Week in Review - 26 Jan 2024 Archive


Friday, January 26, 2024


CCFR Radio – Ep 158: City News Runs Full Auto Mag Dump, Letter from Police, Buyback Update

For the latest information on what's been happening at the CCFR, check out our most recent Podcast with host Rod Giltaca.

In this episode: X/Twitter account upstages Liberal government research. More info on Sidney Island deer cull. More LE officers write the CCFR, update on the buyback program.

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Audio-only Link: https://podcast.ccfr.ca/episodes/episode-158

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The 2024 CCFR AGM returns to Calgary, Alberta on May 25th!

Rod Giltaca speaks with True North's Andrew Lawton about the status of the federal governments gun 'buyback,' better known as Trudeau's gun confiscation scheme, if he thinks firearm retailers will participate, obvious provincial jurisdiction issues in Alberta and Saskatchewan, the strange judiciary decisions seen lately, and if the next election will allow a future government to easily overturn what the Liberals have put in place against gun owners.

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Should Ontarians with a history of violence be allowed a gun licence?

If someone is in a bar fight at 18, should that prevent them from getting a gun licence decades later?

What if the violence in their past was against a spouse? And what if it was more recent?

The Trillium spoke with politicians and gun-control advocates about the discretion police have in Ontario to grant gun licences, prompted by government records we obtained about the decision to grant a licence to Jeremy Pearson, who killed his ex-girlfriend and then himself in 2013.

Their views were mixed, but they all called on the provincial government to stop blocking the release of information on gun licences that could help shed light on how the process works, and why it sometimes fails.

The government was forced to release records to The Trillium under a freedom-of-information (FOI) request after an order by the Information and Privacy Commissioner this past fall.

They showed that, despite a criminal record stemming from a kidnapping, he was issued a gun licence in 2005. In 2009, his licence was renewed even though he was facing a new charge after he was accused of stealing jewellery from someone he was privately buying firearms from, a later coroner’s investigation said.

The Trillium has since filed FOI requests for the firearms licence files for four further people, involved in similar, but more recent cases: all are dead, all killed others, and all are believed to have been issued gun licences, based on publicly available information about them.

The province is fighting the request. The opposition politicians and gun control advocates we spoke with called on the province to release the records to shed light on the licensing process.

NDP MPP John Vanthof, who hails from the rural riding of Timiskaming-Cochrane, said he wants to see a system that is "as strong as possible" so licensed gun owners like himself can continue to own and use firearms.

The MPP said while there's a "very fine line" between using information to safeguard people and "voyeurism," he disagrees with blocking access to information entirely.

"Given the cases that we've seen, I'm concerned that the government isn't more forthcoming with the information," said Vanthof. "If someone who has a history of violence, someone who in the one case is just coming off probation from a violent act, there is a big question mark whether or not that person should be able to purchase a firearm and the fact that that person was able to shows that there might be a flaw or there is a flaw in the system and the only way you can figure out how to improve the flaw is ... to be open and transparent of what happened."

Liberal MPP Karen McCrimmon, the MPP for Kanata—Carleton who is a licensed gun owner, said information about these cases is important as it shows "sometimes people who do own firearms legally do bad things with them," countering the narrative from the pro-gun lobby.

McCrimmon said cases like Pearson's have brought into question whether the amount of discretion the provincial chief firearms officer (CFO) — who oversees the gun control system in Ontario and can grant, revoke or refuse a gun licence — and individual police officers have is appropriate.

An OPP officer approved Pearson's licence application in February 2005 after interviewing him. This followed the end of his probation in May of the previous year and a fight he was involved in outside a bar in August 2004.

An in-person interview is not required for all licence approvals.

"I have a very strong commitment to the idea that ... it's a privilege to own a firearm and that the standards that one would need to be given that privilege should be as high as possible," said McCrimmon, adding that she thinks any history of violence, or threat of violence, should be a red flag. "Some people do need a firearm, that's how they feed their family, I get it, out in rural areas and out in the wilderness, but for the rest of us, you don't need a firearm."

McCrimmon said the first response to a licensing application in instances that involve a history of violence should be "no."

"I think that should never be allowed on the first go," she said, though she added that there should be a legislated appeal process, which could be done by the province.

"You'll have to pay the money to appeal it, it'll have to be full disclosure, and then it'll have to be more than one person saying, 'yes, this is acceptable,'" she said.

McCrimmon acknowledged that a system which falls under shared jurisdiction can be challenging to manoeuvre, but she thinks the province can "designate the amount of discretion that the CFOs have."

The CFO did not respond to a request for an interview before publication.

Currently, the federal Firearms Act notes under section 5 on eligibility that the CFO "shall have regard to whether the person" has been convicted or discharged of "an offence in the commission of which violence against another person was used, threatened or attempted" or criminal harassment among other offences, has a history of violence or has been treated for mental illness in an institutional setting "and whether or not the person was confined to such a hospital, institute or clinic, that was associated with violence or threatened or attempted violence."

