On March 6, 2021, I filed an Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) request with Public Safety Canada to see if they would release any information to back up Minister Bill Blair’s statements in the House of Commons.
From my request:
Reference is made to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair’s statements in the House on February 26, 2021, where he stated, “We also heard from the chief in Regina, who very clearly said that the guns in his community are not coming across the border but are legally owned, obtained through theft or straw purchase. The chief in Edmonton also opined that only 5% to 10% of the crime guns in his community, in the city of Edmonton, are actually smuggled across the border and the rest come from legal gun owners through theft and straw purchasing.”
For the period of January 1, 2020 to present, please provide copies (drafts and final versions) of all documents, records, reports, presentations, memos, briefing notes, Question Period Notes, advice, statistics, analyses, opinions, petitions, e-mails, correspondence and research relating to ‘straw purchasing’ of firearms by holders of a valid Possession and Acquisition License.
Given ‘straw purchasing’ is one of the cornerstones of Liberal firearm policy, one might expect this request would result in the release of a great deal of information.
One would be wrong.
The entire release package, including its 3-page cover letter, was only 21 pages – most of which was a working copy of a briefing document for the Minister.
- Notably, the answer to the question 5, “What do those who choose to be grandfathered participate in the limited possession regime need to do?” is almost entirely redacted.
- While question 9 lists two paragraphs, they do not answer the actual question, “Since the buyback program is not yet in force, will the Government extend the amnesty for firearms owners?”
Another 25 pages were withheld as Cabinet Secrets pursuant to Section 69(1)(a) of the Access to Information Act.
Evidence-based policy indeed…
CBSA ATIP is Courtesy of William Gilliland
INITIAL REQUEST: Any information regarding the illegal importation/smuggling of any firearms: specifically in relation to the country/area of origin The ideal information gathered would be regarding: – type of firearm with as much general detail as reasonably possible (ie: shotgun/rifle/restricted handgun, restricted rifle/shotgun, prohibited handgun, prohibited firearm, other) – country of origin(s) for the persons’/products’ journey – breakdown of ports of entry with as much detail as reasonably possible I do not want/require any information regarding any individuals, cases or anything classified or heavy security etc. Anything between Jan 1st 2009 until the most recent year/2020 YTD.
ANALYSIS: As one would expect, the majority of smuggled firearms intercepted by CBSA come from the United States for the past 6 years. No data is available prior to 2013 according to CBSA.
On Pages 3 to 14, firearm seizures are listed by Country of Origin in alphabetical order but many countries of origin are redacted under Section 16(1)(c) of the Access to Information Act:
The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Part that contains activities suspected of constituting threats to the security of Canada within the meaning of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act.
During the 6 years covered by this ATIP, CBSA seized:
- 178 Non-Restricted Firearms
- 419 Restricted Handguns (semi-automatic pistols and revolvers)
- 11 Restricted Rifles (semi-automatic carbines and rifles)
- 783 Prohibited Handguns
- 17 Prohibited Rifles and Shotguns
ATIP Response Page Breakdown
- Pages 15-18 break down the seizures by month and type of firearm seized.
- Pages 19-22 are titled Firearms Quantity Origin Canada.
- Pages 23-26 are titled Firearms Quantity Origin US Border States.
- Pages 27-41 are titled Firearms Quantity Origin US Interior States.
- Pages 42-46 are Quantities by Country of Origin
GUNTER: MORE CONCERNING REVELATIONS ABOUT THE LIBERALS’ LATEST GUN BANS
I shudder to think what gun owners in this country would have done without Dennis Young, the firearms researcher who has provided so much useful information on federal gun control efforts over the past 25 years. Working out of his home in Alberta, Young, a former Mountie and Parliament Hill staffer, has dug up more dirt on the Liberals’ sneaky efforts to restrict and outlaw guns than any team of researchers. By Lorne Gunter, Toronto Sun – Oct 17, 2020 READ THE REST: https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/gunter-more-concerning-revelations-about-the-liberals-latest-gun-bans
SEPTEMBER 29, 2020 – RCMP Access to Information Act 144-page response received October 8, 2020 – File: A-2019-06255
AUGUST 14, 2019 – Access to Information Act request filed with the RCMP https://dennisryoung.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/ATI-251-Firearms-Transfers-and-Licensing-Errors-August-14-2019.pdf
MAY 16, 2018 – CBC – AFTER MISTAKENLY LETTING PEOPLE BUY PROHIBITED GUNS, RCMP TELLS OWNERS TO GIVE THEM UP – Error allowed purchase of 114 prohibited handguns, went undetected for 12 years. The RCMP is trying to rectify an error that saw it give permission to to 1,356 people to purchase “prohibited” class handguns. By Evan Dyer · CBC News · Posted: May 16, 2018 https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/guns-rcmp-licence-prohibited-1.4664030
2018 RCMP FIREARMS COMMISSIONER’S REPORT 17,225 CFRO queries per day (Canadian Firearms Registry Online)
Fourteen years later the CFRO still cannot differentiate between direct and automatic checks.
RCMP response to Access to Information Act request A-2019-05230 – September 16, 2020
Freedom of Information response dated July 24, 2020 – Thanks to Mr. Lewis and THEGUNBLOG.CA for sharing this information with the firearms community.
- The number of incidents from January 1, 2010 to May 12, 2020 where restricted handguns have been collected and entered into the Halton Regional Police Service Records Management system. RESPONSE = 643
- The number of such incidents where it was established that the firearm was legally held; and the number of such incidents where it was established the firearm was illegally held. RESPONSE: Following consultation with the Police Analytics department it has been determined that data requested is not tracked and therefore no records exist.
RCMP ATIP Response 75 pages dated August 18, 2020 – Received by Dennis R. Young August 28, 2020
- The current total number of police personnel that have passed their firearms requalification proficiency and safety testing in accordance with government legislation, directives, policies and procedures. Forcewide data for pistol recertification is: 89.7% (as of April 9, 2019).
- The current total number of police personnel that have failed to pass their firearms requalification proficiency and safety testing is: 242 members or 1.3% (as of 2019/04/01).
- Number of Unintentional Discharges by Year, 2007-2018 = 146
- Number of Firearms Lost by Type, 2009-2018 = 6,247
- Number of Firearms Stolen by Type, 2009-2018 = 11,626 NOTE: All figures for Non-Restricted Firearms are for Public Agency recorded firearms only.
Canada Border Services Agency ATIP response received by William Gilliland dated August 12, 2020
- Annual number for firearms smuggling broken down by province/territories
- Method/mode of smuggling (vehicle, water, air, person, etc)
- Number of people charged/convicted or smuggling (with citizenship information if possible)
- Firearms smuggled broken down by type and country of origin