“Gangs destroy lives, but we will not let them destroy communities,” said Poto Williams, New Zealand’s Minister of Police in a written press release.
“Already this year we have passed the Firearms Prohibition Orders Bill which is the latest in a suite of changes being made to strengthen our firearms laws,” said Williams.[i]
Minister Williams’ announcement sounds great – until you learn New Zealand’s Firearms Prohibition Orders Bill did not become law. It only passed First Reading.[ii]
As unimpressive as that virtue-signalling announcement is, Williams’ press release is light-years ahead of anything Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is doing to stop violent criminals from obtaining illegal guns here in Canada.
This Liberal government continues to ignore Canada’s broken Firearm Prohibition Order (FPO) system in the hopes nobody will notice that violent repeat offenders with FPOs are released all the time – only to be re-arrested with illegal guns in their hands a short time later.
In February 2022, news outlets reported 60 repeat offenders were charged with 136 counts of violating an existing Firearm Prohibition Order.[iii]
As of March 15th, news outlets report 35 repeat offenders were charged with 112 counts of violating an existing Firearm Prohibition Order.[iv]
These numbers may sound small, but Statistics Canada data shows only about half of the criminals arrested and convicted of violating their firearm prohibition orders ever make the news.[v]
Now in his seventh year in office, Prime Minister Trudeau still hasn’t lifted a finger to address this serious public safety issue.
This is deeply disturbing, as the current public safety minister is a former federal prosecutor and his predecessor was Toronto’s chief of police.
These are two men who should, given their experience, take seriously the issue of repeat violent offenders being let out of jail so they can re-offend.
But they don’t.
For example, on March 11th, 24-year-old Francis Laffier was arrested with two other alleged drug dealers, and charged with:
- Possession of firearm or weapon contrary to Prohibition Order
- Unauthorized possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm
- Possession of weapon for dangerous purpose
- Careless storage of firearm, weapon, prohibited device or ammunition
- Possession of a Schedule I substance for the purpose of trafficking-cocaine
- Possession of a Schedule I substance for the purpose of trafficking-opioid
While New Zealand’s politicians are not shining lights on the Firearm Prohibition Order issue, they burn far brighter than Trudeau and the other dim bulbs in his cabinet.
They would have you believe alleged drug dealers like Francis Laffier – who breach their Firearm Prohibition Orders with wild abandon – are less of a threat to public safety than some noisy Ottawa protesters.