The Coalition for Gun Control/Pour le Controle des Armes

Archive for October, 2009

From CTV Toronto: Firearms registry defended following gun seizure

Posted by cgccanada on October 29, 2009

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair used the seizure of a huge haul of restricted weapons to speak in defence of the beleaguered federal gun registry.

“We believe that the gun registry provides police services across this country with the information they need, first of all to help us keep communities safe, and also to keep police officers safe,” he told a Wednesday news conference.

On Tuesday, officers from the Guns and Gangs Task force went to a home where it was believed a person had 25 firearms registered under the former Restricted Weapons Registry System.

The officers instead found 58 firearms and 6,000 rounds of ammunition, including:

  • one machine gun
  • one submachine gun
  • 17 handguns
  • 35 rifles
  • four shotguns

The earlier registration system, replaced in 1998 by the Canadian Firearms Information System, “provided our investigators with information on where these firearms were likely to be held,” Blair said at a Wednesday news conference.

The owner of those weapons is currently unlicensed to possess any firearms.

“In order to be a legal gun owner, you must possess a valid license, and your weapons must be properly registered. You also have a legal responsibility to ensure that they are stored safely, securely against theft, and that they are used only in a safe and responsible manner,” Blair said.

The chief then noted that a private member’s bill, Bill C-391, is “intended to gut the gun registry, and to make it impossible for law enforcement officials to have access to the information, the same type of information, that enabled us to seize these weapons — and frankly, make our cities safer.”

Blair said the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, of which he is currently president, said it supports the registry.

It helps keep communities safe, along with the police officers who work in them, he said.

“I think (the registry’s) value is before you today,” he said, referring to the seized weapons put on display.

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From the North Bay Nugget: MP hedges vote on gun registry

Posted by cgccanada on October 28, 2009

 

Posted By RON GRECH, SUN MEDIA

Despite mounting local pressure for MP Charlie Angus to support a private member’s bill to abolish the controversial gun registry, he says he will vote neither for nor against it. Angus, the New Democrat MP for Timmins-James Bay, said if it gets to a vote in the house, he will recommend that it be sent to committee for further evaluation. If it goes to committee, presumably the Justice Committee, witnesses would be brought forward and we would hear from sportsmen, hunters, aboriginal groups, the police, all the various groups that have a concern about this,” said Angus. People say it cost $1 billion that could have been better spent. I agree. But the money has been spent. What is it costing us to maintain? I want to hear from police agencies and find out if they use it regularly. If we’re going to have this debate, then let’s get this testimony that will allow us to determine what is the best thing we should be doing.” The matter is scheduled to come to a vote Nov. 4 on private member’s bill C-391 to repeal the registry.

Timmins Police Staff Sgt. Randall Trebilcock said the city’s police service accesses information from the gun registry on a regular basis. While opponents to the law argue the registry has never been used to solve a crime, Trebilcock said the registry provides valuable information that could potentially save the life of an officer or a victim of domestic violence. It provides intelligence to the police and the police across the province and Canada are big on intelligence,” he said. With that registry gone, that takes away an avenue of information for us and that could lead us to some very precarious situations, walking into a house, not knowing if there are firearms in the house.” Trebilcock said that information is also used in bail hearings of violent offenders. If it’s known through the registry an accused owns a hunting rifle or shotgun, the police through the Crown may request that firearm be seized (empasis mine). Read the rest of the article here

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2008 Homicide Data Show Decline/ Nouvelles données sur l’homicide (2008) démontre baisse

Posted by cgccanada on October 28, 2009

The latest Homicide in Canada 2008 report shows that the number of homicides with rifles and shotguns are nearly half what they were in 1995, the year Canada’s Firearms Act passed. In contrast, homicides without guns have declined only slightly.

Overall Canada is safer as a result of stronger controls on firearms. More needs to be done to combat the illegal gun trade. We need more gun control, not less. For more details, go here

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Le plus récente rapport sur l’homicide au Canada (2008) montre que le nombre d’homicides commis avec des carabines et fusils est presque la moitié ce qu’ils étaient en 1995, l’année où la Loi sur les armes à feu du Canada fut passée. En revanche, les homicides sans armes à feu ont baissé que légèrement.

