NOTE: On September 6, 2020, Richard Francoeur wrote to take issue with my characterization of him in this commentary, claiming he’s turned his life around. I’ve offered to interview him and tell his side of the story. Should he agree and the interview takes place, I’ll publish that interview in its entirety.
Richard Francoeur is the latest in a long line of violent, repeat offenders arrested for breaching their firearm prohibition orders.
Francoeur recently assaulted someone, according to news reports, so police were on the lookout for him.
On February 11, 2020, they found him in the back of a cab during a traffic stop.
Richard Francoeur was arrested with a loaded sawed-off shotgun and other weapons in his possession despite a pre-existing firearm prohibition order.
Francoeur is not your garden variety violent, repeat offender. He’s the worst kind – an offender who has no interest in being a contributing member of society.
In Francoeur’s case the news gets even worse because, despite his history of violence and refusal to obey court-ordered firearm prohibitions, a judge granted him bail on a promise to appear.
Are there no judges with common sense in Rocky Mountain House Provincial Court?
This is a far-too-common occurrence.
Police arrest a violent offender, take away his illegal guns, and the courts release him to re-offend again.
It must stop.
Canada’s Firearm Prohibition Order system is broken
Career criminals like Richard Francoeur couldn’t care less about a piece of paper from a judge, which means he’s the precisely kind of person our government should scrutinize regularly but does not. In fact, no government agency in the nation checks on or tracks to ensure they comply with prohibition orders.
- There is no legal requirement for police to track individuals with Firearm Prohibition Orders registered against them or routinely check them to ensure compliance.
- There is no legal requirement for individuals with Firearm Prohibition Orders to notify police when they move to a new residence. Police have no idea where these people are.
- No police agency in Canada tracks individuals with Firearm Prohibition Orders registered against them.
Contact the Ministers of Justice and Public Safety
If you think it’s insane to allow violent repeat offenders to roam free without anyone checking on them, please write Justice Minister David Lametti and Public Safety Minister Bill Blair.
The Honourable David Lametti
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, Canada K1A 0A6
The Honourable Bill Blair
Minister of Public Safety
House of Commons
Ottawa, Canada K1A 0A6
Demand they introduce legislation to apply, at a minimum, the same level of scrutiny to these violent, repeat offenders as the government applies to ordinary, law-abiding licensed firearm owners.
Violent offenders with a Firearm Prohibition Order registered against them:
- must notify the government of their change of address within 30 days or face up to 2 years in prison (just like licenced gun owners).
- must be screened daily by the RCMP’s CPIC system (just like licenced gun owners)
- must be subject to random police searches (just like licenced gun owners)
Francoeur’s Latest Criminal Charges
Richard Francoeur faces a slew of new charges as a result of his February 11, 2020 arrest:
- Mischief under $5000
- Possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle
- Unauthorized possession of a firearm
- Possess of a firearm obtained by crime
- Unsafe storage of a firearm
- Possession of instruments intended to forge credit cards
- Possess a firearm and ammunition contrary to prohibition order (4 counts)
It’s insane, but this violent offender was released on a promise to appear.
So far, there is no update on what happened at his scheduled February 19th court appearance.
History of Violence
On March 27, 2017, Richard Francoeur was arrested and charged with six firearms offences, possession of a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking.
On February 15, 2018, Richard Francoeur was sentenced to 9 months in jail, 12 months probation and a 5-year firearm prohibition order for assault with a weapon and unauthorized possession of a firearm.
lynn cournoyer says
As much as I agree with you on what should happen to those who are repeat offenders, anyone with a Firearms Prohibition Order against them is not going to follow any rules set down by the laws. They breach the orders and continue to break the law. They are not going to tell the government of a change of address which negates the other 2 requirements that all of the legal firearms owners comply with on a daily bases. These laws are all BS until the government, judges, and RCMP follow the laws as they are written. If judges continue to release on bail and think these upstanding criminals will comply to return to court then they should be looking for another job.
Christopher di Armani says
I thoroughly agree, Lynn. It’s because they won’t obey the law the police must be given the authority to check on them and search them and their homes randomly and without notice.
Colin Murphy says
Not that it would make a sentencing difference but why was he not also charged with possession of a prohibited firearm, the sawed- off shotgun? I’ll bet that if I was stopped on my way to my shooting range with my “Grandfathered” prohibited firearm I would go straight to prison and stay there while awaiting sentencing.
And, surely it’s time to stop referring to these Government employees as “Honourable” since most of them are anything but!
Through the divine grace of the powers that be allow us (law abiding) to be anointed with PAL and forever have daily background checks. Heaven help the one who did not inform these powers of a move of residence within the 30 day grace or worse be caught up in a bureaucratic blunder. The cost to a persons reputation and social status becomes smeared and not to mention the loss out of the pocket book. It is because of evil people like this on the streets that good people need to be able to even the playing field, unfortunately our Govt wants to take away peoples ability to protect them selves and their family’s from thugs. I know of people who spent more time in a court room over a parking ticket than some of these repeat offenders. Can’t go against their humman rights now and thier right to a trial/day in court….or 6.