RCMP union questions firearms buyback

by Jeff Helsdon | January 22, 2021
National Police Federation logo

A newly formed union for the RCMP is questioning the federal government’s strategy to reduce gun crime through the pending buyback of semi-automatic centrefire rifles.

Crime problem vs gun problem

Brian Sauvé, president of the National Police Federation that represents about 20,000 front-line RCMP members, said the organization prefers a fact-based approach to gun violence and advancing public safety. He pointed out the firearm of choice in two-thirds of the growing number of homicides is a handgun, which is often illegally obtained.

“In our view, Canada doesn’t need to address a gun problem; it needs to address a crime problem,” he said. “Current legislation is primarily focused on lawful gun owners who do not use their weapons to commit criminal acts. It does not address criminal activity, illegal firearms proliferation, gang crime or the criminal use of firearms.

For those reasons, key resources and funding are diverted away from addressing the criminal use of illegal firearms, which are responsible for more than 60 per cent of all firearm homicides in Canada.”

Number of homicides growing

The number of homicides in Canada is growing, and most are linked to organized crime. In 2019, Statistics Canada reported 678 homicides in Canada. Of these, 261 were committed with a firearm, and more than 60% with a handgun.

“The NPF takes this issue very seriously because, as police officers, we routinely see first-hand how illegal weapons are directly linked to increased gun violence and, sadly, death,” Sauvé said. “Our recommendations call for a combination of better legislation, better funding, and evidence-based solutions that we believe are necessary to curtailing the proliferation of illegal guns in Canada.”

He explained there is no dedicated national firearms enforcement investigation section, no dedicated border integrity firearms enforcement section, and that the RCMP has reduced its federal Investigation capability by more than 35% since 2013. The current RCMP activities relating to illegal firearms activity are restricted to administrative and academic support only.

Three-prong approach suggested

The foundation calls for a three-prong approach to deal with the problem: legislation that effectively addresses crime reduction. They are gang diversion, safe communities, secure borders, Canadian enforcement agency integration, and cross-border safety of the public and all police officers; funding the RCMP Border Integrity Program to enable dedicated proactive RCMP investigative weapons enforcement activity and the dismantling of gang and organized crime firearms smuggling; and funding to address crime prevention rather than the ongoing unrelated restrictions on licensed and regulated firearms owners.

