On March 23, 2017, Peter Anthony Kampos walked into the Canadian Tire store in Terrace, B.C., and used his expired Possession and Acquisition Licence to buy an Aero Survival Rifle chambered in a 9mm Luger.
Peter Kampos then drove from Terrace to Prince George, then to Chilliwack, BC, shooting at the drivers of 22 transport trucks along the way. Only by a miracle were none of those drivers killed.
At Chilliwack Kampos left the Trans Canada Highway, drove through Sardis and out Chilliwack Lake Road to the Ford Mountain forest service road.
There he encountered Cameron Rose, who Kampos decided to kill.
Only by another miracle did Cameron Rose, his body riddled with bullets, survive.
All of this is recounted in an article by Patrick White, published in The Globe and Mail.
Also included in White’s article is his theory Peter Kampos took advantage of a loophole in Canada’s gun laws, but before his story even begins, White’s ignorance of Canadian firearms law is on full display.
The sub-head of White’s article states:
“The weapon and the process used to buy it are still legal today, despite Ottawa’s promises to crack down.”
Selling a firearm to a man with an expired firearms licence – “the process used to buy it” – isn’t a loophole, it’s a criminal offence.
Section 23 of the Firearms Act makes this abundantly clear.
23 A person may transfer a non-restricted firearm if, at the time of the transfer,
No Canadian Tire staff member was charged with that particular criminal offence because, as White reports, the “RCMP investigation ‘deemed that all store policies were followed’.”
There is no store policy saying it’s permissible to sell a firearm to anyone with an expired Possession and Acquisition Licence in violation of the Firearms Act, so how the RCMP reached this determination is more than a little perplexing.
While I’m positive the Canadian Tire staff member who sold Kampos the gun felt terrible after learning what happened after the sale, the fact remains this individual committed a criminal offence.
White’s next so-called loophole is the fact many gun manufacturers build rifles that accept pistol magazines. The Aero Survival Rifle chambered in 9mm is one of many on the market.
White takes aim at this section of Canadian firearms law and insists this is why Cameron Rose almost died, instead of focusing on the real problem – how Peter Kampos came into possession of the gun he used to shoot Rose with in the first place.
Peter Anthony Kampos illegally purchased a firearm and ammunition from a retailer who did not follow procedure when selling firearms and ammunition.
Peter Anthony Kampos is a paranoid schizophrenic who attempted to kill 22 truck drivers and Cameron Rose for no other reason than they were in his path.
If the standard for compliance with the Firearms Act is “I didn’t mean to”, then we’re in for a world of trouble.
“The Aero Survival Rifle, for instance, remains non-restricted, 10-round magazine and all.”
The Aero Survival Rifle is not responsible for these crimes, Peter Anthony Kampos is.
This nonsense of blaming the item used to commit a crime instead of holding the criminal using that item responsible for their actions continues to baffle me.
Is it any wonder people don’t take our so-called justice system seriously? The system seems to say to criminals, “it’s not your fault, it’s your upbringing”; “it’s your mental health issues”; “it’s your race”; “it’s the color of your skin”; “it’s your country of origin”.
Anything and everything except holding the individual responsible for their actions.
It certainly doesn’t help when so-called news reporters make their personal political agendas the main priority of their stories.
As for our national failure to deal with mental health issues, Cameron Rose says it best.
“I do feel that talk of guns is just a distraction from the real issue, which is the lack of a national mental-health program. I have no confidence that this dire and inexcusable deficiency will ever be addressed.”
The trial of Peter Anthony Kampos is on hold indefinitely. His mental condition continued to deteriorate until, in late 2018, he was transferred from the Surrey Pre-Trial Detention Centre to Colony Farm forensic psychiatric hospital, where he remains to this day.
Final Note: I wish Cameron Rose every success as he continues to recover from his wounds, both physical and psychological. I cannot imagine recovering from the trauma of being shot once, let alone five times.
Robert S Sciuk says
My letter to Globe and Mail (unpublished):
I read with some confusion the article by Patrick White, and could not discern whether it was journalism, or opinion, but have come to the conclusion that it was simple fear mongering and propaganda.
The entire article stands on the premise that if one person murders another person, then it is the weapon which must be punished, and those who own and use them in accordance with the laws are somehow culpable.
The fact that the murderer was a schizophrenic, illegally in possession of a firearm seems not to have any bearing on Mr. White’s premise, and this line of thought actually makes Canada’s streets much more dangerous by diverting the attention of lawmakers. It seems fashionable these days to create a narrative against law abiding firearm ownership and the shooting sports, but that is not helpful.
Safety Minister Blair and Justin Trudeau have used a similar approach through Orders in Council in their political maneuvering, and have decided that constitutional protections of presumption of innocence, due process, right of association and safety of person do not matter for that law abiding minority who make up the responsible firearm community. After years of such abuse, Trudeau knows that this law abiding minority are most certainly not part of his constituency, and who can blame them after years of such shoddy and reprehensible treatment?
What Canadians probably don’t know, is that the Trudeau Liberals have literally subsidized violent crime (An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and other Acts and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, as enacted (Bill C-75 in the 42nd Parliament)).
This legislation reduces sentences for violent crimes, and provides for instant and automatic bail for violent repeat offenders. In addition the crime of illicit gun smuggling has been reduced to a SUMMARY rather than a CRIMINAL offense, and attracts little or no jail time. I suggest that this puts violent offenders on the streets, and increases access to illegal firearms, which I posit is a formula for more violence rather than less.
Rather than spend billions of tax dollars in misdirected virtue signaling to wrest the competition firearms from a scrupulously law abiding population, I suggest that Canadians would be much safer if Justin Trudeau’s criminal reforms were themselves reformed, if not repealed in their entirety.
Christopher di Armani says
Very nice, Rob. Pity they haven’t published it though.