To starkly illustrate the difference between the US and Canada in respect of gun control and the use of a firearm for self-defence this comparison may be instructive.
According to the US Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. __, 128 S. Ct. 2783, 171 L. Ed. 2d 637 (2008) the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is therefore unconstitutional.http://www.lawnix.co.../dc-heller.html
In Canada this letter from the Office of the Chief Firearms Officer of BC imposing further restrictions on license of the owner of a restricted weapon (a 9mm Beretta Model 92FS semi-automatic) after the owner misused the firearm is instructive. Here is the actual letter.http://www.votecap.c...dRCMPletter.pdf
Canadian Firearms Program Programme Canadien des armes a feu
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Gendarmerie royale du Canada
Chief Firearms Officer for British Columbia
c/o West Shore RCMP Detachment
698 Atkins Avenue
Christopher R. Porter
4461 Arsens Place
May 17, 2011
RE: Firearms Licence # 12351461 — Licence Condition for alternate storage
On April 11, 2011 I was contacted by the Saanich Police Department regarding an incident that occurred on March 26, 2011 involving you. The police were concerned about your handgun access. The background is as follows: On March 26, 2011 you called 911 as you awoke to noise on your roof and your dog barking. You believed that someone was breaking into your home. While on the phone with 911 you said you possessed a 9mm handgun. You were contacted by Sergeant Stephens of the Saanich Police prior to the police attending your home, in order to confirm the location of the handgun. Sgt. Stephens learned from you that you had retrieved the handgun and were "going out to deal with it" and that "I will use the gun to protect myself and my family". Sgt. Stephens spoke with you for approximately 5-10 minutes directing you to put your handgun back in a locked case before police attended your home. You were initially resistive, but complied in the end. Police halted their attendance blocks away until you put your handgun away. When they did attend, they arrested an intoxicated University of Victoria student in a nearby yard.
As police were concerned about your access and stated use of your handgun in this situation, after receiving the above report I began my own review into the incident as it related to your firearms licence, and permitted purpose for possessing a restricted handgun. In this respect, I also interviewed you at our office on April 20, 2011. The following outlines my review:
By way of background, you completed the Canadian Firearms Safety Course and the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course on February 14, 2009. You submitted an application for a Possession and Acquisition firearms licence, received by the Canadian Firearms Program on April 9, 2009. On May 25, 2009 Possession and Acquisition 12351461 was issued to you; expiring on September 27, 2014. This licence authorizes you to possess and acquire non¬restricted firearms and restricted firearms.
On December 19, 2009 you purchased a 9mm Beretta Model 92FS semi-automatic handgun, serial number M52670Z. When the transfer from the seller was initiated, the Chief Firearms Office for British Columbia confirmed with you the purpose for your possession of this handgun as target practice or target shooting, and that you were a member in good standing at the Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association. Registration certificate 13939834 was issued for the handgun. Confirmation of a permitted purpose by the Chief Firearms Officer is required by section 28 of the Firearms Act.
Your career background, pursuant to articles I found on-line, related to your time in the Solomon Islands and the purchase and sale of dolphins throughout the world from 2001 until 2010. A number of news reports and documentaries were produced that generated negative publicity for you, specifically the Daley Planet production entitled "Blood Dolphin".
At some point in 2010 the Vice President of Ocean Embassy, who was a former business associate of yours, forwarded information to the FBI that a threat had been posted on their web site that related to you and your family. The content of this threat indicated that a "contract" had been placed on you and members of your family. This information was subsequently passed on to Canadian law enforcement authorities and to the Saanich Police.
On November 16, 2010 Detective Constable Eassie of the Saanich Police attended your home and advised you about the threat. During Detective Eassie's visit, you spoke about your children and your plans to keep your family safe. You told him you were properly licenced, and had a registered handgun that you kept in your residence.
During our interview, you indicated that you did not have a security system, and did not employ any security personnel. However, the police have flagged your home in the police databases that there were threats to you and your family and that all calls for assistance be treated as the highest priority. This "red flag" system was in effect the night of March 26 and your 911 call resulted in all police units being dispatched to your location immediately. I was advised by both Sgt. Stephens and Detective Eassie that this additional protection is quite out of the ordinary and provides you with the highest level of emergency service.
We spoke about the night of March 26. You said you heard thumping noises on your roof and believed someone was breaking in. You called police and while on the phone, you retrieved your 9mm Beretta Model 92FS semi-automatic handgun. You also retrieved a cartridge magazine, full of live ammunition, and loaded your handgun. While on the phone with the 911 dispatcher, you said you had your handgun out. The dispatcher then transferred the call to Sgt. Stephens.
While on the phone with Sgt. Stephens, you told him you had retrieved the handgun and were "going out to deal with it" and "I will use the gun to protect myself and my family". Sgt. Stephens talked to you for approximately 5-10 minutes, directing you to put the gun away in a locked case before police arrived. Responding officers were told to stop and hold back a couple of blocks away until the risk of you with a firearm was resolved. You were initially resistive, but complied in the end. On police arrived they found an intoxicated University of Victoria student in a yard nearby. The student was temporarily detained for investigation, and later released to the care and custody of a friend.
You stated that you felt that the use of your handgun was acceptable for the March 26th situation; that having the handgun out was not a level of force. I advised you that your intention to use your handgun for protection was not a lawful purpose. To avoid the risk of an accidental shooting or an intentional shooting (of an intoxicated student or otherwise), I advised you that I would be adding a condition to your firearms licence which would not allow you to store your handgun at home, but that it must be stored at the range associated with the Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association.
I confirmed with the club in advance that it allows its members to store their firearms at the range. 1 should note that I spoke with both Sgt. Stephens and Detective Eassie regarding
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alternate storage and they were in complete agreement, having initially suggested that your licence should be revoked outright. You should not underestimate how seriously the police or I regard you taking out your handgun on March 26th with respect to your own safety, public safety and officer safety.
I had prepared a letter outlining the conditions for you in anticipation that you would understand this alternate storage arrangement. During the interview on April 20, you did not agree to the condition. You did ask me for a copy of the letter, which I gave you as a courtesy.
Section 58 of the Firearms Act states: Conditions
58. (1) A chief firearms officer who issues a licence, an authorization to carry or an authorization to transport may attach any reasonable condition to it that the chief firearms officer considers desirable in the particular circumstances and in the interests of the safety of the holder or any other person.
I consider that alternate storage is a reasonable condition in these particular circumstances at this time. This condition can be revisited should circumstances change. As discussed with you during the interview, the following special condition is hereby added to your firearms licence:
You must not store firearms at your residence. You must store firearms at the Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association range facility, located at 700 Holker Place, Victoria, BC V8W 2M1.
This condition will be effective immediately, but you will have until close of business on Friday, June 3, 2011 to make arrangements and move your handgun to the range for storage. Please call me directly so I can issue you an Authorization to Transport to move the handgun from your home to the range; my phone # is listed below. Your existing Authorization to Transport 02000535783 which expires in tandem with your licence will also be changed to reflect the alternate storage condition.
Should you decide not to abide by this condition and keep your handgun at your residence (or any future firearms you acquire), this does give me grounds to revoke your firearms licence, and section 93 of the Criminal Code makes it an offence to possess a firearm at an unauthorized place.
If you have any questions, please contact me at 250-474-6202 or toll free at 1-800-731-4000 ext. 9524.
Jim Millington Firearms Officer
A completely different attitude and gun control regime in Canada