Globalement, le Canada est plus sécuritaire depuis la mise en œuvre de contrôles plus stricts sur les armes à feu. Il y a plus à faire pour lutter contre le commerce illégal des armes à feu.  Nous avons besoin de plus de contrôle sur les armes à feu, pas moins. Pour plus de détails allez ici

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From Yorkregion.com: October 26, 2009, 56 illegal handguns taken off streets this year, board hears

Posted by cgccanada on October 28, 2009

The Uzi submachine gun can spew hundreds of rounds per minute. The Glock handgun, capable of firing up to 33 bullets from a single magazine. The tiny Beretta pistol with silencer delivers noiseless death. These lethal weapons and others were recently and illegally in the hands of criminals. Wednesday, the seized weapons were neatly and safely displayed as part of a police services board presentation on illegal firearms and weapons in our neighbourhoods. The cache represents some of the 68 hand guns seized in 2007, the 41 last year and the 56 to date this year. As for illegal long guns, such as rifles and shotguns, police took 188 of them off York streets last year. This year, the tally is 196. We’re proud this is one of the safest communities in Canada, Police Chief Armand La Barge said at the meeting. But there is a growing concern about illegal firearms. Intelligence unit Det.-Sgt. Duncan MacIntyre and community services Sgt. Mark Altermann confirmed the chiefs consternation. Since the invention of guns, people have romanticized their use.  Ours is a gun culture populated and popularized by perpetuators of gun mythology. Discussing entertainers influence on impressionable youth, they cited rapper 50 Cent latest album, whose 17 tracks include 10 glorifying guns. Violent video games encourage carnage, rewarding players for brutal kills, all the while desensitizing the virtual shooter to reality, they added. Guns are also a lucrative underground trade. A legal standard 9mm pistol sells for approximately $500. On the street, the same unlicensed weapon fetches up to eight times the price. Ditto for ammo. Nationally and regionally, illegal firearms and weapons are a blooming bane, particularly for our young people. Canada is fifth among industrialized countries in firearm deaths of children under 14, Det. Sgt. MacIntyre told the board. Firearms kill more within the 15 to 24 demographic than cancer, drowning and falls combined. Part of the problem is legal supply and illegal demand. Of the 3.65 million firearms produced in the United States in 2008, hundreds are smuggled into Canada each year. Of the 253,000 handguns and more than two million rifles and shotguns legally registered in Ontario, 16,000 of the former and 70,000 of the latter are in York Region. That makes York a target-rich market for illegal weapons, police said. The number of seizures of illegal weapons is on the increase, Det.-Sgt. MacIntyre said. Robberies with handguns are on the rise in York Region too. Nationally, 67 per cent of homicides involve handguns, Sgt. Altermann said. In York, between 2007, five of the seven homicides involved a handgun. So far this year, there have been 71 robberies, including home invasions, that involved a handgun compared to 64 last year. Even fake or replica weapons are a potentially deadly issue. If an officer encounters a suspect with a weapon, real or not, they are trained to react,ťSgt. Altermann said. We’re seeing more (replica guns) in usage. Theyre difficult to determine in any environment. Often, there’s a tragic ending. Cognizant of the problem, our police forces guns and gangs enforcement unit is collaborating with the provincial weapons and enforcement unit and the firearms tracing and enforcement program.Education, through the regions two school boards character programs and  responsible ownership seminars spreads cautionary messages. Licensing and registration can stem the flow of illegal guns as can revoking ownership from irresponsible owners, they said. The criminal justice system too, can serve as a deterrent. Current mandatory sentences for illegal gun and ammunition possession is three years jail time for the first offense and five years for a second.

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From the Ottawa Sun: Tories step up gun registry fight

Posted by cgccanada on October 26, 2009

By KATHLEEN HARRIS, NATIONAL BUREAU CHIEF
Last Updated: 24th October 2009, 7:10pm
Ottawa Sun

Conservatives are ramping up their fight to kill the gun registry with a series of hard-hitting ads targeting a dozen or more opposition MPs, Sun Media has learned.

