Access to PAL’s on CPIC violates citizen’s privacy rights.
Supposedly, this is for public safety, but this is dangerously false.
It is standard policy for the police to check CPIC to see if anyone holds a PAL when they go out on a call. This is wrong headed. PAL holders are not more likely to be violent than other Canadians.
What’s the research?
According to Statistics Canada, PAL holders are actually less likely to commit murder than are other Canadians. I have so testified to Parliament — and to the Senate of Canada — based on my Special Requests to Statistics Canada.
But are the PAL holders who police encounter more likely to be violent? No. Next question?
The Police have never produced any pertinent statistics to support the claim that licensed gun owners pose a threat to police. In truth, they cannot.
To know if law-abiding firearms owners pose a risk to police, it is necessary to examine police killings specifically to discover the number of murderers who hold a firearms licence. Only in this way can it be determined just how often licensed gun owners have shot and killed law enforcement officers.
According to my analysis of another Special Request to Statistics Canada, PAL holders do not pose any greater threat to police than anyone else.
This article presents what I found when I submitted a Special Request to Statistics Canada asking that they examine the homicide statistics and report to me how many police officers were victims of firearm-related homicide between 1997 and 2013, and, how many accused held a valid firearm licence or FAC. (When I made this request, 2013 was the most recent year data were available).
Conclusions and recommendations
Instead of relying upon a flawed data base, older, wiser police officers know they should ALWAYS assume a gun could be at a residence. It’s dangerous to assume that no PAL means no gun. Unfortunately, younger officers believe what they’ve been told. This could get officers killed.
It’s time to get PAL’s off CPIC. Not only does this policy put PAL holders at risk, undermine public support for the police, but it puts officers at greater risk.