Archive for March 18th, 2008

Thieves steal government guns

March 18, 2008

One of the gun control items that keeps popping up is the central storage idea. The idea being that it is unsafe to have all of those firearms owned by law-abiding citizens out there spread around the countryside where criminals could steal them.

The solution? Of course – central storage facilities where all legally owned guns would be stored under lock and key and you as an owner would have to check your guns out when you wanted to go hunting or shooting at the range and then check them back in once you were finished.

The argument that these facilities would be the obvious targets of criminals looking for guns is brushed aside.

Well it turns out that the crooks do exactly that.

According to this news story, in 2006 “thieves nabbed 12 gauge shotguns and scores of rifles in a massive heist” from Parks Canada at Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba.

An official from Parks Canada says the weapons, stolen in November 2006, were not kept in special gun lockers or monitored by surveillance cameras.

But they were kept in a locked inventory room, said Andre Leger, the agency’s chief financial officer.

“Since this incident, they’ve improved upon the way they are stored,” he said. “They’ve even added a video surveillance system . . . (and) they’ve since bought some gun-specific lockers.”

They didn’t follow the rules in the federal government’s Firearms Act? Ordinary citizens have been criminally charged for less.

RCMP spokeswoman Sgt. Nathalie Deschenes said police officers would be able to trace the firearms through a national weapons database.

And this would be if the crooks decide to register those stolen guns? Actually, I wonder if those federally owned firearms were even registered and in the database system.

Theft is one of the major sources of illegal firearms, said the head of a coalition of gun control advocacy groups.

“Virtually every illegal gun starts as a legal gun, either in Canada or somewhere else,” said Wendy Cukier of the Coalition for Gun Control.

This is an amusing sound bite that the Coalition for Gun Control pumps out to the media these days.

Since you very rarely see any firearms that weren’t originally produced in a licensed manufacturing operation then the statement would be pretty much a no-brainer, unless there are a bunch of criminal types out there manufacturing illegal guns in their basements for the criminal trade. Somehow I doubt that.

Regardless, that central storage idea didn’t work very well for Parks Canada.

And just to clarify; There does not appear to be any definitive information available to confirm the statement that theft is the major source of illegal firearms.

In fact a 2004 Toronto Police Services study with 123 firearms identified as ‘crime guns’, only 9% were identified as stolen. A 2005 study with 214 ‘crime guns’ identified 16% as being stolen.

Make your own definition of ‘major’.