More police officers and policing departments across Canada are voicing their opinions on the Liberal government’s proposed gun ban.
While campaigning for re-election in 2019, Trudeau promised that his government would give municipalities more authority to ban handguns in their districts.
The Liberals are also nearing a decision to ban “assault-style” rifles. Public Safety Minister Bill Blair recently revealed that the government is willing to bypass debate on the issue in the House of Commons and use an Order in Council to effectively force their plans into law.
The list of current and former officers doubtful of the ban’s ability to effectively combat illegal crime has been growing by the day.
Here are eleven police officers and policing experts who have gone on record speaking out against the proposed ban, in their own words.
President of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police Adam Palmer
“People can’t be naive to the realities of how it works with organized crime and smuggling,” said Palmer.
“There will always be an influx of guns from the United States into Canada… Heroin is illegal in Canada, too, but we have heroin in Canada.”
President of the Toronto Police Association Mike McCormack
“There’s no way in my world or any world I know that this [a handgun ban] would have an impact on somebody who’s going to go out and buy an illegal gun and use it to kill another person or shoot another person,” claimed McCormack.
Former police officer and True North Fellow Leo Knight
”More regulations on law-abiding citizens is profoundly stupid. It is done by incompetent governments faced with a problem who want to be seen to be doing something but aren’t smart enough to actually figure out what to do,” said Knight.
Retired Toronto Police Holdup Squad Staff-Inspector Mike Earl
According to Earl, “A handgun ban is ridiculous and doesn’t address the actual problem of criminals shooting up the city. [John] Tory is looking for an easy answer, but there is no easy answer.”
Former Chief of Ontario Provincial Police Chris Lewis
“It would be unmanageable and unfair to the majority of handgun owners who obey the law and always use their guns safely. Let’s effectively deal with the criminals that do NOT obey the current criminal law,” said Lewis.
“A handgun ban in Toronto will do nothing to abate gun crime. A city ban would have to be a bylaw, and criminals are totally ignoring criminal law, so a bylaw ticket likely won’t scare them! And the “law abiding” handgun owners are just that, and not a threat,” he tweeted.
Durham Regional Police Chief Paul Martin
“From a policing standpoint, it would be a nightmare to enforce,” Martin remarked.
Winnipeg Police Service
“I guess it might make people feel good but it will not change the threat level one iota,” claimed Winnipeg Police Service spokesperson Const. Rob Carver.
Winnipeg Police Inspector Max Waddell
“The reality is, if criminals want to get their hands on [a gun], they’re going to get their hands on it. [A ban is] not going to do anything. It will come from illegal means again,” argued Waddell.
“If people wish to get and claim an illegal gun, they’re going to do it.”
RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki
“It’s difficult for me to say, honestly. I’m not sure if a complete ban is the answer, or tweaking the legislation to ensure more accountability. That’s definitely something we need to study,” said Lucki.
Halifax Regional Police
“We believe we have necessary laws and regulations in place in relation to firearms. We respect the right of citizens to own guns legally and recognize that the majority of gun owners act responsibly and comply with gun regulations,” stated Halifax Regional Police Spokesperson Const. John MacLeod.
Regina Police Chief Evan Bray
“Banning something doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not going to have firearm-related crime in your community,” Bray noted
“This isn’t … an exercise for us to try and further restrict or victimize people that are obeying the law when it comes to firearms.”