Dennis Young, master of the Access to Information Program (ATIP), learned something interesting on June 7, 2016, that ought to shock and scare every single licenced gun owner in Canada. Dennis asked what information about violent criminals is held in the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC). The answers Dennis received reveals who the RCMP perceives to be the greatest threat to public safety. Hint: It's not violent criminals.
First, Dennis Young's Access to Information Request:
a time and date acceptable to both our offices, please provide a snapshot from CP1C showing the following data:
- the number of convicted violent offenders who have completely served their sentences;
- the number of persons prohibited from owning firearms by the courts;
- the number of persons released on- bail,parole and conditional release;
- the number of persons with restraining/protection orders against them;
- the number of persons with an outstanding criminal arrest warrant;
- the number of persons who have had their firearms license revoked;
- the number of firearms license holders currently being investigated as a result of the Continuous Eligibility Program; and
- for each group of persons in items (1) to (5), please show the number of persons that currently hold a valid firearms license.
It's a fascinating idea to even ask these questions, but the responses are even more intriguing, albeit frightening.
You would expect police would know the answers to questions 1 thru 5. It's a valid police function to know how many people you're dealing with that meet those criteria. Or so I would think. Then again I'm just a mere citizen who believes police are far more interested in criminals than they are the likes of me and perhaps you, my fellow gun owner.
That's where I'd be wrong.
Here's the response from the RCMP:
Based on the information provided, a search for records was conducted in the CPIC system. Unfortunately, we were unable to locate records which respond to your request. Please take note, that the CPI Centre is unable to provide answers to the questions asked as the CPIC system is not used for statistical purposes.
They don't know the answer to a single one of Denis Young's questions. Not one. That would be bad enough, but the answer he received next makes matters even worse.
On June 10, 2016 Dennis received this in an email.
"The information requested by the requester is not all contained in CPIC. It may reside in other databases or records held by other federal departments and agencies, as well as with provincial and municipal governments and agencies.
That's it. The information is "not all contained in CPIC". Dennis then asked which pieces of information WAS contained in CPIC. Here's the response he received to that question.
From: Manon Fortin [mailto:Manon.Fortin@rcmp-grc.gc.ca]
Sent: June 13, 2016 1:31 PM
To: Dennis <email@example.com>
Subject: RE: RCMP ATIP Response - CPIC Stats - A-2016-02501
Dear Mr. YOUNG,
As we are mandated by law under the accountability Act (duty to assist) we have received word from one of our branches hat some information can be provided without going through the formal ATIP procedures. Please see the statement below from one of our OPI:
"With respect to question (6), there were 2,347 firearms licences revoked in 2015. This information is available in the 2015 Commissioner of Firearms report, available on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police website at http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/2015-commissioner-firearms-report.
With respect to question (7), please note that, in Canada, after a firearms licence is approved, continuous eligibility screening is conducted over the term of the licence. Accordingly, all current holders of firearms licences are recorded in the Canadian Firearms Information System (CFIS). CFIS automatically checks with the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) every day to determine whether a licence holder has been the subject of an incident report in CPIC. If a licensed individual is the subject of a police report related to a section 5 event, as per the Firearms Act, a report will be automatically sent to the Chief Firearms Officer of the applicant’s jurisdiction for review and investigation.
The Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) does not have information related to questions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 8 of this request because these items fall outside the CFP's mandate."
With that said please be advise that CPIC does not provide statistical information.
Not only is the information Dennis sought "not all" in CPIC, the ONLY people the RCMP track continuously are law-abiding, licensed Canadian firearm owners.
The RCMP, as part of the Continuous Eligibility Screening Program, tracks, monitors and investigates every single licensed, law-abiding firearm owner every single day, but the RCMP cannot tell us
- how many convicted violent offenders have completely served their sentences
- how many people are prohibited from owning firearms by the courts
- how many people are released on bail, parole and/or conditional release
- how many people have restraining/protection orders against them, or
- how many people have outstanding arrest warrants
Does that sound as backwards to you as it does to me?
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