Gun Violence, Hate Crimes

Gun-related and/or hate-related killings or concerns

Gun control initiative developing

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said today that the government is working with the Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association on how to compensate retailers whose inventories include an estimated 11,000 prohibited weapons. Part of the government’s broader buy-back agenda, the $700,000 contract with the association is designed to ensure retailers “are informed of their options and receive their full compensation.” [node:read-more:link]

Parliament back with busy agenda

With the House of Commons and Senate back today from their winter hiatus, two weeks-long spring sessions before summer have a packed agenda for MPs, including discussion of precedence for 25 government bills. They include a pending budget approval bill as well as Bill C-21, which would amend several statutes to improve firearms controls. [node:read-more:link]

Cross-border gun trafficking

Forty-two persons face a total of 442 criminal charges in connection with a year-long investigation into cross-border gun trafficking, the Toronto Police Service announced April 11. The joint investigation which involved, among others, the Canada Border Services Agency and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, also resulted in the seizure of 173 firearms. [node:read-more:link]

PM contemplates RCMP overhaul

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s initial response to the March 30 report from an inquiry into the mass shooting of 22 persons in nova Scotia three years is that the government wants to “properly digest and understand” a recommended overhaul of the RCMP. “There's no question there need to be changes, and there will be, but we will take the time to get those right.” [node:read-more:link]

RCMP slammed in shooting inquiry

A commission of inquiry into the killing of 22 Nova Scotians three years ago said today that the RCMP failed on several fronts in how it handled Canada’s worst mass shooting. In its more than 3,000-pge report, the commission said the RCMP had ignored “red flags” long before the shooting, dismissed witnesses’ evidence and failed to warn the public. Among other things, it suggests the RCMP replace its 26-week training regimen with a three-year degree program. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. gun violence continues

The March 27 killing of three students and three staff by a former student at a Tennessee elementary school continues a pattern dating back for years, according to the Washington-based Gun Violence Archive. It brought to more than 130 the number of such incidents, defined as having four ore more victims killed or wounded, so far this year. The non-profit organization says that in each of the last three years, there has been an average of nearly two shootings a day. [node:read-more:link]

Edmonton police officers shot

Two Edmonton Police Service officers were killed today when responding to a domestic violence call. A male suspect is reported to have committed suicide and a related female is listed in stable condition but with life-threatening injuries. [node:read-more:link]

Mountie killer’s sentence reduced

A New Brunswick Court of Appeal tribunal said today that it was “duty bound” to shorten the parole eligibility of Justin Bourque, who killed three RCMP officers in 2014. Citing a 2022 Supreme Court of Canada ruling which struck down a 2011 law as unconstitutional, it cut his eligibility period to 25 years from the 75 imposed by the trial judge. [node:read-more:link]

Myanmar junta’s divisive politics

Civilians deemed “loyal to the state” are being permitted by Myanmar’s ruling junta to apply for licences to carry weapons. The move comes two years after a military coup plunged the country into what’s effectively a civil war with ongoing public protests and harsh government responses. [node:read-more:link]

Government backs off on gun bill

Citing “legitimate concerns” about the need for more consultations, the federal government today withdrew a much-criticized amendment to draft firearms controls in Bill C-21. Introduced late last year, the technically-detailed amendment would have effictively outlawed some long guns routinely used for sports shooting. [node:read-more:link]

On-line political threats worrisome

Heavily-redacted reports released by the federal government in response to an Access to Information request show a disturbing trend of “violent rhetoric and intimidation tactics” in on-line threats to federal politicians. Targets included government opposition Members of Parliament and a far-right social network said some should be executed for treason. [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa open to some bail reform

The federal government is considering legislative changes to deal with repeat violent offenders but Justice Minister David Lametti said February 2 that there are no easy solutions. He hopes to meet with his provincial and territorial counterparts after all premiers asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to make bail less accessible in cases involving possession of loaded, prohibited or restricted firearms [node:read-more:link]

Renewed violence against Israel

A gunman killed at least seven people and wounded 10 others today in an attack on a synagogue on the outskirts of Jerusalem, a day after a deadly Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank. Police, who described the dead shooter as a Palestinian, called it a “terrorist incident” but a Hamas spokesman said it was “a natural response to the occupation criminal actions.” [node:read-more:link]

Mandatory minimum sentences upheld

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled today that mandatory minimum sentences for convicted criminals who use firearms are constitutionally valid. In handing out its decision, the court was ruling on separate appeals (Docket Nos. 38438 and 39338) by two Alberta men sentenced for armed robbery. [node:read-more:link]

More U.S. mass shootings

The deaths of eight persons in a California mass-killing January 23 was the state’s third in eight days. Six persons died January 16 in a suspected gang-link shooting at a home and then on January 20, 11 died on a shooting at a dance club. The deaths boosted the U.S. total for the year so far to 39, eliciting what has become a predictable call for tighter firearms controls. [node:read-more:link]


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