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
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.