Enforcement, not paperwork, beats crime

Ontario police seized 20 illegal firearms – that were manufactured in a "home shop."

This morning, Ontario Provincial Police announced a coordinated, multi-jurisdictional operation had resulted in the arrests of 23 people and the seizure of 20 illegal firearms. The arrests are an example of what good police work can do when cops enforce Canada’s already existing firearms laws.

Today’s police success story is also further evidence Canada’s firearms laws do not need to be changed.

When police enforce them, Canada’s gun laws are excellent. The best in the world, in fact. Instead of lying to Canadians that more laws will mean less crime, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Minister of Untruth Bill Blair, should be preaching to the world just how effective our existing gun laws already are.

Sadly, police don’t enforce them often enough.

Consider the oft-repeated tales (personal favourites, in fact, of Bill Blair) about four people who received their firearms acquisition licenses, then used them to purchase dozens of restricted guns which they sold to organized gangs. They were caught, tried and convicted pretty quickly. Why? Because they were dumb enough to commit the world’s stupidest crime: they sold guns to criminals that were registered by serial number to themselves, by name and address. That’s like leaving your name and number with a cute bank teller during a robbery and asking him to “call you later.”

This fully-automatic submachine gun, seized by police, is illegal in Canada.

Of course, police could have caught these four idiots much sooner. Consider: one of the crooks had purchased over 50 of the same type of handgun within a few days. “If only police had known…” you might say. Except, police did know. In fact, they knew in advance of the purchases. Because, the police approved each and every one of the 50 purchases. Even worse, two different police services approved them! The RCMP, who run the Canadian Firearms Centre and Ontario’s Chief Firearms Officer (a senior member of the OPP) both reviewed and approved each and every sale of each and every restricted firearm to these folks. The cops didn’t do their jobs.

Still, once police realized legally-purchased domestic handguns were being used in crimes it took about, oh, five minutes to run the serial numbers and identify the four criminals. Our existing laws work. When police do their job.

That’s four stupid criminals. Quickly apprehended, despite some police falling down on the job. There are over two million law-abiding Canadians licensed to purchase and use legal firearms. They don’t commit crimes. We know that to be a fact, because each of them is cross-checked with the police criminal information database every single day.

Locally manufactured guns – not prevented by laws

In today’s case, police noticed a lot of unusual handguns were being recovered from crime scenes. While these guns looked very similar to models popular with gangsters, none of them carried serial numbers or any other manufacturer’s marks or stamps. Legal guns are typically marked with the name of the manufacturer, the country of origin and the type of ammunition they use. “No name” guns told police they were looking for a gun-building operation.

The handguns police seized today were not purchased legally in Canada – nor, were they smuggled into Canada from the US. They were manufactured right here in Ontario, in a home-machine shop. Guns are tools. Very simple machines, really. And anyone who can build a simple tool or assemble a basic machine, can build a gun. A very effective gun. That’s what these criminals did. [Read details here]

Police also seized other illegal weapons and accessories including this fragmentation grenade. (Although the blue spoon suggest it’s an inert training dummy.)

They started with very easy-to buy unrestricted parts. Then, they machined the restricted bits that have to be registered with police. It’s not hard. Finally, they assembled and sold the handguns. Police believe the pair of criminal gunsmiths built and sold at least 120 illegal handguns for use by criminal gang-members in the Greater Toronto Area.

Not one of these criminals would have been caught by the new red-tape that will be imposed by Justin Trudeau’s Bill C-71. Nor, would they have been caught if the Trudeau government forces law-abiding handgun owners to surrender and sequester their legal firearms in government-approved storage facilities.

In fact, none of Trudeau’s proposed changes to Canada’s already excellent gun control laws will prevent a single crime from occurring. Worse, because governments can only focus on so many priorities – more people will die from gun-related violence on our streets. Because, while government is focused on producing more redtape to restrict the freedoms of law-abiding Canadians, it cannot focus on measures that actually reduce violent crime.

What can they do? That hasn’t changed. Read about it here.