On February 8, 2021, Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) seized over $700,000 of drugs and cash during a raid on the west Edmonton home of drug dealer Garret Nybakken.
Garret Nybakken was charged with violating his existing Firearms Prohibition Order, possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking, and possessing the proceeds of crime. Nybakken’s firearm prohibition order was the result of a previous conviction.
As a result of the raid, ALERT officers seized:
- hundreds of rounds of ammunition,
- 2,150 grams of cocaine,
- 1,900 grams of methamphetamine,
- 94 grams of fentanyl,
- 261 grams of ketamine,
- 12,200 grams of cannabis,
- 2,100 grams of psilocybin mushrooms,
- 50 tabs of LSD,
- 100 millilitres of GHB,
- 14,000 grams of buffing agents and
- $74,670 in cash.
Clearly a useless piece of paper (a firearms prohibition order) isn’t stopping these criminals from obtaining illegal guns and hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal drugs.
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, my question of the week remains unanswered.
When will you introduce legislation to track, trace and check on violent criminals with Firearm Possession Orders?
Canada’s Firearm Prohibition Order system is broken
Garret Nybakken is another example of how Canada’s Firearm Prohibition Order system is broken and must be fixed.
Common sense dictates our scarce police resources should be devoted to those individuals who pose the greatest risk to public safety, yet these are the people Canada’s legislators and police totally ignore.
People with a history of violent offences are a proven danger to public safety, yet these are the people our government refuses to check on or track.
- No police agency in Canada tracks individuals with Firearm Prohibition Orders registered against them.
- There is no legal requirement for police to track individuals with Firearm Prohibition Orders registered against them or routinely check on 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.
There is a better way.
Britain devotes specialised police units to check on individuals under Sexual Harm Prevention Orders (SHPO). Think of Britain’s SHPO as Canada’s Firearm Prohibition Orders but for sex offenders, and with powers of enforcement our FPO system totally lacks.
Under British law, a Sexual Harm Prevention Order places specific obligations on the offender, and it also gives police the power to ensure individuals convicted of offences under the Sexual Offences Act obey those judicial restrictions.
This is the same Firearm Prohibition Order system New Zealand is trying to implement today.
Individuals with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (Source) registered against them must:
- Notify authorities if they do not have a fixed address;
- Notify authorities of any change of address or name within three (3) days;
- Notify authorities of any place they have resided or stayed for at least seven days, whether for seven consecutive days or for a cumulative period of seven days in any 12-month period;
- Notify the police of information contained in, or in relation to, their passport, bank account, credit card or debit card at each notification;
- Declare their SHPO to any actual or potential employers;
- These notifications must be made in person and police may, at their discretion, take photographs and/or fingerprints each time.
All Sexual Harm Prevention Orders are registered in the Police National Computer (PNC), Britain’s version of our Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) – Canada’s central police database where law enforcement agencies can access a wide range of information.
In Canada, Firearm Prohibition Orders are accessible via CPIC, but no police agency is tasked with checking on or searching these violent offenders to ensure they are living within the terms of those orders.
British police have the right to check on and search individuals with an SHPO at any time to ensure compliance.
Canada must apply this same strategy to dealing with repeat offenders with Firearm Prohibition Orders.
The only thing standing in the way of Firearm Prohibition Order Reform is Justin Trudeau, his Minister of Public Safety, Bill Blair, and his Justice Minister, David Lametti.
Contact the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Public Safety
If you, like me, want to see violent criminal offenders tracked and checked on to ensure they are abiding by all of their conditions of release, including Firearm Prohibition Orders, please write Justice Minister David Lametti and Public Safety Minister Bill Blair and demand they introduce legislation to implement these reforms immediately.
The Honourable David Lametti
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H8
Email the Minister of Justice
The Honourable Bill Blair
Minister of Public Safety
House of Commons
Ottawa, Canada K1A 0A6
Email the Minister of Public Safety