You can’t stop people from being stupid. You can, as a reporter writing about stupid people, base your story at least in the same universe as reality, if not on the same planet.
Jacques Gallant, a staff reporter for Toronto’s The Star newspaper, clearly doesn’t have a clue what he’s writing about in his article “Handguns Easily Resold to Potential Criminals” when he states:
There are no safeguards in Canadian firearms legislation to prevent people from purchasing a large number of handguns and then illegally transferring them to potential criminals.
Jacques Gallant isn’t much of a researcher either, as it takes all of 10 seconds and a search engine to come up with Section 23.2 of Canada’s Firearms Act, which reads:
Section 23.2 (1) A person may transfer a prohibited firearm or a restricted firearm if, at the time of the transfer,
(a) the transferee holds a licence authorizing the transferee to acquire and possess that kind of firearm;
(b) the transferor has no reason to believe that the transferee is not authorized to acquire and possess that kind of firearm;
(c) the transferor informs the Registrar of the transfer;
(d) if the transferee is an individual, the transferor informs a chief firearms officer of the transfer and obtains the authorization of the chief firearms officer for the transfer;
(e) a new registration certificate for the firearm is issued in accordance with this Act; and
(f) the prescribed conditions are met.
The law is quite clear about who may transfer handguns (classed as restricted firearms in Canada) and to whom.
Mr. Gallant is, at best, disingenuous with his assertion. At worst he is intentionally misleading the public, if not outright lying to them.
Mr. Gallant is not really a reporter of this story though, is he? He’s more the manufacturer of a press release meeting The Star‘s anti-gun bias, one shared by the astoundingly ignorant Wendy Cukier, president of the Coalition for Gun Control, whom Gallant quotes favourably.
“Of course you could have restrictions on how many firearms someone could purchase, of course you could take advantage of the inspection provisions that already exist but what we’ve seen in recent years is an erosion of the legislation and its enforcement” under the current federal government.
Cukier’s drivel is hogwash, of course, but Windy Wendy never met a firearms fact she wasn’t willing to overlook.
The repeal of the long gun registry had absolutely nothing to do with handguns and she knows it. But why get a little thing like the truth get in the way of some easy PR, right Wendy?
The only thing Mr. Gallant actually gets correct in his article’s opening statement is his assertion there are no limits to how many firearms a person may purchase.
There aren’t, and nor should there be, since every single firearm purchase must be approved by police, specifically the Chief Firearms Officer of each province. In Ontario that is Ontario Provincial Police Superintendent Chris Wyatt.
The case Mr. Gallant writes about is the unbelievably stupid Andrew Winchester, who bought 47 handguns and then resold them illegally to his high school friend, Nour Marakah.
Andrew Winchester passed the Canadian Firearms Safety Course for both non-restricted and restricted firearms. He then applied for and received a Canadian firearms license. This license was issued by Superintendent Chris Wyatt’s office. The same man whose office approved each and every one of the 47 handgun purchase Andrew Winchester made over a 5-month period in 2012.
Now I’m not for a second saying Wyatt’s office did anything wrong in this case. They didn’t.
Prior to approving Andrew Winchester’s firearms license Wyatt’s office is required by law to ensure there is no criminal record for the applicant and to check personal references. Since Mr. Winchester was not a criminal (yet) he passed these tests with flying colors.
The same goes for each one of the handgun purchases. Every time Mr. Winchester purchased one or more handguns his name was run through the system. An updated background check is performed each time a person buys a firearm. If there is a red flag the purchase is not approved.
Until guns purchased by Mr. Winchester showed up at crime scenes there was no reason to suspect anything was amiss. Again, just as it should be if we stand on the principle that a person is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Andrew Winchester is now serving an 8-year prison sentence for his gross stupidity.
How he thought he could illegally sell handguns legally registered to himself and get away with it simply boggles the mind.
One would think being paid $900 per purchase over and above the cost of the guns and ammunition might be a clue all is not legal. Not Andrew Winchester.
It’s almost as stupid as an [alleged] reporter writing such uninformed drivel as Jacques Gallant does and being paid good money to do so.