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22. Was there a coroner's report that focussed on firearm storage?




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This article is from the can.talk.guns FAQ, by Skeeter Abell-Smith ab133@sfn.saskatoon.sk.ca with numerous contributions by others.

22. Was there a coroner's report that focussed on firearm storage?

Coroner Anne Marie David wrote the following in her report published the
13th of January, 1995 [translated from French]:

According to the majority of the interested parties, the Regulation "is
written in a hermetic legal language, far from being always
understandable by everyone". "... the different discussions show that
it can sometimes be difficult to put in practice and lends itself to
interpretation" (C-52, page 7). It contains gray areas and "navy blue"
(sic) areas (testimony of Mr. Banks). This is why, the interested
parties suggest that the wording of the Regulation be modified.

No argument was made against this suggestion. Far from it, the Federal
Department of Justice admitted to having been informed, by various
sources, of the difficulty in understanding the wording.

4) COMMUNITY STORAGE OF FIREARMS (pp.46 and 47)

Suggestion and arguments in favor

The Coalition for gun control (C-64), the Association
quebecoise de suicidologie (C-27), Mr. Bolea and Mrs. Derasp
suggest that locations be setup for community storage of
firearms. This form of storage would avoid that the weapons be
in the residences all year long while in fact, several are
utilized only for a very short period of time, such as the
hunting season.

Opposing argument

According to the Federation quebecoise de tir and the
Regroupement pour une gestion efficace de la possession d'armes
a feu "... the idea of community storage ... is ...
dangerous". For instance we can discuss the case of several
armorers and sports retail stores which were the target of
thefts and this on more than one occasion. We believe that
amassing a great number of firearms in the same location would
only serve to tempt forcible action by our criminal elite,
increasing de facto the number of illegal weapons in
circulation on the black market. This would be opposite of the
desired goal. Moreover, a community storage would have the
side-effect of increasing traffic in the immediate vicinity of
said weapons depot. The weapons owners would therefore become
easy prey for thieves who would only have to chose which bird
to fleece from the lot. Incidentally, a significant increase of
police officers would be also required in order to ensure the
safety of the surroundings.

Analysis

Remembering the weapons thefts which occurred in the warehouses of a
weapons import company in 1992 and 1993; keeping in mind the testimony
of Mr. Ct, owner of sports retail store, to the effect that,
notwithstanding the installation of a secure vault, his store still is
the subject of occasional attempts to steal weapons: I reject this
suggestion because it seems to me that it has a disadvantage
(possibility of theft of several weapons) which would annihilate the
advantage of the desired goal, said advantage being achievable by safe
storage at home.

INSPECTION OF THE PREMISES - Analysis
I have not exposed the arguments supporting this suggestion nor those
opposing it, this for a major reason, this suggestion clearly goes
against the Canadian and Provincial Charters of Rights. It would be, if
applied, a search without motive and without warrant.

Moreover, I cannot see how this suggestion could be justified, while it
is presently possible:

- to obtain a search warrant to seize the weapons of a person, if there
"are reasonable motives to believe that it is not in the interest of
this person or of other to let that person keep these weapons" (Criminal
Code, article 103(1)).

- for the same reasons, to seize these weapons without a warrant "when
the urgency of the situation, due to the risks for the safety of that
person or of another, makes the securing of a warrant impractical ..."
(Criminal Code, article 103(2)).

MANDATORY REGISTRATION OF UNRESTRICTED WEAPONS - Analysis
After examining the supporting arguments, I note the following:

- There is a main suggestion (the registration) and accessory suggestions
(modification of the rules of evidence, searches without motives and
warrants).

- The direct consequence of the main suggestion is to establish the count
of weapons and their owners, not safe storage and transportation of
weapons.

- The supporting "arguments" of the main suggestion are not arguments,
they are only a statement to the effect that the will be owners will
become responsible, if there is registration.

But:
- the interested parties brought no study or analysis allowing to
demonstrate that the desired goal (safe storage and transportation) will
be achieved by applying the main suggestion;

- failing to produce such a study, they have not produced any study or
analysis demonstrating that a similar or an identical method, already
applied to reach a similar or identical goal, has yielded the
anticipated results.

- It has been admitted that, registration would not achieve the desired
goal since it would be necessary to use, not the main suggestion, but
the accessory suggestion to achieve the desired goal, the safe storage
and transportation.

This is why, taking the following into account:

- the total absence of arguments which would demonstrate that the desired
goal will be achieved though the main suggestion;

- a suggestion (the registration) having for direct consequence the count
of firearms and of their owners, which is not the subject of the
inquiry; I reject said suggestion.

Having rendered this decision; I do not proceed with the analysis of the
opposing arguments and I reject the accessory suggestions, one of which
had been rejected earlier, the accessory having to follow the main.

The complete report is available in MicroSoft WORD format from:
[81]http://teapot.usask.ca/cdn-firearms/Misc/coroner.doc
[82]http://yoda.sscl.uwo.ca/~eric/cfa/Misc/coroner.doc
[83]ftp://teapot.usask.ca/pub/cdn-firearms/Misc/

 

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