December 10, 2020 -
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ottawa, ON - By Brad Vis, MP
On Monday, November 23, the National Police Federation (NPF), the union representing 20,000 front-line RCMP members, released a position statement on how they would like to see the federal government address gang violence and cross-border gun smuggling
The NPF’s position statement calls for “funding that enables law enforcement to properly address crime prevention.”
The RCMP presently spends an inordinate amount of its resources on monitoring law-abiding, licensed firearms owners, resources that would be better spent tracking violent recidivists with Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs) in place against them.
This is not solely the fault of the RCMP. Under the Firearms Act, a judge must only notify the Canadian Firearms Program when issuing an FPO. This is done for the purpose of revoking the individual’s Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL), if said individual has one.
News reports have shown that 500 people arrested for crimes in the past calendar year were also found in possession of illegal firearms, in contravention of their existing FPOs, yet no police agency in Canada is tasked with ensuring an individual complies with their FPO.
This is why the NPF is calling on the federal government to create “legislation that effectively addresses crime reduction, gang diversion, safe communities, secure borders, Canadian law enforcement agency integration, and cross-border safety of the public and all police officers.”
The Conservative Party has called for the creation of a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Firearms Smuggling Task Force that is responsible for stopping illegal firearms from entering Canada. So far, the Trudeau government has refused to implement our constructive recommendation, despite the approval of the union representing RCMP officers nationwide.
I agree with the NPF’s conclusion that “government programs should target crime reduction capabilities that are centered in law enforcement investigative strategies rather than measures that do very little to address their goal to increase public safety.”
The NPF’s evidence-based position statement makes sense, unlike the Liberal government’s May 1st Order-in-Council which will lead to the confiscation of legally-owned firearms from RCMP-vetted, federally-licensed gun owners.
As the NPF’s statement makes clear, violence committed with illegal guns is primarily committed by drug dealers and gang members who illegally possess these weapons.
The Liberal government’s firearms ban will fail to enhance public safety because it was never intended to target gangs, violent criminals, or illegal guns – it targets only law-abiding and licensed firearms owners.
The Conservative Party believes the path to reducing gun violence is to increase support for police anti-gang units; diversion programs to extract youth from gangs; and, the creation of a CBSA Firearms Smuggling Task Force.
These measures will help to stop the flow of illegal firearms into Canada, which helps to keep illegal guns out of the hands of violent criminals like drug dealers and gang members. I am glad that the RCMP Union agrees with our Party’s approach.
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