The series of radio spots to hit airwaves Monday will directly call on Liberal and NDP MPs in designated rural ridings to stand up for their constituents in a Nov. 4 vote to repeal the registry.

Conservatives expect the vote on C-391, a private member’s bill sponsored by Manitoba Tory MP Candice Hoeppner, will be “very close” due to vacancies in the House of Commons.

While the objective of the ad buy is to twist the arms of some MPs, Conservatives also warn the recorded votes will be fodder for the next election campaign if C-391 is defeated.

“The Conservative party recognizes that the road to a majority government is going to be paved, in part, through some of these rural ridings. And these are some of the ridings being targeted,” said a Conservative source.

The ads will run in ridings where a large portion of the constituency is known to oppose the registry. Some of the MPs targeted are Liberals Anthony Rota (Nipissing-Temiskaming) and Todd Russell (Labrador) and New Democrats Dennis Bevington (Western Arctic), Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay) and Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley.) If the member publicly offers support for the bill to abolish the registry, Conservatives say they will pull the ad in that riding.

“On Nov. 4th there will be a vote in Ottawa to scrap the long-gun registry and protect our local way of life. The vote will be close. Every vote will matter,” says one sample ad. “Our MP, Anthony Rota, could make the difference. But his political bosses in Ottawa want him to vote to keep the long-gun registry.”

The ad recites the phone number of the MP’s constituency office and urges residents to call and encourage a vote to abolish the registry.

As Sun Media reported last week, Conservatives will also be distributing household flyers called “10-percenters” to drum up support in opposition ridings. Hoeppner said it’s important for every MP to have a “free, open” opportunity to stand up and vote.

The gun registry, dubbed the “$2-billion boondoggle” by its opponents, has been dogged by emotional debate since it was brought in 14 years ago. The Nov. 4 vote would move the bill into committee and bring the registry one step closer to abolishment.

“It might surprise some political observers there are a number of rural seats which are held by opposition parties that Conservative strategists believe could be picked up in a general election. A number of these ridings being targeted in this campaign,” said the Conservative source. “It’s designed to put pressure on MPs who in their own riding say they support the repeal of the gun registry yet when they are in Ottawa don’t make those views known under the weight of their political masters.”

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From: 630ched.com. October 21, 2009, Hostage situation in downtown Edmonton

Posted by cgccanada on October 22, 2009

A specially trained Edmonton Police Hostage negotiator is talking by telephone with a man who is holding several people at gunpoint in a conference room at the downtown Workers Compensation Building. When he entered the building minutes after 8:30am he fired a shot in the lobby of the building on 107th Street north of 99th Avenue but no one was injured. The man is armed with a high power hunting rifle. The man is wearing a camouflage jacket and carrying a backpack. He has told police he is “mad at the world” and blames a WCB doctor for most of his trouble. The man and his hostages are believed to be in a conference room on the upper floor of the building. He told the police negotiator he wanted cigarettes and some water – promising to release one of his hostages in exchange. It’s not known if that exchange has taken place.  The man has been asking for a Workers Compensation Board doctor he blames for “screwing up his life”. Police have isolated a large area around the WCB building on 107th Street north of 99th Avenue while they deal with the gunman.  Our reporter on scene has seen dozens of people being evacuated from the building and from surrounding buildings. Evacuated employees have been moved to nearby Alberta government buildings and the Legislative grounds. Our reporter at the Legislature says police have addressed the evacuees. Police telling them the man is contained on the 8th floor and that everyone is safe. ETS buses are being brought in to move the evacuees to another location

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From: CBC News, October 19, 2009, Smuggled gun used in double-homicide

