In its latest annual publication on violent crime, Statistics Canada has confirmed that the majority of gun-related crimes in Canada are not perpetrated by legal firearm owners. 

The report, titled “Firearms and Violent Crime in Canada, 2022,” sheds light on the role of illicit guns and unlicensed owners in the country’s crime statistics and pokes a hole in the Liberal government’s claim that cracking down on legal gun ownership helps tackle crime.

Published Tuesday as part of its Juristat series, the report covers various aspects of Canada’s justice system, including crime statistics, homicide, impaired driving, justice system resources, expenditures, youth court statistics, and corrections statistics.

Statistics Canada’s findings highlight a crucial distinction between legal and illicit firearms. The report reveals that legal firearms rarely play a role in homicides committed by their owners who are in good standing.

“The firearms used in homicides were rarely legal firearms used by their legal owners who were in good standing,” wrote Statistics Canada.

Out of 113 homicides involving a firearm, legal firearm owners accounted for 24 incidents. 

According to the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights CEO Rod Giltaca, the Liberal government with the help of the NDP have watched on as public safety has deteriorated across Canada while targeting law-abiding citizens. 

“Over the last 8 years, we’ve been subjected to some of the most outrageous political rhetoric from the liberals, the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois while crime and chaos has broken long-standing records. Voting has consequences, and this is what we have to show for it,” Giltaca told True North.

“This coalition government has bragged endlessly about their implementation of “the most significant in gun control in a generation”. Not only are more Canadians left terrorized, dead and injured than in the last 30 years, but they’ve dealt more damage to gun clubs and the law-abiding firearms community than any government in the history of our country.”

Conversely, when firearms were not initially obtained legally or were not legally owned at the time of the homicide (49 homicides with available information), the majority were illegal firearms (36 homicides). 

In these cases, eight firearms were stolen from legal Canadian owners, and five were purchased illegally from legal owners. Of the 36 illegal firearms, 20 were sent for tracing, revealing that six were of American origin, while the origins of the remaining 14 were unknown.

The report also highlights that in most firearm-related homicides, the accused did not possess a valid firearm license for the specific class of firearm used. Among homicides where information was available, the accused had a license in only 13% (16 out of 119 homicides) involving handguns and 12% (7 out of 59) involving rifles or shotguns.

Last year, the Liberal government declared an extension of the amnesty order for owners of prohibited firearms until October 30, 2025. 

Initially implemented on May 1, 2020, the order prohibits the possession, sale, and use of approximately 1,500 types of firearms categorized as “assault-style” weapons by the government. 

“I think it’s important to note, the Liberals, aided and abetted by the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois have had eight years to show that attacking law-abiding gun owners and virtually our entire community, would result in a safer Canada,” said Giltaca.

“It doesn’t take much intellectual capacity to realize that we’ve gotten the exact opposite. The only question left in my mind is, can this even be reversed?”

Author