Several personal items, one Restricted rifle, 27 Restricted handguns, 46 Prohibited handguns, and 3 Prohibited rifles, and an unknown quantity of ammo have all been stolen during a residential B&E in Saskatchewan’s border country. Interestingly, no Non-Restricted firearms appear to have been taken in this incident, with all of the firearms involved being the regulatorily more-serious Restricted and Prohibited classes of guns.
Prohibited firearms are rare in Canada, and are usually only able to be owned by serious collectors – though they can be passed down by heredity in some circumstances.
Storthoaks, SK is one of the furthest-southeast communities in the province, with only a few small communities such as Gainsborough between it and the U.S. or Manitoba borders.
Carnduff Detachment RCMP have issued a news release dated yesterday (Nov 22), concerning this large number of stolen firearms:
Carnduff RCMP: Break and enter to residence, over 70 guns stolen
On November 21, Carnduff Detachment received a report of a break and enter to a residence outside Storthoaks, Saskatchewan. The home owner had been away for the past six weeks and returned to find his house had been the victim of a break and enter while he was absent.
Several personal items were taken from the residence. The homeowner is an avid gun collector and the preliminary investigation has determined that a large quantity of firearms was stolen from the residence. At this point it is estimated over 70 guns are missing; 46 prohibited handguns, 27 restricted handguns, 3 prohibited rifles and one restricted rifle and an unknown quantity of ammunition. It is believed that all of the firearms had been stored in accordance with firearm regulations.
This theft is currently under investigation with the assistance of the Yorkton Forensic Identification Section, Canadian Firearms Program and the Chief Firearms officer of Saskatchewan, National Weapons Enforcement Support Team, and Canadian Border Services.
If anyone was in the area around Storthoaks over the past month and noticed anything out of the ordinary they are urged to please contact Carnduff Detachment at 306-482-4400 or you may contact Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submit a tip online at www.saskcrimestoppers.com with your information.
Safe and legal storage is usually best-accomplished using a thick metal purpose-built gun safe that is hard to break into or move around. The specific definition in the Canadian legislation for basic Non-Restricted storage containers is vague: “…A cabinet, container or room that is difficult to break into”. That means different things to different people, so it’s important to be able to demonstrate that you’re in compliance. For Restricted or Prohibited guns: “Attach a secure locking device so the firearms cannot be fired AND lock them in a cabinet, container or room that is difficult to break into; or lock the firearms in a vault, safe or room that was built or modified specifically to store firearms safely”. There are some extra rules (if you somehow own legal automatic firearms) for some guns that involve removing the bolt or bolt carriers and locking them in a separate room that is difficult to break into. So as you can see, a purpose-built gun safe is probably your best bet because it was specifically built to store firearms safely, and because you could use it to store Non-Restricted guns, Restricted guns, and ammunition (as long as the ammo isn’t loaded into or attached to the firearm).
On November 8th, 2018, Reddit /r/CanadaGuns user /u/22lover/ posted his experience under the Access to Information Act with some interesting information for stats junkies.
“Months ago, a friend of mine had submitted an Access to Info request seeking the number of active permits to carry firearms for protection of life in Canada. Excluding wilderness workers, trappers, armoured car drivers, etc. He finally got this back last week. The number is two.”
The most interesting find from the ATI appears to be that, of Canada’s entire population (~36 million), and PAL-holding community (~2.1 million), only two people out of those couple million are authorized to carry handguns for the purpose of defending life against a human threat. This underscores the rarity of the designation, as your odds are literally one-in-a-million. “CFP advised that there is two ATC’s for the protection of life in Canada” is the single most important phrase in the letter. Simply put, the three main criteria you need to prove are:
You, or another person around you, is in imminent danger.
Police protection is deemed insufficient.
Being in possession of a Restricted or Prohibited firearm is reasonably justified for protection.
As a result of these criteria, we can surmise that very few Canadians would be able to have successful ATCs in the current paradigm.
22lover posted (absent personal information) the Canadian Firearms Program’s reply to the community:
“Oct 22 2018 – RCMP File A-2017-12265
This letter is to follow up with our original response sent to you May 09, 2018 in response to your request under the Access to Information Act, which was received by this office on December 27, 2017 to obtain:
‘I want to know the number of currently valid authorizations to carry for protection of life as described in section 20(a) of the Firearms Act. Broken down by provinces and territories. Please provide the date on which the sample was taken.’
Further consultation was conducted with the Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) and they have agreed to release the total number of ATC’s for the protection of life in Canada. CFP advised that there is two ATC’s for the protection of life in Canada.
Please be advised that you are entitled to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner concerning the processing of your request within 60 days after the day that you become aware that grounds for a complaint exist. In the event you decide to avail yourself of this right, your notice of complaint should be addressed to:
Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada
30 Victoria Street, 7th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 1H3
Should you wish to discuss this matter further, you may contact Sgt. Rick Kushko at 613-843-5201 or Rick.Kushko@rcmp-grc.gc.ca. Please quote the file number appearing on this letter.
Circumstances in Which an Individual Needs Restricted Firearms or Prohibited Handguns for the Purpose of Section 20 of the Act
Protection of Life 2 For the purpose of section 20 of the Act, the circumstances in which an individual needs restricted firearms or prohibited handguns to protect the life of that individual or of other individuals are where
(a) the life of that individual, or other individuals, is in imminent danger from one or more other individuals;
(b) police protection is not sufficient in the circumstances; and
(c) the possession of a restricted firearm or prohibited handgun can reasonably be justified for protecting the individual or other individuals from death or grievous bodily harm.
Lawful Profession or Occupation 3 For the purpose of section 20 of the Act, the circumstances in which an individual needs restricted firearms or prohibited handguns for use in connection with hi