Posted by cgccanada on October 19, 2009

A gun allegedly used in two Ottawa homicides in 2007 was smuggled hundreds of kilometres from a rural corner of Maine into Canada. The gun — a .40 calibre HiPoint semi-automatic pistol — costs less than a base-model iPod in the U.S., and was allegedly used to shoot Ziad Ahmad, 32, and Phillip Salmon, 23, at Pari’s Motel in Ottawa’s east end two years ago. Jury selection begins Monday in the trial of Kawku Frimpong, the man accused of killing Salmon and Ahmad during a botched robbery in 2007. The Crown alleges that on June 21, 2007, Frimpong and his accomplice, Phillip Salmon, burst into the motel room where Ahmad and another man were smoking crack. Frimpong and Salmon’s intent, according to the Crown, was to rob the men. The Crown alleges that Frimpong fired a shot, and the single bullet killed both Ahmad — who was hit in the head — and Salmon, who was hit in the chest. Police found Salmon’s body in the parking lot of a Pizza Hut restaurant next door to the motel at around 10 p.m. that night. Ahmad’s body was found in the motel shortly after. Police located the gun a few days later — it was discarded at a construction site at the Montfort hospital near the motel. Police used the gun’s serial number to trace it to the Maine Military Supply store in Brewer, Maine where it was sold on June 13, 2006. Lawrence Sears, a 63-year-old with no criminal record, had purchased the gun, and seven other HiPoint pistols, the same day. Sears was what police call a “straw purchaser” — a front man who buys guns for a smuggler. The smuggler then took the weapons across the U.S. border. “I thought I’d get lots of money,” Sears said. “I ended up getting screwed. But I had a gambling habit at the time and that’s how I spent the money. I spent it all gambling.” In this case, the smuggler was Andrew Porter, a 39-year-old New Brunswick resident and property manager with an addiction to video slot machines. Porter smuggled the guns into New Brunswick, and from there they were sold to people in cities across Ontario and Quebec — many of whom were barred from buying guns on both sides of the border. Police believe that the gun involved in the Pari’s Motel murders came through Montreal, and was likely sold more than once before being used in the crime. Sears and Porter are currently serving sentences for trafficking guns; Sears is in federal prison in Massachusetts, and Porter in Youngstown, Ohio. Porter’s lawyer, Jeffrey Silverstein, said his client knows about the murders. “He was sickened to hear about that,” he said. “When an individual is clouded by an addiction, they’re not thinking straight. He didn’t — should have — but didn’t stop to think how these guns might have been used.” Police estimate that 30 other HiPoints Porter sold are in circulation in Canada.

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Letters from: London Free Press, October 8, 2009, Parliament, don’t pass Bill C-391!

