Storage Facilities for Civilian Guns Is One Stupid Idea: Commentary
Article first appeared at Ammoland.com
Ammoland – The Liberals continue to float their trial balloons about forcing Canadians to store all their civilian firearms in central repositories.
This is arguably the stupidest idea to come our way since … well, who can even say?
Let’s look at some government agencies to see how well they do caring for firearms in their custody.
First, there is the issue of firearms left unattended in police vehicles. If Halifax’s March 2015 theft, Grand Prairie’s October 2015 theft or Winnipeg’s October 2015 theft are examples, that practice should end immediately.
In all three cases RCMP firearms were stolen from unattended vehicles.
In the Winnipeg case that stolen police firearm was used to shoot a 16-year-old girl. Winnipeg Police charged Matthew Wilfred McKay with two counts of attempted murder, and both he and Matthew Andrew Miles, 25, also face a host of other weapons-related charges including theft of the firearm. Both men were already under a prohibition order.
The firearm used to commit this tragic crime was stolen from an RCMP cruiser parked outside an officer’s home in southwest Winnipeg. While the Winnipeg Police readily admit storing firearms in unattended vehicles is prohibited, the RCMP is not so forthcoming. Claiming “ongoing investigation”, they refused to specify whether that is also the case for the RCMP.
Dennis Young’s Access to Information Request (ATI) dated September 14, 2011 shows this is not an isolated incident. The ATI response revealed that 32 firearms were “lost or stolen”from the RCMP and that 316 firearms were “lost or stolen” from other police services across Canada.
While the numbers and types of firearms stolen from CN Police, Surete du Quebec, Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and the OPP were blacked out, the total of 316 minus the numbers stolen from municipal and aboriginal police show 30 firearms were “lost or stolen” from these Police agencies.
Another 80 firearms were “lost or stolen” from other unnamed public service agencies.
The military will not say how many firearms are lost and stolen from their arsenals.
Some politicians have expressed that the only people who should possess firearms are the police and military. Since our police forces can’t keep their guns from being “lost or stolen” how on earth can these people believe civilian firearms stored in “central storage sites” will be safe?
Presumably, civilian firearms would be stored at gun clubs. Who will pay for the construction of secure storage facilities at gun clubs across the nation? Who will guard these storage facilities? And what will happen when a criminal gang decides it wants all the guns inside one of these storage facilities?
Let’s do the math. Average size pistol club? 500 members. Average number of restricted/prohibited firearms per member? Five guns. That’s 2500 restricted/prohibited firearms all in one place at the same time being guarded by the club’s caretaker or a $15/hour security guard.
Many shooting ranges are in remote rural locations and police response time to an alarm will where response times are measured in half-hours, not minutes. Besides, the bad guys will have 2500 guns. Our coppers are brave but not stupid, and they will be highly unlikely to rush into that situation.
So when some criminals decide they want the guns from inside one of these storage facilities, what is stopping them?
The criminals will get away unscathed. Long gone by the time police arrive and this is surely no fault of our men and women in uniform. They will now have to deal with these firearms in the hands of criminals. It’s just one of many unintended consequences of a really lousy idea.
Our firearms are currently protected by anonymity and proximity. It works pretty well and really needs to be left alone. Let’s hope sanity prevails, not the reality-challenged idiots that came up with this basket full of stupid.
The CSSA is the voice of the sport shooter and firearms enthusiast in Canada. Our national membership supports and promotes Canada’s firearms heritage, traditional target shooting competition, modern action shooting sports, hunting, and archery. We support and sponsor competitions and youth programs that promote these Canadian heritage activities.
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