gun violence pledge to continue to defend Canada’s gun control law

Posted by cgccanada on July 22, 2009

Toronto – “Some politicians seem to be preoccupied with the costs of gun control or appeasing the gun lobby but they are forgetting the huge costs many of us have paid for inadequate gun control.” Priscilla de Villiers, former president of CAVEAT and victims advocate said “Have they learned nothing from the deaths of our children? The inquest into the murder of my daughter called for licensing of gun owners and registration of all guns. I have been going to Ottawa to plead with politicians to do the right thing for more than a decade. I have attended dozens of press conferences. I have testified before more parliamentary committees than I knew existed. While it is too early to evaluate the impact of the 1995 law, which was not fully implemented until 2003, the Canadian Public Health Association and others have argued that the progressive tightening of gun laws in Canada has contributed to reducing gun death and injury. In 1991, when I began this journey, there were 1,444 gun deaths and in 2001 there were 842. Firearm robberies have declined dramatically over the decade by 64% since 1991, from 8,995 to 3,474. Domestic homicides with firearms have fallen according to the latest report on intimate partner homicide from Statistics Canada. The police are using the system 1,500 times each day and have reported case after case where the system allowed them to remove guns from people who were a risk.”

Nastaran Yadollahi of Toronto said, “My brother Soroush was shot and killed in Toronto earlier this year. We still don’t know the reason, who did it, or where the gun came from? All we know is that we lost a young man with a bright future and our lives are irreparably damaged. It is hard even to put into words the costs for me, his father, and his mother, who are also here today. However, there is no doubt in my mind that stronger controls on guns are important, not just in Canada but in the US, as guns know no borders. My family has committed to working with victims of gun violence and community groups to fight the scourge of guns. We ask all politicians to place a priority on public safety. They must support strong controls in Canada, help keep our borders strong and work internationally for better controls. Our family is committed to working to prevent others from suffering as we have.”…more

Posted in Canadian Government, Canadian gun control, Gun Registry, Taking Action | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on From IANSA: Victims of gun violence pledge to continue to defend Canada’s gun control law

Guns in the News: Police chief talks gangs, strike and the gun registry

Posted by cgccanada on July 21, 2009

JOSH WINGROVE

From Tuesday’s Globe and Mail

Last updated on Tuesday, Jul. 21, 2009 03:34AM EDT

All Canadians enjoy basic fundamental freedoms and it is a responsibility of the police to protect and defend those freedoms in our society.

Q: What would a handgun ban mean for Toronto?

A: About 30 per cent of all crime handguns that we seize from criminals have been stolen or otherwise diverted from legal gun owners.

Legal gun owners are not dangerous but their guns certainly become dangerous when they get into the hands of criminals. I support any measure that will make it harder for criminals to get guns.

Q: I believe the gun registry has failed to save one life. Do you agree that spending billions to harass law-abiding citizens does nothing to reduce criminal gun violence?

A: With respect to the gun registry, you are misinformed. It is an important source of information for public and police officer safety. It helps us keep our people safe. Filling out a form does not limit anyone’s ability to be safe, and it hardly constitutes harassment.

You are also misinformed about the cost of the registry. Although there was certainly concern about its initial cost, I am now advised that it costs about $3-million a year to administer. This is money well spent.

More

Posted in Canadian gun control, Canadian Police Association, Current Events, news | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Guns in the News: Police chief talks gangs, strike and the gun registry

