The police are increasingly cracking down on life-long, law-abiding people who let their PAL lapse. The RCMP says this is justified because “the majority of gun related crimes in our communities are committed with guns that are domestically sourced.” The RCMP implies that “domestically sourced” means PAL holders. This is false.
The police have concocted this false claim out of whole cloth. Available evidence shows that most guns used in violent crime are smuggled. It has long been known that Canadian gang bangers get their firearms — particularly handguns — from American criminals in exchange for illegal drugs.
The term “domestically sourced” is deceptively vague. Because the police ignore the difference between law-abiding firearms owners and criminals, the police use this term to imply that Canadian criminals get their firearms by stealing them from law-abiding licensed owners. This is false.
PAL holders are a community resource; they do not pose a threat to public safety.
The vast majority of “crime guns” have never been in the system. Handguns used in violent crime have either been smuggled or never registered. Almost all long guns used in violent crime had never been in the system: few were ever held by law-abiding individuals.
The term “domestically sourced” covers up another important but lesser known domestic source of “crime guns:” the hundreds of guns “lost or stolen” from the police or military.
Using the term “domestically sourced” justifies the Police crackdown on lapsed PAL holders. Oh. It also lets them escape having to admit that few “crime guns” have been stolen from law-abiding owners.
According to Statistics Canada, exceptionally few “crime guns” have ever been registered, nor have their owners ever had a firearm licence. In 2012, even at the height of the long-gun registry, fewer than 5% of firearms used in homicide had ever been registered, and just 2% of accused murderers have a PAL or POL.
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