Federal government stops short of forced national crime gun chase, citing state controls

Jim Bronskill, Canadian Press

Published on Friday, September 23, 2022 at 5:31 AM EDT

Federal agencies are stepping up efforts to track the origin of guns used in crimes, but judicial hurdles may prevent them from doing what some would like. .

The federal government says the RCMP has introduced a new mandatory tracking policy. This means that where the cavalry is the competent police force, seized illegal guns are automatically sent to the military’s National Firearms Tracking Center.

The House Public Safety Committee and the Canadian Police Chiefs’ Association have called on the government to turn over for tracing all crime guns recovered during police investigations across the country, not just the RCMP.

The latest figures show that of the tens of thousands of criminal guns recovered each year, only a fraction are tracked.

In a new response to the Public Safety Commission’s April report on the decline in gun and gang violence, the government says tracing is a key tool for identifying the source of illegal firearms.

The RCMP’s National Tracking Center tracks guns from manufacture to import into Canada, through the hands of wholesalers and retailers, to identify the last legal owner or company. The center works with partners including Ontario’s Firearms Analysis Tracking and Enforcement Program.

Tracking can also help determine if the gun was smuggled into Canada or came from a domestic source.

Ottawa allocates $15 million over five years beginning in 2021-2022, with $3.3 million on a continuing basis to enhance the RCMP’s ability to track firearms and identify movement patterns, and to support the development of a new national tracking database. doing.

The Federal Center will track more than 2,140 firearms in 2020, and the Commons Commission said the new funding could triple its tracking capacity.

Funds will also be used to convince police of the strategic benefits of pursuing criminal investigations. The federal response added that the RCMP would “actively assist” police and partner agency officials in furthering the commission’s recommendation that all law enforcement agencies submit seized firearms for tracing. I’m here.

But the government has fallen short of its promise to make all criminal gun tracking mandatory.

Asked about the government’s intentions, the office of Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said that while the RCMP has a new mandatory tracking policy, “the issue of guns seized by other police services falls under state jurisdiction. ‘ said.

In a July resolution calling for a comprehensive trace, police chiefs cited the lack of solid data outside of Ontario to help understand the paths taken by criminal guns, citing the lack of reliable data as a police intelligence tool. He added that the effectiveness of tracking “depends on the quality of the information.” collection” and appropriate follow-up investigations.

RCMP Vice Chairman Stephen White told the Commons Commission:

Gun control advocacy group PolySeSouvient said there was general consensus that criminal guns should be tracked. there is no.”

Tracing smuggled guns usually starts with the American manufacturer, but tracking the owners of Canadian-manufactured weapons requires sales records and universal registration, said 14 people in 1989. said a group including students and alumni of the École Polytechnic in Montreal, where the woman was shot dead.

Canada had taken these steps until Stephen Harper’s Conservative government ended federal long gun registration and abolished compulsory sales records, PolySeSouvient noted.

“The liberal government has just recently restored commercial sales records, but both Conservative and liberal parties are opposed to restoring universal registration.”

This report by the Canadian Press was first published on September 23, 2022.

Federal government stops short of forced national crime gun chase, citing state controls

Source link Federal government stops short of forced national crime gun chase, citing state controls

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