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  1. Tyler wrote: Canada has a crime problem. NOT a gun problem. We need to be tougher on ALL levels of crime. You break the law life in prison. You affect someone’s life or take a life, death penalty. People will definitely think twice about committing a crime if the penalties are a lot stiffer
  2. edward kennedy wrote: Only a fool would support the present hoplophobic bigoted agenda of firearm banning pushed by stalinist political hacks and gun banning dead heads on the left.
  3. Joseph Interdonato wrote: This is the first time that I hear intelligent thinking of the ineffective solution of the Trudeau gun grab on law abiding Canadian citizens, and the considerations of where the government should focus its attentions to help our police forces in combating crime. This article reassures me that there are still people in our country that know where the problems are and how to address them without politicizing. Thank you NPF for your common sense.
  4. Forbes Arbuckle wrote: Let’s get this letter in the newspapers in Ottawa and Toronto. Trudeau brags about making COVID-19 decisions based on scientific facts from professionals yet when it comes to gun control issues he parades families of gun violence victims before the camera and ignores the front line enforcement professionals. His approach is politically motivated to stay in power, by playing to the ignorance of the non gun public, not fixing the problem.
  5. Wally wrote: Trudeau’s liberal government should focus on the real problem , the criminals ,not not the law abiding gun owners .Use our tax dollars to support our police forces to catch the criminals and drug dealers , Also why doesn’t Trudeau talk about the drunk drivers who kill more people than gun. , and the thousands of people injured by .Oh you might have to ban alcohol sales and car sales in Canada which his government gets tax dollars . Why doesn’t Trudeau talk about the fentanyl epidemic killing thousands in our country . No it’s easier to go after the law abiding gun owners than the criminals .Criminals don’t bother to get gun licenses ,they just go by guns or steal them . Secure our borders and use existing laws to put and keep criminals in jail . Commit a crime and your doing time in jail .
  6. John Sutcliffe wrote: I wholeheartedly agree with this sane commonsense and true assessment of the situation. the firearm owners in Canada are over regulated and oppressed quite a few anti firearm laws ago. Thanks!
  7. J Campbell wrote: Finally, someone is viewing the gun crime with a common sense approach....Thank You.
  8. David Tuck wrote: Big picture -- the gun grab is just part of the socialist agenda. Biden will be on the same page soon. Unarmed peasants can be controlled. All we can do is support pro gun organizations and get the numbers up. Sounds easy -- 2.2 million gun owners with their wives / partners all bringing a non voter to the voting booth and voting conservative would be a win . Big time pressure on the conservatives to respect our Charter of Rights would secure a future of firearm ownership.
  9. Jack Burley wrote: The post of January 23rd is absolutely right. You must have a deterrent to stop crime I can remember the last person hung in Canada was in 1962, I believe? After that the percentages of gun crime went up. Anyone would think twice before pulling the trigger; on a firearm back then, because they knew that they in turn would loose their own life. We never had gun violence in our streets, from criminals and gangs. like we do today. We never needed federal Gun licenses that was imposed on all Canadians. Made by Jean Chretien`s Liberal government, back around 1990, with only input and some false information from gun lobbyists, no other sides were involved. Dennis R Young has proved that. Thanks Dennis. In Ontario; we only bought hunting licenses for Moose, deer, and small game. The provinces all looked after their own firearm licensing. I remember taking a firearms course back in 1965 before I bought my first hunting License. I would bring my shotgun( in a case or blanket, and unloaded) only requirements then, on the school bus kept beside the bus driver, then I would give it to our school janitor for safe keeping until after school., So I could go partridge hunting with some of my friends, in town that weekend. Anyone could purchase a firearm then, except, pistols. They had to be registered since 1934 I believe? All the prospectors and trappers, I knew carried them, it was part of the job. It was impracticable to carry a heavy rifle up a cliff, as well as unsafe. They were carried for protection. Children were taught respect and rules, back then. I thank God that I was taught by The Old School. and not like today. Children don`t seem to be taught very much? Firearms are a big part of Canadian History even though politicians' would like people to forget that. I was raised at a tourist camp in Central Ontario, My parents had a Tourist Camp(for hunting and fishing) and my grandparents on both sides owned tourist camps. I was a guide. Now the Liberal Politicians are killing the hunting side of our tourist industry. We don`t have much other than logging and mining here in the north. Politicians and city people seem to live in their own world and don`t care about anyone else? We need our politicians to stop lying to Canadians, and to be held accountable. Wise up CANADA.
  10. John Karen Dunbar wrote: Finally, some one is seeing past the forest. The problem has never been the hunting rifles and shotguns owned by law abiding farmers and hunters but criminals that obtain hand guns through illegal means and even when caught are given a slap on the wrist, released early to begin again. Thanks RCMP. Let's get the rest of the police on board and maybe the problem can be solved properly!
  11. David Morris wrote: It doesn't have to make sense, it's just Liberal Policy.....
  12. inky mark wrote: Good news that the rcmp union can see through the liberal smoke for gun confiscation, liberals attack lawful gun owners and not the criminals who use firearms illegally. Nothing can be plainer, but liberals don’t like facts and science. They want to social engin er everything. Liberals corrupt to the core.
  13. Michael Currie wrote: Bravo!!! The Gov't will never listen to any one who makes sence. They obviously didn't do any real researh like asking the most obvious involved and affected folks...the RCMP and other police forces for their input.. Even with all the responces to this legislation from.these folks, I doubt the govt will listen or change their attack on law abiding citizens The gun violence will still continue and more deaths will happen. The first.thing a despotic government does is disarm the citzens. What are the.liberals really abouy?
