Stricter gun rules to thwart gang violence in factories, says federal security minister

Marco Mendicino met VPD chief Adam Palmer to curb ghost weapons and 3D technology in firearms use

Article content

Canada’s Minister of Public Security says stricter gun laws will be introduced to deal with the rise of straw purchases and “ghost weapons” ending up in the hands of mobsters.

Advertisement 2

Article content

Marco Mendicino told Postmedia on Wednesday that his government has already taken several measures to reduce gun violence, but more are in the works.

“It is part of my mandate to introduce new legislation that will specifically address these phenomena,” said Mendicino, who met with Vancouver Police Chief Adam Palmer on Tuesday. “We hope to introduce legislation in the very near future that will directly address the purchase of straw; that will directly address replicas that pose a particular risk to law enforcement. †

And he said the upcoming legislation would also “directly address the alarming rise in gender-based violence,” which has risen about 30 percent in recent years and often involves a firearm.

Advertisement 3

Article content

Buying straw has been a problem in BC lately. The process involves criminals recruiting people with a clean track record to obtain gun licenses, purchase firearms, and then forward them to mobsters. Ghost guns are unregistered firearms with no serial numbers that can be assembled from kits or made by 3D printers.

Mendicino said he discussed emerging trends in criminal firearms with the VPD chief this week.

“It was a very productive meeting with Chief Palmer, who is very experienced and a strong ally when it comes to fighting gun violence,” Mendicino said. “We talked about some of the emerging phenomena within the broader issue when it comes to gun violence, for example the advent of ghost weapons and 3D technology.”

Advertisement 4

Article content

Marco Mendicino told Postmedia on Wednesday that his government has already taken several measures to reduce gun violence, but more are in the works.
Marco Mendicino told Postmedia on Wednesday that his government has already taken several measures to reduce gun violence, but more are in the works. Photo by BLAIR GABLEREUTERS

Mendicino, a former federal prosecutor, recently visited FBI headquarters in Washington, DC and facilities in Quantico, Virginia, “to see how that technology works and how fast and relatively cheap it is.”

He said he shared with Palmer the federal government’s “three pillar” approach to tackling illegal firearms, including additional law enforcement support on the southern border, a buy-back program to get assault-type firearms off the streets, and additional resources to ship high-risk weapons. . young people away from gangs.

Vancouver Police Chief, Adam Palmer.
Vancouver Police Chief, Adam Palmer. Photo by Jason PaynePNG

Last month, his government announced a $250 million fund for building safer communities that would pay for programs across the country.

Mendicino said some of that money will be spent in BC

Advertisement 5

Article content

“We plan to work with communities across the country to create safer and more inclusive spaces for at-risk youth,” he said. “I look forward to making more announcements under that particular funding initiative so that we can prevent gun crime from occurring in the first place by addressing many of the root causes that lead at-risk individuals to make poor choices.”

BC has seen some charges in a number of gang and money laundering cases pending, prompting Attorney General David Eby to call on the federal government to introduce legislation that could better target high-level organized crime, similar to the US Racketeering Influence and Corruption Act.

Asked about whether Canada needs new RICO-style legislation, Mendicino said the existing Canadian law contains the necessary measures to tackle organized crime.

Advertisement 6

Article content

“The laws that are on the books are actually clear and unambiguous enough to eradicate crime – organized crime,” he said. “These are sophisticated prosecutions, there is no doubt about it. But the laws are there to clearly define what behavior is illegal and needs to be addressed.”

A more important issue, Mendicino said, is making sure prosecutions are not affected by delays in the justice system.

“I think the bigger challenges… are to make sure those cases get to court… and they don’t get stuck in the system because of backlogs or delays. And I think it’s absolutely right that we need to stay very focused on closing those backlogs.”

More news, less ads, faster loading time: Get unlimited, ad-lite access to The Vancouver Sun, The Province, National Post and 13 other Canadian news sites for just $14/month or $140/year. Sign up now through The Vancouver Sun of The Province.

Advertisement 1


Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively yet civilized discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their thoughts on our articles. It can take up to an hour for comments to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We’ve enabled email notifications – you’ll now receive an email when you get a reply to your comment, there’s an update to a comment thread you’re following, or a user follows comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Leave a Comment