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November 23, 2020 – Increased supports needed to address gun violence and illegal firearms in Canada

Ottawa, ON — The National Police Federation today released its inaugural position statement on the current state of gun violence in Canada, which supports a fact-based approach to protecting and advancing public safety and gun violence prevention.

Canada prides itself as a non-violent, safe and inclusive country. Yet illegal guns and shootings are on the rise, as is the annual rate of increase of gun violence, resulting in tragic loss of life and injuries to innocent Canadians.

Although we share a border with the world’s largest manufacturer of small arms, 2,242 illegal guns used in crimes here in Canada last year were traced back to manufacturers in the United States. In fact, three of the four firearms used in the tragic mass shooting in Portapique, Nova Scotia, in April 2020, were obtained illegally in the United States.

“The NPF takes this issue very seriously because, as police officers, we routinely see first-hand how illegal weapons are directly linked to increased gun violence and, sadly, death,” said Brian Sauvé, President, National Police Federation. “Our recommendations call for a combination of better legislation, better funding, and evidence-based solutions that we believe are necessary to curtailing the proliferation of illegal guns in Canada.”

Statistics Canada data reveals that Canada reported 678 homicides in 2019, and that 261 (38 per cent) of them were gun-related fatal shootings. Of those 261 homicides, over 60 per cent were committed with a handgun, as opposed to a rifle. Furthermore, homicides, including shootings, have been gradually increasing in Canada, and homicides linked to organized crime or gangs, in particular, have risen by 10 per cent since 2015. The firearms being used the majority of these instances are either already prohibited or restricted in Canada, illustrating the issue of the complexity of illegal firearms usage.

NPF’s Call to Action

  • NPF calls for legislation that effectively addresses crime reduction, gang diversion, safe communities, secure borders, Canadian enforcement agency integration, and cross-border safety of the public and all police officers.
  • NPF calls for funding to the RCMP Border Integrity Program, to enable dedicated proactive RCMP investigative weapons enforcement activity and the dismantling of gang and organized crime firearms smuggling.
  • NPF calls for funding that enables law enforcement to properly address crime prevention rather than the ongoing monitoring of unrelated restrictions on licensed and regulated firearms owners.
  • NPF supports evidence-based policy changes regarding licensing, mandatory safety training, safe storage, and a registry of civilian firearms that live up to Canada’s high standard for legal firearm ownership.

Infographic: Gun Violence and Public Safety in Canada

About the National Police Federation:

The National Police Federation (NPF) was certified to represent ~20,000 RCMP front-line Members serving across Canada and internationally in the summer of 2019, and its elected national Board of Directors confirmed in early 2020. The NPF is the largest police labour relations organization in Canada; the second largest in North America and is the first independent national association to represent RCMP members.

The NPF is focused on improving public safety in Canada by negotiating the first-ever Collective Agreement for RCMP officers, and on increasing resources, equipment, training and other supports for our Members who have been under-funded for far too long. Better resourcing and supports for the RCMP will enhance community safety and livability in the communities we serve, large and small, across Canada.

For more information:  https://npf-fpn.com/

Media contact:
Fabrice de Dongo
Manager, Media Relations
National Police Federation
fdedongo@npf-fpn.com
T:  647-274-7118

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