In early February I had the pleasure of interviewing Travis Bader, founder and owner of Silvercore Advanced Training Systems, at his offices in Ladner, BC. It’s an interview I’ve wanted to conduct for many years so it was a real treat to finally have the opportunity to sit down and speak with him in person.
While I wrote extensively about Bader’s case and the RCMP corruption associated with it at the time, we never met face to face until the CSSA’s Canadian Industry Event at SHOT Show in Las Vegas last month.
For me, it was one of the highlights of SHOT Show week, outmatched only by my wife jumping up and down with glee after firing a sub-machine gun during Range Day. That’s a memory (and video) I’ll not soon forget!
But back to Travis Bader, Silvercore and the RCMP’s apology letter.
Bader and his family suffered years of torment at the hands of a few corrupt RCMP members who felt putting him out of business was the best way to help build their own firearms training company.
It’s a long and sordid story involving some of the worst of the worst the RCMP had to offer, as I will write about more in the weeks and months ahead.
Travis Bader, his family and his company were fully exonerated of any wrongdoing by the RCMP. Part of the settlement deal Bader reached with Canada’s national police force included a Letter of Apology.
For me, that apology letter is one of the most precious documents the firearms community has ever seen. Why? Because the RCMP will go to almost any lengths NOT to publicly apologize for the atrocious actions of its members.
The only thing missing is the admission the actions of those corrupt members were the foundation for the raid of his home and business, seizure of his property and arrest of Travis Bader and his family.
Please read these articles for more on Constable David Clarke, the lead investigator, and the RCMP corruption at the core of Bader’s case here:
- Another RCMP member suspended… with pay, of course
- CTV News Story on corruption in BC’s Chief Firearms Office
Signed by then-RCMP Inspector Janis Gray (Now RCMP Superintendent), the RCMP Letter of Apology (download PDF) states:
I write on behalf of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to apologize for the search of the Silvercore Advanced Training Systems Inc. (“Silvercore”) premises in Delta, British Columbia, the seizure of Silvercore firearms inventory and records, the wrongful arrest of Travis Bader, and the prosecution of criminal charges against Travis Bader and Silvercore, which were ultimately stayed by Crown counsel.
I have conducted an exhaustive review of the police file and all of the evidence and circumstances surrounding the search, seizure, arrest and charges and I have concluded that there is no evidence that either Silvercore or Travis Bader ever committed any criminal offences.
Please accept this letter as our official apology and notice that there is no reason, inside or outside the RCMP, to refrain from doing business with Silvercore or Travis Bader.
Thank you for your attention.
Original signed by
Inspector Janis Gray
Robert Sciuk says
The idea of any police officer in the role of firearm trainer is anathema to me.
Colin Murphy says
I agree Robert and the Public should be more concerned with armed RCMP than with non criminal Canadians’ ownership and use of firearms. And really, that’s not much of an apology, though she must have choked having to sign it!
Chig Walla says
Hopefully this sets a precedent that we all can use going forward.
At the very least, it will be helpful to backstop the argument that we all know to be true: that the RCMP have become a political organization and have no business whatsoever administering the Canadian Firearms Program.
The office of CFO should be part of the portfolio of provincial justice ministers and the CFP should be a CIVILIAN body. The RCMP have shown that they really aren’t up to the tasks of licensing and of firearms classification, never mind the flagrant conflict of interest.
Thanks for helping to make this part of the public domain.
Christopher di Armani says
You’re welcome, but all thanks should go to Travis Bader, owner of Silvercore Training Systems. He made it available to me so I could share it with you.
Just a matter of time before it comes for you Chris. Truth will not be tolerated, you should be wise to conform and become a servant to the system. I remember this issue from times gone by that never made great press and now when almost forgotten, the ghost of X-Mas past, on deaf ears me thinks. I fear things are only going to become more stringent. Hang on Mr Jones we going for a whid.. Thank you for the great articles. Be well.
Ray Gibson says
While I agree that the letter of apology was an important milestone, it is still sadly lacking. In my view, while an apology was offered by the RCMP, it in no way admitted to any wrongdoing, on their part, for the malicious investigation and subsequent charges. They also didn’t say that Mr. Bader was innocent only that they had no evidence that he was guilty. Maybe I’m too nitpicky but, thats how I see it.
Christopher di Armani says
I agree it’s sadly lacking in specifics, Ray. I would have loved for it to go much deeper, as well.
On the bright side, the cop who set this whole nightmare in motion is in prison on other charges. That fact alone makes me smile.