Preventive options under the Criminal Code

In light of the early morning terrorist attack in Florida on June 12th, where it appears law enforcement agencies had some information regarding the killer’s support for IS, it is important to be aware of the Canadian preventive measures that could have been used if the subject was in Canada.

In essence, there are two preventive actions authorized under Canada's Criminal Code, the details of which are listed below:

The first is for police to seek a judicial order, that can include firearms seizure, electronic monitoring etc… if there are reasonable grounds to believe a terrorist act may be carried out. Breaching the conditions of such an order is itself a criminal offence punishable with up to four years imprisonment. [s.83.3 and s. 810.011]

The second is for the police to seek a judicial order to seize and prohibit possession of firearms if there are reasonable grounds to believe it is contrary to the safety of any person that the subject be allowed to possess firearms. [s.111 and s. 117.04].  The Code also authorizes police to seize such firearms, without prior court order, where it would not be ‘practicable’ to obtain such an order. [s. 117.04(2)]

These are important preventive and proactive tools which Canada has in place to help prevent such horrific incidents as has just occurred in Florida.