Posted by cgccanada on October 14, 2009

The interesting thing about staring down a gun barrel is how small the hole is where the bullet comes out, yet what a big difference it would make in your social schedule.  P.J. O’Rourke, Holidays from Hell, 1989 Somewhere around 80 per cent of Canada’s nine million guns are owned by men, so perhaps by definition, gun control can be seen as a “woman’s issue.” And repeated polling shows a substantial majority of women support the gun registry, perhaps because we know that guns are often used to harm or intimidate women in the throes of domestic violence. Women around the world are at greatest risk of harm from their intimate partners-“the usual suspects” in such cases. Fully 85 per cent of Canadian women who are murdered are killed by their spouse or partner, and most of those shot dead are killed with legally owned firearms.  Despite pro-gun lobby bluster, this gun violence is not just an urban phenomenon – the rate of women killed with guns is higher in rural areas because rural people own more guns. And murder is just the tip of the domestic violence iceberg-for every woman killed, many more are injured or threatened. And these “domestic violence” incidents appear in the papers almost daily. Several recent examples:  Smith AB, July 30th: Ian Jeffrey Paget kills estranged wife Joan Hanson, her daughter and granddaughter, and then turns the rifle on himself at her rural home in northern Alberta.  Kitchener ON, August 11th: Nadia Gehl is shot in early February at a bus stop close to her home. Waterloo police finally apprehend three suspects: her husband and two of his friends.  Orangeville ON, September 13th: Police investigate a murder-suicide that left a mother of two and her estranged husband dead. Witnesses say 39-year-old Heidi Ferguson, shot in the chest, sought help at a neighbour’s. As she lay dying, Ferguson reportedly cried, “I’ve been shot by my husband … please help me.” An avid hunter and gun collector, Hugh Ferguson turned the gun on himself after a standoff with police.  Winnipeg MB, September 17th: Police are called after a 19-year-old woman is allegedly assaulted and threatened with a firearm. The woman flees the house and calls police from another area residence.  Fort St. John BC, September 30th: A northeastern B.C. man is shot and killed by the RCMP after a five-day standoff that began when the 41-year-old farm resident pursued a van carrying his wife, an unspecified number of children and a friend, and shot out the front tires.  Since the gun registry was created, close to 23,000 firearms licenses have been refused or revoked because of safety concerns. We register our cars and our dogs–not to register our guns would be criminal.  No matter what the gun lobby says, gun control works. Consider the following :  – Controls on rifles and shotguns were strengthened in 1991: that year 1441 Canadians were killed with guns. By 2005, the number of such deaths dropped by almost half, to 818.  – The number of women murdered with guns fell from 85 in 1991 to 32 in 2005. But the number of women murdered by weapons other than firearms declined only slightly during the same period of time. Again, the effectiveness of gun control is inescapable.  My son was at Dawson College on September 13, 2006 when Kimveer Gill went on his murderous rampage. I will never understand why Mr. Gill had such easy access to such enormous firepower–the fact that he managed to kill “only” a single young woman was due to the fortuitous coincidental presence of two brave and well-trained police officers. (I say “only” because, of course, for her parents, family and friends, the murder of 18-year-old Anastasia De Sousa is no small loss.) Kimveer Gill didn’t need those guns and he shouldn’t have had them. Why should his right to feel “big and bad” have trumped Ms. De Sousa’s, my son’s, or anyone else’s safety?  And so I support more gun control, not less. Please don’t let our Parliament send Bill C-391, the bill to dismantle the long-gun registry, to committee, the next step in the legislative process.  Though our Prime Minister may refuse to face it, rifles and shotguns are the firearms used most often to threaten women and children, and the weapons of choice in the murder of police officers. Look, for example, at the 3 Mounties killed in Mayerthorpe, AB. And the only charges levied in that case were against the gun providers, who were traceable only because of the gun registry!  When Mr. Harper talks about law and order one day, and laxer gun control the next, I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry.  Contact your MP on this issue. Don’t let Mr. Harper play fast and loose with our children’s lives. Beverly Akerman, MSc, Montreal QC

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From the Vancouver Sun: Police track owner of ‘silent killing machine’

Posted by cgccanada on October 9, 2009

By Kim Bolan, Vancouver Sun

October 7, 2009

VANCOUVER — Police are trying to track the owner of a machinegun that has been linked to a number of Vancouver gang shootings.

The gun with silencer was found floating in a neoprene bag in the Fraser River two weeks ago and turned over to Richmond RCMP, who recognized it as one that Vancouver investigators were seeking.

Insp. Brad Desmarais, who heads the VPD gang unit, said the gun “can only be described as a silent killing machine.”

Desmarais said forensic testing indicates the gun was used in a number of gang-related shootings… read more

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From CTV Toronto: Boys charged with gun, drug, assault rifle possession

Posted by cgccanada on October 8, 2009

Updated: Thu Oct. 08 2009 8:32:43 AM

// ctvtoronto.ca

Three teen brothers were charged after police allegedly found drugs, four guns and an assault rifle inside a townhouse where their siblings live, with one as young as 11 years old.

Acting on community complaints, police raided the home and say they found two loaded guns, crack cocaine, marijuana and $2,000 cash.

Two of the boys, 16 and 18, are accused of having two loaded handguns and one unloaded gun in their bedroom.

Their 19-year-old brother is facing gun charges for allegedly having an SKS assault rifle and two loaded handguns. Police allege he was also found in possession of crack cocaine.

Seven siblings live in the home with ages ranging from 28-years-old to as young as 11.

“I’ve never seen this before,” Detective Robin Dey of the 51 Division Street Crime Unit told ctvtoronto.ca about finding these weapons in a family home with so many children inside.

Police will not reveal the location of the home or the names of the older brothers to prevent identifying the underage brother.

They say those charged may be associated with gangs.

All three accused are scheduled to appear in court Thursday.

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