A Deep Dive into Canada’s Flawed FPO System
Some of us are old enough to remember a time when journalists fought hard to report the truth and let the reader decide where they stood on an issue.
Today, what passes for journalism is parroting government talking points instead of digging for and demanding the truth from our political class.
Bill C-21 is a fantastic current example.
Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino says he’s “getting tough on crime” and most media outlets blindly accept the Minister’s opinion as if it were fact etched in stone.
They don’t examine the legislation to separate ministerial spin from what’s on the page.
Getting “tough on crime” in Mendicino’s world means raising the maximum sentence for gun smuggling from 10 to 14 years.
Sounds fantastic, until you uncover the fact that since 2015 – the year Trudeau’s Liberal government came to power – not a single gun smuggler anywhere in Canada received the current 10-year maximum sentence.
Raising it to 14 years is window dressing for the ignorant and uninformed – and our media outlets dutifully play along.
Since January 1, 2023, news outlets report that 396 repeat offenders, all arrested for committing serious crimes, were also charged with 849 counts of breaching firearm prohibition orders (FPO).[i]
Imagine if Minister Mendicino chose to get serous about stopping violent crime in our cities. His first order of business would be to overhaul our firearms prohibition order system.
Yet Marco Mendicino refuses to lift a finger to fix Canada’s broken FPO System to end this deadly public safety crisis.
“Weapons prohibition orders don’t seem to be doing the trick,” wrote Jane Stevenson.[ii]
“Peel Regional Police have charged two men – one bound by an existing order – and three women with 16 firearm-related and other offences collectively after a traffic stop in Brampton.”
And Stevenson commented on one of the least egregious cases.
On July 28, 2020, Darnell Reid violated four existing firearm prohibition orders to obtain the illegal gun he allegedly used to shoot 25-year-old Darian Hailey Henderson-Bellman five times in her chest.[iii]
“The sadness I feel for the victim and her family,” said Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Diraiappah, “is mixed with frustration for a complete failure of our justice system to protect her.”
Canada’s firearms prohibition order systems remain as broken today as it was the day Darian Henderson-Bellman was murdered.
A few recent cases highlight this Liberal government’s ongoing failure to meaningfully protect Canadians from violent, repeat offenders.
Robert Gouliquer, a longtime drug dealer and repeat offender, is routinely arrested for dealing illicit drugs and violating weapons bans, only to be released so he can offend again.
- May 11, 2020: Arrested and charged for violating an existing firearms prohibition order.[iv]
- March 9, 2022: Arrested and charged with 3 counts of violating an existing firearms prohibition order.[v]
- January 4, 2023: Arrested and charged for violating an existing firearms prohibition order.[vi]
On Jan 26, 2023, Alberta’s ALERT team recovered two crossbows, six rifles, three shotguns and ammunition from a suspect who was “bound by two firearms prohibitions, including a lifetime ban on possession of a firearm, crossbow, restricted weapons, ammunition or explosive substances.”[vii]
No, weapons prohibition orders don’t seem to be doing the trick.
On April 28, 2023, Brantford Police Service members arrested two individuals and seized $5,200 worth of hydromorphone and fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking, as well as ammunition and replica firearms.
One of the accused, David Hamilton, was in violation of six firearm prohibition orders.[viii]
Those weapons prohibition orders really aren’t working.
On May 4, 2023, Peel Regional Police arrested five suspects during an armed robbery attempt in Brampton.[ix]
Kurt Downer was bound by five weapons prohibition orders stemming from previous convictions for firearms and drug-related offences.
Darnyl Campbell was bound by a judicial release order stemming from previous charges of Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence, Break and Enter X 8 and Possession of Stolen Property.
Jamiel Smith was bound by a judicial release order stemming from previous firearms and weapons related offences.
Kudzai Nyembe Mafohla was bound by a weapons prohibition order stemming from a previous criminal code conviction.
Keenan Watson was bound by three weapons prohibition orders stemming from previous convictions for firearms and drug related offences.
“The multiple firearms and evidence seized are significant and posed a serious threat to communities throughout the GTA,” said Inspector Sean Brennan.
Nope, those weapons prohibition orders really don’t seem to be doing the trick.
Statistics Canada data shows a steadily rising pattern
In 2015, the year Justin Trudeau’s Liberals formed government, 982 people were convicted for violating existing firearms prohibition orders.
By 2021, that number almost doubled, to 1,796.
The evidence is clear.
This Liberal government is failing Canadians.
This Liberal government is failing to protect public safety.
But you won’t hear that from most media outlets.
And you definitely won’t hear it from those you would expect to scream the loudest about this public safety disaster, PolySeSouvient and other groups supposedly dedicated to keeping women safe from domestic violence.
They remain shockingly silent on the subject of firearms prohibition order reform to protect women.
Instead, they attack federally licensed, RCMP-vetted firearm owners and ignore the women whose safety they claim to champion.