Guns in the News: July 16, 2009 Roundup

Posted by cgccanada on July 20, 2009

1. Edmonton Journal, July 16, 2009, Alberta man gets five years for shooting wife dead

EDMONTON — A northern Alberta man who killed his common-law wife by shooting her in the face has been sentenced to more than five years in prison. On Thursday, Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Sandy Park sentenced 42-year-old Joseph Trevor Halcrow to five years and six months in prison, less two months for time served. The judge also ordered him to submit a DNA sample to the national databank, and barred him from owning weapons. A jury convicted Halcrow of manslaughter in May 2007 for killing his wife, Judy Dickie, nearly five years ago. On Oct. 15, 2004, the two were at home together on the Kapawe’no First Nation, where Halcrow’s father is chief. The couple had a history of domestic violence, and Halcrow had been convicted of assaulting Dickie seven years earlier, but on that day there was no evidence of animosity between them. Halcrow claimed at trial he was checking his sawed-off .22 -calibre rifle to make sure it was not loaded when it accidentally fired. Dickie was shot in the head. A gun expert testified at trial the rifle was five centimetres away from her face when it fired. Halcrow ran to his father’s home and they returned together to survey the scene. Halcrow’s father called 911 and when paramedics arrived Halcrow was cradling Dickie. She later died from what Park called a “devastating” injury.  The jury rejected the defence suggestion that the shooting was accidental, and convicted Halcrow of manslaughter. Three months after the jury issued its verdict, Justice Park declared a mistrial, ruling the jury had been intimidated by Halcrow’s brother, who had been jeering at the Crown from the gallery. On the last day of trial, jurors sent a note to the judge saying they would make a fair and honest decision even though they had “safety concerns after the decision.”  In a decision released Sept. 8, the Court of Appeal overturned Park’s decision to declare a mistrial, reinstated the jury’s verdict and ordered Park to continue with sentencing. In court Thursday, Halcrow took his opportunity to speak and mumbled stiffly: “I’m sorry about the accident.” He showed no emotion. Outside court, Dickie’s sister, Diane Sorenson, called the comment a “slap in the face” and said the family would never forgive him for what he did. Sister Darlene Dickie said the sentence was a joke. “It’s hard, it’s really hard,” she said. “But there will be a judgment day way worse for him, and that day will come.” Kapawe’no First Nation is about 250 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.

2. Winnipeg Free Press, July 16, 2009, Smuggled Guns Missing, Police worry about future use of high-powered firearm supply

Nearly all of the 22 high-powered handguns smuggled into Winnipeg as part of a cross-border crime network are still missing — a fact that has police and justice officials bracing for further bloodshed. “It’s certainly not inconceivable that one of these guns smuggled across the border has already been used in a homicide,” Mike Sutherland, president of the Winnipeg Police Association, told the Free Press Wednesday. “We know a lot of these guns are in the hands of organized crime and criminal street gangs. They just start shooting up entire neighbourhoods regardless of where the bullets land.” Winnipeg resident Thomas Scher was sentenced this week in North Dakota for his role in a year-long operation that saw the weapons purchased in North Dakota, smuggled across the border and then traded for cash and drugs in the city. Two co-accused remain before the American courts and will be sentenced later this year. Scher told the judge he was deeply sorry for his actions and admitted he exposed his hometown to potential harm. It’s already known that one of the guns — a Jimenez Arms nine-millimetre — was recovered by police in January as part of an ongoing criminal case. No further details have been provided, although Sutherland notes there was a wave of shootings to start the new year. “We literally started this year off with a bang… and that has continued,” he said. U.S. Attorney David Hagler told the Free Press Wednesday he has no idea where the missing weapons have ended up. “Regarding what happened to them (once they got to Winnipeg), it’s anybody’s guess,” said Hagler. The National Weapons Enforcement Support Team (NWEST), which is comprised of city police and RCMP officers, is involved in the case but declined to comment Wednesday. RCMP spokeswoman Line Karpish said “guns on the street are always a concern” but added it wasn’t safe for officials to make specific comments while the cases remain before the courts. Sutherland said his front-line officers were seeing an alarming spike in firearms even before the arrival of at least 22 guns from North Dakota. “To have 22 guns, that’s a significant number, you just can’t get around that. The fact we may have only found one of them doesn’t sit well with me or with the members of the Winnipeg Police Service or the public,” he said. “It’s a very significant concern, especially given the number of incidents we’ve had where officers have been confronted and forced to use lethal force.” Sutherland said the true impact of this particular smuggling operation might not be fully realized for years as criminals usually protect their guns and could use them at any time in the future. “We know these guns are being used to intimidate, frighten, wound and kill. I think Winnipeggers have almost become acclimatized (to) shootings. We know that there are numerous incidents that don’t even get reported,” he said. Sutherland believes anyone caught importing weapons should pay a heavy price. “I condemn the actions of anyone involved in this in the strongest possible terms,” he said. Scher, 20, was given a deal by American justice officials because he co-operated with their ongoing investigation. He was sentenced to 366 days in jail and three years of probation. He could be released after serving 85 per cent of his sentence for good behaviour — but will be immediately deported back to Canada. Scher had been playing football at Minot State University on a partial football scholarship when he was recruited by another Winnipeg man to get involved, court was told. Scher enlisted the help of his college friend, Curtis Rolle, who was able to legally purchase the firearms from several North Dakota stores. The two men then drove the guns across the Canadian border and gave them to a co-accused in exchange for payment.

Posted in Cost of gun violence, Current Events, news | Tagged: , | Comments Off on Guns in the News: July 16, 2009 Roundup