On February 5, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood in the House of Commons and lied to Canadians.
Mr. Speaker, the police currently have the ability to remove firearms from someone who presents a threat to themselves or others, but they cannot suspend the licence and prevent that person from acquiring new firearms. That is what the red-flag law is all about.
At the very least, Mr. Trudeau’s staff should provide their boss accurate briefing notes. The truth is spelled out clearly in Section 70 of Canada’s Firearms Act, which deals with firearm licence revocation.
70 (1) A chief firearms officer may revoke a licence, an authorization to carry or an authorization to transport for any good and sufficient reason including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing,
(iii) has been convicted or discharged under section 730 of the Criminal Code of an offence referred to in paragraph 5(2)(a); or
The law makes it clear a firearm licence may be revoked “for any good and sufficient reason.”
The Prime Minister’s ignorance of Canada’s firearm legislation and our firearm control framework is not unexpected, but it is disheartening.
The trouble is not with the current firearm licence revocation system but with its lack of use by police and judges and the willful ignorance of politicians like our Prime Minister.
Kudoes to Calgary Heritage MP Bob Benzen for attempting to get an honest answer out of the Prime Minister.
Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister said that law enforcement officers could not seize gun licences. He is wrong. An RPAL or PAL is invalidated when it is seized by police for public safety and that person has no ability at law to possess or acquire any firearm. Will the Prime Minister now admit that Canada has long had legal options to seize firearms in public safety scenarios, and apologize for misleading the House yesterday?
He did not get it, nor did he receive an apology for misleading the House.
The Liberal government’s current push for so-called a red flag law stems from the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians firearms policy paper (PDF), which states in part:
As EPs we must advocate for injury control. All firearm injuries and deaths are preventable, and we must advocate for a multifaceted approach in order to minimize this risk to our patients.
The Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians recommends the following measures:
- Continued support for the original provisions of Bill C-68 and the gun control law, and active opposition to any attempt at repealing the national firearms registry (including the long gun registry).
- Advocacy for the implementation by the government of a nationwide surveillance system for firearm-related injury and mortality.
- Expansion of programs focused on the prevention of suicide, intimate partner violence and gang-related violence.
- Support for legislation mandating that health care facilities report GSWs, but not knife injuries or other violent injuries.
- Continued support for research into firearm-related injury and death in order to guide further public policy development and future legislation.
Passed by the CAEP Board of Directors, October 2008
By this standard, a drug dealer or gang member who arrives at the E.R. with a knife or other violent wound wouldn’t be reported, but the one with a gunshot wound would.
Their logic appears to be “bullet wounds are bad, but wounds caused by knives or other acts of violence are not.”
This is bizarre.
Why the focus on reporting gunshot wounds while ignoring other violent injuries? If the goal is to prevent all injuries, as they claim, why do they want only gunshot wounds reported?
What do you think?
Should the government pass a “red flag law” so doctors can sidestep current privacy restrictions to report gunshot wounds only?
Should the government pass a law so doctors can sidestep privacy restrictions for all violent injuries?
Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.