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When Dudley Do-Right isn’t foiling Snidely Whiplash or snatching poor Nell of the tracks just in the nick of time, he’s issuing permits to everyday Canadians who want to purchase firearms. The RCMP is responsible for permitting and registering non-prohibited, restricted and prohibited class firearms in the Great White North. But the Mounties made a boo-boo . . .

The RCMP mistakenly issued licenses to 1,356 people granting them authority to purchase “prohibited” class handguns — and then didn’t notice the error for 12 years.

“Prohibited” weapons aren’t necessarily illegal under our northern suburb’s gun control system.

Canadian law seeks to ban the possession of small and easy-to-conceal handguns: snub-nosed revolvers and short automatics with barrels under 105mm, and all guns chambered for .25 and .32 calibre ammunition. (Those calibres were banned because they were considered typical of the kind of cheap, mass-produced, ‘Saturday Night Special’ handguns more suited to late-night mayhem than an afternoon at the shooting range.)

But anyone who possessed such a handgun prior to 1998 was allowed to apply to be grandfathered under the law. Those gun owners were issued what are called 12(6) prohibited licenses. Such licences allow them to not only keep the handguns they already own, but also to own, buy or sell new ones in the same category.

The screw-up happened when the Mounties were permitting people who would inherit these “prohibited” guns.

All of the people affected by the RCMP’s licensing error, on the other hand, held a category of license called 12(7), which is intended to allow family members to inherit older weapons such as service pistols, wartime captures and battlefield relics.

Those who inherited the guns couldn’t buy new prohibited weapons, unlike those originally grandfathered in. But almost 1400 of them got the earlier type of permit which did allow them to buy “prohibited” firearms. Confusing enough for you?

The problem is, 41 of the people issued the wrong type of permit used those permits to buy more prohibited guns, a “privilege” they shouldn’t have had. So now, 12 years later, the RCMP has contacted them all and given them a choice: the guns can either be transferred, exported, turned in to the police for disposal or physically modified and reclassified as restricted.

But wait. These people were issued permits and acted lawfully…or so they thought. They shouldn’t be financially punished for the Mounties’ mistake.

An internal RCMP memo dating from December 2016 also warns, under the heading Strategic Considerations, that “clients may seek compensation since they acted in good faith.”

‘Good faith’ wasn’t good enough, as it turned out. In a written response, the RCMP tells CBC News “there was no compensation offered and the few individuals who sought financial remuneration through reference hearings were denied by judicial authority” — which means that some of the gun owners clearly were left out of pocket.

Sorry for our screw-up, citizen. Don’t like it? Tough tuques. Turn them in. 

A total of 114 firearms had been purchased under the erroneous licenses.

“One hundred have been legally dealt with by being transferred, exported, turned in to the police for disposal, physically modified and reclassified as restricted, etc,” the RCMP’s Tania Vaughn told CBC in a written response.

Dudley and his fellow officers are out there, trying to track down the remaining 14 guns. Such is life in a country that doesn’t recognize the natural right to armed self-defense in its constitution.


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  1. Follow the law and still get fucked. Socialism 101.

    Socialism. Communism. Fascism. Same thing.

  2. “N.S.W police”
    Is that New South Wales? And if so, why an Australian gun in an article about Canada?
    Looks like a Webley… any British gun aficionados out there confirm?

    • Sure looks like the older Webley ‘Bulldog”.

      • I don’t know why, but I’ve always loved the looks of Webley revolvers. Just a bit too expensive for me to make it worth having one.

    • BLoving
      A lot of Australian firearms were sent to Canada back in the 1990’s when various departments here went to Glocks etc. Government here wouldn’t sell to locals after the 1996 laws.

      Now they are not being used by government they are suddenly more dangerous

    • It’s also an antique firearm in Canadian terms (.450 caliber, made before 1897), so it doesn’t even fall under the issues that the story brought up.

      If the CBC wanted to post up a more accurate image, they should have picked a Luger. The prohib laws were almost perfectly designed around prohibiting those old vet bringbacks.

  3. How many of those with “wrong licences” used their guns in crime to hurt anyone? Zero. I fail to see what the problem seems to be. These are not the gun owners you are looking for!

    • That was my first thought. If these guns had been used in crimes, it would not have taken them 12 years to notice.

    • They most definitely are the gun owners the Canadian socialist progressives were looking for.

      The entire progressive scheme revolves around controlling and punishing people who only want to be left alone. In that regard, they have far more in common with violent criminals than with the people they “help.”

  4. And how many of those guns were involved in crimes? I bet zero. So it’s a ” we don’t trust you” case once again.

  5. Evidently Canadians are better at boating than us Yanks, we seem to lose a lot of guns due to boating accidents

  6. If the government in YOUR country is too Authoritarian, or its draconian laws and enforce lean closer to totalitarianism…Then YOU as a people should orchestrate revolutionary change like what was done during the American revolutionary war…Soon, I believe America maybe doomed to repeat such a practice if issues regarding our own constitutional rights aren’t sorted out with our representatives. Those who we did, or didn’t send to the halls of government to uphold our own Bill of Rights…Unfortunately, something both foreign and domestic have been interfering with proper checks and balances…Like Canada…..

    • i have been saying that about australia for almost 30 years, before they brought in the NFA here.

  7. Minor correction: “non-prohibited” should read “non-restricted” and non-restricted firearms are not subject to registration.

  8. This is exactly what has happened right here in Florida when Rick Scott banned bumpstocks and made it illegal to use existing ones that already been legally purchased. He stole these from us and didn’t even offer to buy them from us.

    • At least Florida will only lock the formally legal gun owners up for 5 years, preventing them from owning any guns… Is it Maryland that will give you up to life in prison for holding on to that accursed bump stock? Either way, the Trump/Sessions/ATF flip flop regulation will just turn them into illegal machine guns. This is worse than the mounties actually. One could argue maybe those Canadians should have known they had the wrong license but still proceeded to take advantage of the perks.

      The ATF actually said “these bump stocks aren’t machine guns or conversion devices, just a stock accessory, go ahead and buy them! You are good!” Companies sold them and people bought them, not to skirt the rules or do something prohibited, but instead because they were explicitly legal to buy, own, sell, patent, etc. This wasn’t like selling “non silencer silencers” on eBay, hoping the ATF wouldn’t notice, these wouldn’t have been sold without ATF blessing.

      So now Trump/sessions/ATF want a redo… Those legally purchased, ATF approved plastic stocks are now illegal machine guns, you broke the law, you criminal! Even though we told you that you were good, we lied, aha! Tricked ya, now you must destroy these machine guns or go to jail! The ATF isn’t even Dudley Do-right, they are the villans.

      • Seems to me that if the leash on DOJ/ATF is 4″ long, that it is actually about 4.1″longer than it should be, this courtesy of The Congress (House of Representatives and U.S. Senate). When oh when will our elected representatives get or regain control of the government agencies that they create and fund?

        • that is the problem with govt agencies (no matter what branch) having too much power. it also matters not what government system it is

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