On November 11th, 2019, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Police Minister Stuart Nash announced they would introduce legislation to create Firearm Prohibition Orders (FPOs).[i]
Their rationale? Firearm Prohibition Orders will prevent criminals from possessing firearms after they’ve been prohibited from doing so by the courts.
“FPOs are aimed at those who have already shown a disregard for the law through prior offending, which may include offending with firearms. They could be a gang member, or part of an extremist ideological group, or a person with a history of family harm,” said Minister Nash.
Nash even admitted the uselessness of FPOs while stating his rationale for them.
“…already shown a disregard for the law through … offending with firearms.”
Not only won’t FPOs stop criminals from getting guns, FPOs can’t stop them from getting guns either.
New Zealand should stop wasting their time and money, and learn from Canada’s experience.
We have ample evidence that firearm prohibition orders can’t stop criminals from obtaining guns. Unfortunately, police agencies, government officials and politicians all ignore the facts.
The only possible value of a firearm prohibition order may be in giving police additional charges to file against criminals when they are caught in future. And they will be caught again, as a simple 10-second Google search proves.
Here is a small sampling of repeat offenders being charged with illegal possession of firearms after they already had a Firearm Prohibition Order against them.
November 1, 2019 – Aljbion NasufiI is arrested and charged with breach of probation, possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000, possession of a firearm knowing possession is unauthorized, careless storage of a firearm, careless storage of ammunition, possession of a firearm contrary to his firearm prohibition order.[ii]
November 3, 2019 – Drug dealers Christopher Derrett, Daniel Knight and Timothy Hazlewood are all arrested and charged with illegally possessing guns in violation of their firearm prohibition orders.[iii]
November 7, 2019 – Dave McCallum and Jaska Venasse are arrested and charged with violating their firearm prohibition orders, among many other charges.[iv]
November 9, 2019 – An unnamed man is arrested and charged with violating his firearm prohibition order.[v]
November 15, 2019 – Police announce the results of Project Broadsword that culminated with drug dealer Tarique Williams being charged with illegal possession of a firearm. Another 17 people were charged with a variety of drug and weapons offences.[vi]
November 15, 2019 – In Winnipeg, drug dealers Stuart James Asham, Sage Madison Durupt and David Cameron Gray are all charged with violating their respective firearm prohibition orders.[vii]
November 19, 2019 – An unnamed man is arrested and charged with violating his firearm prohibition order. [viii]
November 23, 2019 – Police announce a host of charges against a long list of criminals including an unnamed 24-year-old Saskatoon man charged with possession of a firearm contrary to his firearm prohibition order.[ix]
In addition to those listed above, Google showed another two dozen news reports of criminals being arrested for violating their firearm prohibition orders in November alone.
But the most egregious example was the video of Ali Nassir Showbeg pulling a gun from his pants while in the back of a police cruiser with his hands cuffed behind his back, much to the embarrassment of the Toronto Police.[x]
The 2006 lifetime firearm prohibition order against Ali Nassir Showbeg for attempting to murder someone didn’t stop Showbeg from getting another illegal gun. And he didn’t seem particularly concerned about being caught this time, either.
How does this happen?
Canadian police agencies do not track violent criminals.
Nor do they check up on the 300,000 people who are prohibited from possessing firearms by court order.
Instead, our government tracks and runs daily background checks on federally-licensed, RCMP-vetted firearm owners – those Canadians least likely to commit a crime.
Yet willfully ignorant people wonder why our gun laws fail to stop career criminals from getting their paws on guns.
Here at the CSSA, we don’t wonder at all. We know why criminals keep getting illegal guns and then use them to shoot up our cities and kill innocent people.
Because nobody tracks violent criminals with firearm prohibition orders against them.
Because the Canadian Firearms Program focuses entirely on the law-abiding.
Because the system’s focus is misplaced (to be kind) and utterly moronic.
It’s impossible to end violent crime by ignoring those who perpetrate it.
What we at the CSSA fail to understand is why so many supposedly intelligent people insist it can.
So New Zealand… if your goal is to do as Canada does and make it possible to file more charges against violent criminals and drug dealers – fill your boots.
But don’t believe for a second that a Firearm Prohibition Order will stop a single criminal from getting a gun.
A piece of paper will never stop a criminal from doing anything, as all the Canadian news reports from November 2019 alone prove beyond a shadow of a doubt.