A spokesperson for the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) outlined the general licensing process, noting there are more than 30 eligibility criteria built into the Canadian Firearms Information System (CFIS) and that licence applications are "approved through an automated process" if an individual meets all the criteria.

Ongoing eligibility for these individuals is reviewed if someone contacts the CFO with a concern about a licence holder or a "trigger mechanism" through law enforcement, the OPP stated.

The applications of those who don't meet one of the eligibility criteria would then be sent to the CFO "for an investigative review."

"In determining the eligibility of an applicant, the Firearms Officer is governed by the principles laid out in section 5 of the (Firearms Act)," the OPP said, adding that before July 2021 and passage of the federal government's Bill C-71," eligibility consideration was required and limited to the previous five years."

"Prior to July 2021, a history of violence outside of the previous five years was not captured and therefore would not automatically trigger a 'flag,'" the OPP noted.

Vanthof said it's hard to say whether or not police officers have too much discretion when it comes to approving gun licences.

In the Pearson case, "something went wrong," he said, noting the details aren't known in the other four cases so it's difficult to give "a blanket yes or no."

Retired OPP staff sergeant Doug Carlson, who ran northwestern Ontario’s gun control system for about years, described his approach to licensing as "aggressive," saying he would revoke or refuse licences for around 100 people each year.

For example, Carlson said he would revoke a person's licence for a few years if they made threats during a nasty separation, even if there was no conviction.

Generally, he said he thinks the "system works quite well."

This article brings up some interesting questions but the views shared within it are not necessarily representative of the CCFR's position.

Do you think CFOs have too much discretion for licencing? Let us know your thoughts.
Continue reading at The Trillium

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Chatham-area man pleads to trafficking gun in grisly 2021 Walpole Island slaying

Another person arrested after a Windsor man was shot, dismembered and burned on Walpole Island in 2021 has pleaded guilty to a charge – trafficking firearms – linked to a year-long police probe that spread across Southwestern Ontario and swept up eight suspects.

The suspects were arrested – six of them for first-degree murder – during a lengthy OPP investigation after the remains of Oyebode Oyenuga, a 25-year-old Windsor man, were discovered on the First Nation between Sarnia and Chatham on March 17, 2021.

Drew Bliss, 36, of Chatham-Kent was first of the eight to be arrested, although it wasn’t clear at the time. His arrest on Aug. 5, 2021, featuring a long list of gun- and drug-related offences, appeared at the time to be a separate case.

But more than two months later police announced they had also charged Bliss with trafficking a firearm in the Oyenuga homicide investigation. Bliss, released on bail In March 2022, recently pleaded guilty to the charge and will be sentenced in early April.

An agreed statement of facts wasn’t read at the time as the lawyers asked the judge to move that to his sentencing hearing. David Rows, Lambton’s former Crown attorney who is still prosecuting the case, explained to Justice Paul Kowalyshyn he was still sorting out with Bliss’ lawyer, Gregory McGivern, what facts will be included.

“The basic parameters are understood by all parties,” he said.

But the court heard the charge Bliss, 38, pleaded guilty to was linked to a Springfield XD-9 handgun he illegally transferred at some point – it didn’t say to whom – between Jan. 1 and Feb. 3, 2021

Continue reading at The Sarnia Observer

One man is dead following a shooting in Burnaby, B.C., late Tuesday night.

RCMP say they responded to reports of gunshots in the area of Kingsway and Denbigh Avenue at around 10:30 p.m. When police arrived, officers found a man suffering from serious gunshot wounds.

According to the report, police and first responders attempted life-saving measures but the man later died on scene.

Investigators believe the shooting was targeted and there are no risks to public safety.

A blue luxury SUV was taken away from the scene with around eight gunshot holes in the driver's side window.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team has now taken over the case.

Continue reading at CTV News Vancouver

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Police have identified the victim of a fatal shooting in a parking lot of a mall in Abbotsford, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) says.

The Abbotsford Police Department was called to the northeast underground parking lot of the Sevenoaks Shopping Centre on South Fraser Way just before 6 p.m. Saturday. There, officers found a 25-year-old man dead inside a vehicle.

Police say early indications suggest the incident was targeted. The victim has been identified as Abbotsford resident, Amritpal Saran. His name has been released in the hopes it can help the investigation, police explain.

Shortly after the shooting, IHIT says police were told of a vehicle fire on Townshipline Road, near McMath Street. IHIT and forensic experts with AbbyPD are investigating to see whether this is connected with the shooting.

“This was a careless shooting, showing no concern for public safety,” said IHIT’s Sgt. Timothy Pierotti. “We are looking to speak with witnesses who were at either the mall parking lot where the shooting occurred, or scene of the vehicle arson.”

The Abbotsford Police Major Crime Unit is transferring the investigation, which is in the preliminary stages, to IHIT.

Continue reading at CityNews Vancouver

Surrey, B.C., teen given 6-month sentence after bringing loaded gun to school

A Surrey, B.C., teen who brought a loaded handgun to his high school has been handed a six-month sentence served in the community along with six months of probation.

