RCMP CFP Evaluation – Part 6.2

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Back to the grindstone…

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My critique of the RCMP’s “Canadian Firearms Program Evaluation, Final Approved Report, February 2010”

Follow along at:

http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/pd-dp/eval/index-eng.htm

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Recommendation 6:

That the enhanced screening process continues as it is a useful tool for Firearm Investigators in developing their investigations to determine whether the restricted and prohibited firearm license applicants should be allowed to possess firearms. This process could be further utilized for the non-restricted license applicants on a random basis to ensure that these standards are maintained to a high standard.

But to screen ALL long-gun applicants would be too costly, wouldn’t it?  This puts the lie to the anti-gun extremist’s cries of “if it saves only one life!” and the whole “public safety” nonsense, now doesn’t it?

And what about all of those people who don’t own guns?  Do they just get a free pass, to wander around loose – even though they may actually present a danger to themselves or others?

In the screening process to obtain a firearms license, a couple of simple ‘Yes or No’ questions are asked to inquire after the mental and emotional health of the applicant. The purpose of these questions is to deny a license to applicants who may be at a high risk of misusing a firearm to the detriment of public safety, as well as the personal safety of the applicant. These screening questions are deemed necessary as across Canada, almost three-quarters of firearm deaths are attributable to suicide. However, this raises the issue of continuous eligibility and license screening, as an individual’s mental health can deteriorate from the time that they were initially granted a firearms license, thereby becoming a potential risk, over time, to personal and / or public safety.

But I thought that “continuous screening” was the be-all and the end-all when it comes to catching people who are a danger to others or themselves!  Actual licensing should almost be perfunctory in nature.

Are there any studies that show that gun owners pose a greater risk than the general public to cause harm to themselves or others?  What about the 80% of other people who kill themselves through means other than guns?  Don’t their lives matter?  What about the 66% of people who use something other than guns to kill others?

Indeed, why not “continuously screen” ALL Canadians – after all, if it saves only one life…

This is another reason for considering continuation of the license renewal process. There are differing opinions on the need for a license renewal process, be it every five (5) years or a lifetime[29]. Some would argue that with the ‘continuous eligibility’ process in place, concerns of criminal activity are adequately covered. However it has been noted by CFP personnel that by not renewing licences you lose an opportunity to review (potentially) significant changes in a persons life, which could put them at greater risk to themselves or others (i.e. job loss, depression, mental health, changes in marital status and domestic issues etc.)

Is there some kind of proof that these “significant changes” actually relate to murders or suicides?  How many people go through such changes without killing someone or themselves (or both?)  And how many of those who do use some other means than guns to effect their intentions?  We know that knives and blunt objects account for 66% of most murders –  and people employ means other than guns 80% of the time to commit suicide.

Again, it seems to be a case of trying to fix something that isn’t broken…and blaming guns and gun owners for it.

Of course, they could simply just pass a law to require gun owners to report such life changes to the State, when and as they happen – public safety is a priority, after all!

[29] Kelly Sears. “Review of Firearms Licensing Renewal”, 2009. Report submitted to the CFP(1). The vast majority of interviewees from the CFP supported the five year renewal process, a few supported a ten year renewal, and none supported the lifetime license option.(2)

As well, it was shown through a comparative analysis that the five year license renewal is similar to the UK and Australia; New Zealand formerly permitted lifetime licensing but that has since changed to 10 year license renewal.(3)

(1) From the RCMP website:

http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/pubs/fire-feu-eval/respon-eng.htm

The Review of Firearms Licensing Renewal Report prepared by Kelly Sears Consulting Group (March 31, 2009) is an RCMP CFP sponsored report that recommends continuation of the current 5 year licensing regime. It also demonstrates that the CFP is on side with its international counterparts in the United Kingdom and Australia.

(2) So, an RCMP/CFP sponsored survey of CFP employees shows what they want it to show – more regulation and intrusion, rather than less…

Of course, this report doesn’t seem to be available online.

(3)Yeah, so?  What’s your point?  I never could understand the mentality behind this particular argument – I stopped using it when I was 10.   This is the “everybody else is doing it” argument.  Well, if everyone else was jumping off a bridge, would you do that, too?

I just found some additional information on these “Recommendations” at the RCMP’s website, “Program Management Action Plan” http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/pubs/fire-feu-eval/respon-eng.htm

  • Management Supports Recommendation (Yes or No)

Management supports the first part of the recommendation and will consider expansion of enhanced screening process upon further research.

  • Current Status

The CFP’s Central Processing Site (CPS) current process includes interviews with applicants and references of clients requesting Restricted and Prohibited license privileges (Possession Acquisition Licenses and New Possession Only Licenses) for all provinces except Quebec, as they have taken ownership of this activity for their province.

Applicants requesting non-restricted licence privileges are not part of the Enhanced Screening mandate at this time.

  • Responsible

Central Processing Site (CPS)

  • Planned Action
    • The CFP will explore the benefits and required resources of implementing a similar process for the applicants for non-restricted firearm privileges and seek the subsequent approval through RCMP channels.

Diary Date: April 30, 2010

Since the “Diary Date” on this is April 30, one wonders just what, exactly, the Nabobs at the RCMP actually decided about this…

And don’t forget – this whole “survey” was conducted by the RCMP’s National Program Evaluation Service (NPES), and those “surveyed” were mostly Government/RCMP bureaucrats.  So, a bunch of anti-gun evaluators survey a bunch of anti-gun bureaucrats, and the anti-gun RCMP management falls all over itself to agree with the findings – qu’elle surprise!




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