428 Guns Vanish From Police Arsenals: RCMP
by Dennis E. Florian
The utter hypocrisy of our overseers really is astonishing sometimes. Maybe, instead of sanctimoniously lecturing people like Ian Thomson about onerous “proper storage” regulations, cops should be asking how many of their guns have “fallen into the wrong hands?”
A recent Access to Information Act request by Gary Mauser and Dennis Young found that the RCMP has ‘fessed up that 428 firearms have magically up and buggered off from the possession of the RCMP, other police services and public agencies across Canada.
As Sheldon Clare, the NFA President, pointed out: “The police are quick to point accusing fingers at law-abiding gun owners who have their firearms stolen from them but aren’t so quick to admit their failure to keep their own firearms out of the hands of criminals.” Good thing cops are excluded from the assorted idiocies of the Firearms Act, eh?
This new information (or as much of it as they actually released – see below) was pried out of the RCMP through an Access to Information Act request submitted as a collaborative effort by Gary Mauser (Professor Emeritus, Simon Fraser University) and Dennis R. Young (retired Parliamentary Assistant to Garry Breitkreuz). It seems the Mounties aren’t in the habit of regularly reporting information on lost or stolen firearms to Parliament. Super-duper secret stuff, you know.
So, just how many guns are missing or stolen from the police in Canada? Here’s the short of it:
- Firearms Lost by/Stolen from the RCMP = 32
- Firearms Lost by/Stolen from other Police Services = 316
- Firearms Lost by/Stolen from other Public Service Agencies = 80
Check out the summary of the response below and see for yourself.
You’ll notice that there’s no time frame given in the RCMP’s response to the ATI request, so we have no idea just how long it takes cops in this country to lose 428 guns. Here’s hoping that’s not the annual figure.
The best guess (and that’s really all it is) that we can make is that these firearms were lost or stolen since the Police and Public Agency Regulations came into force in October 2008 and all firearms in police inventories had to be registered with the RCMP by October 31, 2009. The information in this ATI does not include the numbers of firearms stolen from the military as the RCMP doesn’t collect that information. [As an aside: I really can’t see that number being more than miniscule. I know from personal experience that if even one of the military’s guns isn’t exactly where it’s supposed to be, they go ballistic. No pun, of course.]
Back in 2002, Garry Breitkreuz submitted a similar ATI request and as of September 2003, the RCMP reported 17 firearms stolen, 3 lost and 88 others that they were “still tracing” — another way of saying, “naw, we don’t have a clue where the hell they are.” Then, just like now, the RCMP didn’t give a time frame to go along with the numbers. For all we know, 17 stolen, 3 lost and 88 gone Poof! could be filed under the heading, “Tuesday.”
Since the Police and Public Agency Regulations came into force, the RCMP has been able to report the number of firearms that have been stolen from other police services in Canada. Getting them to actually do it, though …
More information on Police and Public Agencies can be found at: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/information/ppa-pap/index-eng.htm
Many police have been fixated on firearms being stolen from law-abiding gun owners, charging many of them with “careless storage” following a firearms theft, rather than putting the blame and focus of their investigations where it rightfully belongs – with the criminals who are stealing the guns. Most police and law-abiding gun owners are storing their firearms properly but these new statistics prove that criminals will always find a way to foil the most secure gun safes and locking devices. It’s time for police to stop treating law-abiding gun owners as part of the problem and work with us to help catch the real bad guys out there.
– Sheldon Clare, President, National Firearms Association.
For more information contact:
Blair Hagen, Executive VP Communications (604) 753-8682 Blair@nfa.ca
Sheldon Clare, President (250) 981-1841 Sheldon_Clare@shaw.ca
Or call the NFA toll-free at (877) 818-0393
RCMP ACCESS TO INFORMATION RESPONSE
428 FIREARMS LOST BY AND STOLEN FROM THE POLICE
AND OTHER PUBLIC AGENCIES
RCMP ATI RESPONSE DATED: SEPTEMBER 14, 2011 RCMP FILE #: GA-3951-3-04075/11
RECEIVED SEPTEMBER 21, 2011
WORDING OF ORIGINAL ATI REQUEST SUBMITTED TO RCMP (July 10, 2011):
Please provide the most recent copies of existing reports that show the total number and types of firearms (prohibited, restricted, non-restricted) that were:
(1) lost by, missing and stolen from the RCMP;
(2) lost by, missing and stolen from other police forces;
(3) lost by, missing and stolen from other public service agencies; and
(4) lost by, missing and stolen from the military.
FIREARMS LOST BY AND STOLEN FROM THE RCMP = 32
Shotgun = 9
Rifle = 4
Handgun = 18
Other = 1 [what the hell did they lose, an MP5? -Ed.]
FIREARMS LOST BY AND STOLEN STOLEN FROM OTHER POLICE SERVICES = 316
CN Police – Handgun = Information blacked out
RNC – Handgun = Information blacked out
OPP – Rifle = Information blacked out
OPP – Rifle = Information blacked out
OPP – Handgun = Information blacked out
Surete du Quebec – Handgun = Information blacked out
Aboriginal Police – Rifle = 11
Aboriginal Police – Shotgun = 2
Aboriginal Police – Handgun = 3
Municipal – Shotgun = 3
Municipal – Handgun = 267
DENNIS R. YOUNG’S COMMENT: By subtracting the number of guns reported above as stolen (286) from the total (316) means that thirty(30) firearms were stolen from the OPP, Surete du Quebec, RNC and the CN Police.
RCMP “EXPLAINS” BLACKED OUT INFORMATION: Please note that some of the information has been exempted under Paragraphs 13(1)(c) and (d) of the Access to Information Act. Section 13(1) reads: Subject to subsection (2), the head of a government institution shall refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains information that was obtained in confidence from (c) the government of a province or an institution thereof; or (d) a municipal or regional government established by or pursuant to an Act of the legislature of a province or and institution of such a government.
FIREARMS LOST BY AND STOLEN FROM OTHER PUBLIC SERVICE AGENCIES = 80
Shotgun = 22
Handgun = 41
Rifle = 17
FIREARMS LOST BY AND STOLEN FROM THE MILITARY = NOT AVAILABLE
RCMP EXPLANATION: Please note that in response to your question 4), the Canadian Firearms Program does not track military firearms as they are exempt from the regulations. [although, like I mentioned above, that number is almost certain to be miniscule -Ed.]
RCMP CLARIFICATION OF THE NUMBER OF GUNS STOLEN FROM POLICE: Please also note that these numbers are all firearms that have been recorded in the CFRS as lost, missing or stolen at one point in time. This means, these numbers include firearms that may no longer be lost or stolen.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON POLICE AND PUBLIC AGENCIES
“public agent” means
(a) any of the following persons in the course of their duties or for the purposes of their employment:
(i) peace officers,
(ii) persons training to become police officers or peace officers under the control and supervision of a police force or a police academy or similar institution designated by the federal Minister or the lieutenant governor in council of a province,
(iii) persons or members of a class of persons employed in the public service of Canada or by the government of a province or municipality who are prescribed to be public officers by the Regulations Prescribing Public Officers, and
(iv) chief firearms officers and firearms officers, and
(b) an individual acting on behalf of, and under the authority of, a police force or a department of the Government of Canada or of a province. (agent public)
NOTE: Anyone wanting copies of the original RCMP response to the Access to Information Act request please contact: Dennis R. Young: firstname.lastname@example.org