  14. Dave Hogan wrote: The RCMP Union is absolutely right. We in Canada have a CRIME PROBLEM not a gun problem! Attacking RCMP vetted legal firearms owners with spontaneous government Order in Council prohibitions and the confiscation of legally purchased and legally owned and registered firearms makes no sense what-so-ever. The Liberal Government is taking the same easy path to appearing to be doing something about illegal gun control as they did in 1998 when they introduced a ban on legally owned and registered handguns with barrels less that for inches. The difference is confiscation or surrender of legally owned property verses the grandfathering that was brought into force back in 2001. Legal gun owners do not use their legally owned firearms to commit crimes! None of these prohibition actions and legally owned property confiscations are based on any factual evidence that supports these actions. Legal gun owners know that is true, the RCMP know that is true and the criminals using illegally smuggled guns who are shooting up our country and innocent people know that. When will people in our government ever begin listening to facts, logic and common sense to respond in a way that focuses on fixing the root cause of Canada's CRIME PROBLEM???
  15. Martin Mailloux wrote: yeah finally someone who actually understands and are willing to stand up for law abiding people I do agree though that we don't need army style rifles in this country getting those banned is a start to reality let's not become like US citizens be civilized honorable CANADIANS.
  16. W. Leach wrote: Canada's legal system was founded on old English Common Law and goes back to the Magna Carta (Great Charter) which King John signed in 1215. Upon signing, even the King John was no longer above the law but today we have liberals acting as if they are. Have they learned nothing after EIGHT centuries? As a former three decades long Canadian L.E. officer I feel shame when I see the behaviour of the socialist-liberal party whose actions expose their preference for globalism over that of our own sovereign nation. These self important, admit they don't like nations being sovereign and people having control over their own lives - that is the real issue here. Hitler also had such dreams and so one must ask...why are nations scrambling to go along with globalism? The liberal firearms agenda is built on a house of straw. Their justifications are not based on morality or truth or facts and further, it is contrary to the rights and freedoms many died to secure for Canada in world wars. They use guile and play fast and loose with facts to garner support from the young and they use emotion rather than truth. Socialist liberals and NDP have no track record of being tough on crime and we once again see the truth exposed with their most recent opposition to a tougher border gun smuggling bill proposed by the Conservatives. Importantly, today we must resist the liberal idea that whenever an individual commits a crime (whether with a weapon or not) that somehow society is guilty. Every individual is responsible for their own actions and true justice is always equal for all when blind. Lastly, the reality is that the main solution to any "violence in society problem" is to restore the nuclear family unit - faith, family, God and country
  17. Dan wrote: Wouldn’t it be miraculous if the federal government listened to their own police force’s recommendations on this issue, along with actual facts regarding crime stats??
  18. Deejay wrote: New R.C.M.P. union.... Finally, someone that wants to address the crime, gang and border issues related to gun smuggling. People that are restricted gun owners had to go through government issued training to be able to enjoy weapon handling and marksmanship skills. We are the responsible ones!
  19. Pierre Véronneau wrote: I totally agree with Brian Sauvé and couldn't have said it better. If Trudeau would have taken the millions he has given to IBM and more to come up with a program for this buyback idea and actually put it in the right hands to combat crime ,I wouldn't have any problems that. This shows us Trudeau's ignorance on this issue. Loves spending Taxpayers money fullichly, buying himself votes at the same time.
  20. Dave wrote: Finally, a hint of common sense in the policing system. What I just read in this brief article has me sitting up. Could it be that the CCFR has been heard by our police service?
  21. Frank Tottle wrote: The problem is we elect politicians,not always intelligent not always knowledgeable not always having any input on the issue. Handguns have been restricted for many years with very limited enforcement and woeful penalties for possession and/or use of same. From the gun registry to the current changes the incompetance of our politicians is without my comprehension and I am sure many members.
  22. CONAN T CRIMMINGS wrote: can't believe the bill brought forward by the conservatives for stiffer penalties on gun crime was voted down, that tells me if the mass shooter in n.b. had have survived they don't think he deserved a harsher sentence then what he would have got, way to go bill blair
  23. Frank Crawford wrote: March 17, 2021 Dear NFA, When will respondents tell it like it is? The whole Liberal firearms gun 'control' issue is a socialist-communist agenda started long ago. Pierre Trudeau kick-started it in the 1960s; Jean Chretien carried it forward in the 1990s; Justin Trudeau is fully implementing that agenda in 2020-21. Trudeau/Chretien/Trudeau are radical leftists that have been planning Canada's take-down for decades, and it is now nearing completion. They are tacitly controlled by the Chinese communists whom they have concluded will be the sole world power in a few short years. Canada has been infiltrated at the very top by committed leftists with totalitarian socialism as it end-game. Why won't some of our gun freedom advocates and conservative politicians come clean and say what is really happening? Will it take the full loss of our freedom for them to speak out, even if it costs them everything. Yours truly, Frank Crawford Calgary
  24. Jake wrote: What a brilliant idea! A fact-based approach to addressing gun violence. This is such a radical approach in 2021. I think this will make the PM cry hysterically, since he clearly prefers feelings and propaganda-based approaches to everything. It’s nice to see that the RCMP union isn’t completely insane.