The 14-year-old boy, who can only be identified by the initials S.G., brought a Smith & Wesson handgun to his school on Nov. 18, 2022 after taking it from his father's safe without his consent, according to a B.C. provincial court sentencing decision.

According to an admission of facts, S.G., who was 13 years old and in Grade 8 at the time, showed one of his friends the gun in a school washroom and later fired it into the air in a "wooded area," telling his principal he thought it would be "cool to show people."

S.G. also posted a video of himself holding the gun to social media, according to the judgment, which led to safety concerns among the 1,800 students at the school and their parents.

In handing the boy a six-month deferred custody and supervision order — which means he will be under strict supervision and could be returned to custody if conditions are broken — Justice Satinder Sidhu said the boy had pleaded guilty to firearm possession charges and had expressed remorse.

"[S.G.] has a supportive family, is involved in community sports and activities, and has otherwise led a pro-social life," Sidhu wrote in the Dec. 19 judgment, which was posted this week.

"His purpose in taking the loaded firearm to school was to impress others and not to intentionally cause harm or engage in other criminal behaviour."

The admission of facts states that S.G. also allowed his friend to hold the gun, which the justice notes was "dangerous and the risk of harm was extreme."

After school staff were made aware of the handgun that day, the Grade 8 student was detained and the firearm was seized without incident, the judgment states.

S.G. will be mandated to attend support sessions as part of his sentence, as well as complete 20 hours of community service while on probation.

"Given the recent and far too prevalent incidents of firearms and shootings in school settings, the presence of a loaded firearm at school invokes strong feelings of fear and panic," reads the judgment.

The judgment states that S.G. grew up in a stable home and he is particularly close to his father.

S.G. spent time on the shooting range with his father growing up, and is said to be "skilled in skeet shooting," having won multiple competitions, according to the judgment. He also participated in gatka, a martial art practised in the Sikh community.

The boy's father is a registered owner of 25 guns, one of which was the handgun S.G. took to school, the judgment said.

S.G. had a minor's firearm possession licence, which allows youth between the ages of 12 and 17 to borrow non-restricted firearms for approved purposes such as shooting competitions and hunting.

The judgment notes that a letter was sent out to the students and parents advising them of the handgun incident.

"The vice-principal noted that for a few weeks, the incident was of significant discussion amongst the students," reads the judgment. "He also received a number of inquiries from parents and students expressing concern about school safety."

Sidhu noted that S.G. had been failing his classes at school before the incident, and was subsequently expelled.

He was allowed to enrol in a different school after being told to attend counselling, and the judgment says that his academic performance improved significantly.

S.G. will not be allowed to approach his previous school, or possess any weapons, as part of the sentence.

However, the judge granted him two exemptions, one of which allows him to possess a kirpan, a ceremonial dagger carried by male Sikhs. The other permits him to practise gatka under the supervision of adults.

Continue reading at CBC News

The Campbellton RCMP is asking for the public's help following a break and enter, and theft of firearms from a business in the community.

The incident is believed to have occurred on January 22, 2024, sometime between the hours of 3 a.m., and 3:45 a.m., at a business on Val D'amour Road in Campbellton. Two individuals gained entry to the business by damaging the door, and stole a number of items.

The following firearms were stolen:

  • Stevens Mod 320 12 GA
  • Stevens Mod 320 12 GA
  • Stevens Mod 301 20 GA
  • Winchester sxp Academy field youth 20 GA
  • Winchester sxp OD Green Defender 12 GA
  • Charles Daly Mod 601 12 GA
  • Adler MT-205s 20GA
  • Weatherby Vanguard with Boyd stock 257 WBY

The following ammunition were also stolen:

  • Remington core-lokt 243 win 95 Grain
  • Federal 223 rem 53 Grain
  • Federal Fusion 223 rem 62 Grain
  • Hornady 7mm Rem Mag 162 GR sst
  • Remington 243 Win 100 GR
  • Hornady 7 mm sst 162 Gr

Police are releasing surveillance footage photos in hopes that someone may recognize the individuals. The first individual is described as being a man with a medium build, wearing all black clothing and a black ski mask. The second individual is also believed to be a man, with a medium build, and wearing a plaid jacket, with dark coloured pants and a black ski mask.

If you recognize the individuals in the photos, or if you have information that could help further the investigation, please contact the Campbellton RCMP at 506-789-6000. Information can also be provided anonymously through Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), by downloading the secure P3 Mobile App, or by Secure Web Tips at www.crimenb.ca.

Continue reading at RCMP Website

Continue reading at CTV News Kitchener

Police identify 20-year-old man who died in shooting on Montreal's South Shore

Police have identified the victim of a shooting on Montreal's South Shore on Thursday night.

Longueuil police (SPAL) say that Gabriel Lauzier, 20, was shot sometime before 7:30 p.m. on Mercier Street at Notre-Dame Avenue in Saint-Lambert.

Police found him in an outdoor parking lot and he was taken to hospital, where he later died.

Police say the victim had no link to organized crime, and no arrests have been made.

Continue reading at CTV News Montreal

The 2024 CCFR Gunnie Girl Calendar

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