Vernon, British Columbia, located in that province's Okanagan Valley, is where constables from the Lake Country RCMP detachment have decided they can do whatever they want; the hallmark of police state tactics. The case revolves around a man and his legally-owned pellet gun that was seized by RCMP constables and was reported by the Vernon Morning Star newspaper on May 16, 2012.
Someone called the RCMP and reported a man was shooting at ducks with a handgun. That call turned out to be false, and the RCMP did not lay any charges. Where the police state thuggery begins is when the RCMP constables seized the legally-owned private property of the individual who owns the pellet gun.
You see, owning pellet guns is perfectly legal in Canada. Yes, even when they resemble actual firearms. You can buy these pellet guns at all kinds of stores across the nation including national retail chains like Canadian Tire.
RCMP Constable Kris Clark spoke to the media and gave the following statement.
“The pellet gun they were using could’ve certainly been mistaken for a real firearm, even up close.”
That is quite true. Many do resemble real firearms, however that does not change the fact that they are NOT, in fact, firearms. I have no issue with the RCMP investigating the report. In fact I would be quite disgusted with them if they hadn’t. It is their response to that investigation, however, that raises my hackles, as it should yours.
The Vernon Morning Star newspaper article went on to state this:
The gun was seized by police and will be destroyed. No charges have been recommended.
This is nothing less than police state thuggery.
Neither the RCMP nor any other police force in Canada has the legal authority to destroy the private property of Canadian citizens. The only person who can order the destruction of private property is a judge in a court of law.
Since there have been no charges laid, there is no court hearing and no court order from a judge ordering the destruction of this man’s pellet gun.
In short, the RCMP is breaking the law.
To quote Len Miller, an ex-Vancouver Police Department detective (retired), responding to a post on the Canadian Firearms Digest, wrote:
No police officer may destroy anything without a court order . He hasn't the latitude.
I strongly recommend the issuance of Sect 337 CCC upon the detachment commander demanding the return of your property.
Retired detective Len Miller is, of course, 100% correct. Here is what Section 337 of the Criminal Code of Canada says:
Public servant refusing to deliver property
337. Every one who, being or having been employed in the service of Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province, or in the service of a municipality, and entrusted by virtue of that employment with the receipt, custody, management or control of anything, refuses or fails to deliver it to a person who is authorized to demand it and does demand it is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.
Mr. Miller goes on to say,
So: Len sez . . IF you have not been charged, and the opportunity to present your case to a judge ... then anything the officer does is illegal. Unless a judge orders it, the officer has NO justification to destroy anything . The Criminal Code says so...
The problem in cases like this is threefold.
1. The police in Canada are used to doing pretty much whatever they want without consequence. Seizing private property when no crime is committed is a criminal act.
2. The press in Canada are primarily trained seals, dutifully reporting whatever the police say as fact. They do not question police when they commit the crime of theft, as in this case.
3. The ignorance of the Canadian public as to what their Rights and Freedoms really are.
The newspaper article did not identify the young man whose property was stolen by police. It merely parroted RCMP Constable Kris Clark’s contention that everything the RCMP did in this case was perfectly fine.
The Vernon Morning Star couldn’t have gotten this more wrong if they tried.
A true reporter would have questioned Constable Clark about what authority the RCMP has to seize and destroy private property without a court order. They did not, and in that they have failed both their profession and the public at large.
If you're the young man whose pellet gun was seized and you're reading this, then I would urge you to do as retired detective Len Miller says and file a Section 337 demand for the return of your property with the commander of the Lake Country RCMP Detachment.
If you’re the commander of the Lake Country RCMP Detachment and you’re reading this, then I would urge you to issue a public apology to this young man and return his property immediately. Then I would urge you to train your constables that Canadians do enjoy certain Rights and Freedoms and that the RCMP is NOT a law unto itself, but that it must follow the laws of Canada just like the rest of us.
If you’re just a mere citizen like me then I would urge you to contact the Lake Country RCMP detachment and urge the commanding officer to return this young man’s private property, issue a public apology for the over-reaction of his constables, and to train his subordinates properly about what powers they do and do NOT have.
It is up to each and every one of us to prevent a full-blown police state from taking over Canada.