A recent news report in the Victoria Times Colonist showed just how incompetent Constable Mike Russell, and indeed the entire Victoria Police Department is.
Instead of commending a man for removing firearms from his home during a dispute with his roommate, the police arrested him, seized his firearms and threatened to charge him with firearm offenses.
The problem with this entire scenario is, of course, that the police don’t even know the law when it comes to firearms.
Constable Mike Russell’s asinine statement to the press that the man “did not wait to get the proper permit” before transporting his firearms is complete hogwash.
There is no “proper permit” required for transporting non-restricted firearms. The only documentation required is a firearms license and registration certificates for each firearm.
The facts don’t seem to get in the way of Constable Russell’s moment in the limelight, of course, and neither does the reporter’s blind obedience to whatever garbage spews forth from Constable Russell’s mouth and that’s a problem.
The media has an obligation to report on events, but to do so truthfully, not as unofficial organs for the State.
This story is a classic example of two things: the media’s ongoing hatred for firearms and firearm owners, and their blind acceptance that anything said by a police constable MUST be the truth.
Now, to be sure, in our day and age walking down the street with three rifles slung over your shoulder generally will cause a stir, even though that didn’t happen in this instance. One of the things Constable Russell was upset about was that nobody reported this man to the police.
Well, why should they? He wasn’t breaking any laws. His rifles were a) unloaded and b) trigger-locked. Not only was he in complete compliance with the law, he actually exceeded it. There is no legal requirement to trigger-lock non-restricted firearms, either while in storage or while in transport, as these firearms clearly were.
By the police’s own admission, all three firearms were registered to the man, who was licensed to possess them.
Claiming that the method of transportation was “bad judgment”, Constable Russell appeared to be condoning the man drive drunk instead of walking with his rifles. That would be the other option, after all. The man had been drinking. He needed to get his firearms out of his house and over to a friend’s place where he could safely store them. If walking with the firearms was somehow illegal in Constable Russell’s eyes, the inference is the man should have driven while intoxicated as that would have been the “safer”option.
Constable Mike Russell really needs to think about what he’s saying before spouting off to reporters when he doesn’t know the law.
As Dr. Mike Ackermann wrote recently in a posting to the Canadian Firearms Digest (an online message forum for firearm enthusiasts):
“… to legally transport a non-restricted firearm, one must only ensure that it is unloaded and accompanied by its registration card, while the person transporting it must have a PAL (Possession and Acquisition License). That is all. No gun case and no transport ‘papers’ required.”
“Rather than reward this fellow’s good judgment in removing firearms from a potentially volatile situation in a safe and lawful way (walking because he had imbibed some beer perhaps?), the cops give him a hard time, all the while displaying their ongoing ignorance of the law and lack of respect for those of us who attempt to follow it. “
Perhaps the Victoria Police Department will institute a training day where there constables can learn what the law actually says, instead of making it up as they go along…
What a novel idea.
Seizing firearms from a lawful firearms owner who has not broken any laws is just plain stupid, and brings the administration of justice into disrepute.