It has come to my attention that the RCMP may or may not be phoning people who have firearms licenses expiring within the next 12 months. I’ve heard of at least one individual who says they have been contacted on the telephone by someone claiming to be from the RCMP and that person demanded all kinds of personal information from them.
NOTE You are under NO OBLIGATION to answer personal questions from an unidentified voice on the telephone!
I have no way of confirming whether or not this story is true, but here are the steps that every firearm owner should follow if they receive a telephone call from anyone claiming to be from the RCMP or any other branch of law enforcement.
While this all sounds a bit absurd and far-fetched, the RCMP does seem intent upon getting firearms out of the hands of legitimate, law-abiding firearm owners when they should be far more concerned about getting them out of the hands of violent criminals. Anyone willing to jump through all the hoops and background checks to get a firearms license is not likely to be a threat to anyone.
A voice on the telephone is simply that: a voice on the telephone. You have no way of confirming they are who they claim to be.
That being said, here are some simple rules that everyone should follow if they receive a phone call from anyone claiming to be from any branch of law enforcement.
Step 1. Understand that just because someone claims to be from the police, that doesn’t make it so. Do not answer personal questions about firearm ownership or anything else to an unidentified voice on the telephone.
Step 2. You are under no obligation to answer personal questions from an unidentified voice on the telephone, regardless of who they claim to be. Do not answer personal questions about firearm ownership or anything else from an unidentified voice on the telephone.
Step 3. Never EVER answer personal questions about firearm ownership or any other personal issue from an unidentified voice on a telephone.
Now that the first three steps are fully understood, it’s time to get to the good stuff.
Step 4. Tell the voice on the phone the following:
“I have no way of confirming that you are who you claim to be. I will only respond to your questions IN WRITING and only upon receipt of a letter from you on OFFICIAL LETTERHEAD that fully identifies you by NAME, RANK or position and BADGE NUMBER or employee number.
If that is not satisfactory, please contact my local RCMP (or other police force) detachment and request that a local constable contact me to schedule a face-to-face interview where your questions may be addressed. This interview will ONLY be conducted in the presence of my legal counsel and will be recorded using the audio and/or video recording device(s) of my choosing.”
Step 5. Repeat Steps 1 thru 4 until they either hang up or begin threatening you.
Step 6. If they interrupt you or begin to threaten you in any way, demand their full name, badge number, rank and commanding officer’s name. Repeat that demand until they hang up or allow you to complete the statement above.
I cannot state strongly enough that you should never EVER answer questions about your personal life or choice in personal property ownership to an unknown voice on the telephone. There are far too many documented cases where firearm owners have been duped by criminals and have then suffered home invasions or thefts of their firearms for anyone to be that trusting of a voice on the telephone.
If the inquiries are legitimate, then the police force will be quite willing to conduct an interview in person, in the presence of your legal counsel and have that interview recorded for the record.
If those conditions are unacceptable to the voice on the phone, you can draw your own conclusion about the legitimacy of the caller…
If you have photographs and/or videos of yourself and firearms posted on Facebook, YouTube, etc, then you may want to re-think those postings, and either remove them or make them private so only the people you know personally have access to them. This would appear to be where the voice on the phone is obtaining their information about firearm ownership.
Social Media is a wonderful thing, but it can also tell the world information you would prefer to remain private.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS and KNOW THE LAW.