Guns used in Colorado theatre shooting legal in Canada

// World | Guns used in Colorado theatre shooting legal in Canada
Email to a friend Plain text Print version // Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

The recent mass shooting at a Colorado movie theatre has raised questions about access to firearms and renewed calls for stronger gun control laws in the United States.

Talk radio, newspaper editorials and articles, and current affairs television programs in the last week have all had people on both sides of the gun control debate weigh in on whether stricter laws could have prevented the shooting spree in the city of Aurora. Some politicians have called for a review of firearms laws while others have said that if more Americans were allowed to more easily carry guns, maybe one of them could have shot back at the suspect in the movie theatre and prevented injuries and deaths.

Three guns were reported to have been used by the man accused of killing 12 people and injuring almost 60 others at a screening of The Dark Knight last Friday: a Smith & Wesson AR-15 rifle, a 12-gauge Remington 870 shotgun and a .40-calibre Glock handgun. Police say the suspect, James Holmes, bought the firearms legally in the last six months. He also bought thousands of rounds of ammunition.

All of those guns are available for purchase in Canada — for those who have the appropriate licences and permits.

"None of those firearms are particularly unique or special," said Tony Bernardo, executive director of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association.

To get one of them in Canada, however, there are more laws to follow and requirements to meet than in the United States, he said.

"For all kinds of firearms, it's more tightly controlled in Canada," said Bernardo.

To buy and possess a gun in Canada, a licence has to be acquired no matter what kind of gun it is. But the type of firearm will dictate the type of licence, and other restrictions such as transportation and storage rules.

For all licences, the Canadian Firearms Safety Course has to be taken, a test passed and a police background check completed. There are some exceptions for the course requirement. Alternative certification, for example, can be granted at the discretion of chief firearms officers.

The Remington shotgun, as long as it wasn't modified, would be classified as a non-restricted firearm under Canadian law, requiring a non-restricted possession and acquisition licence (PAL).

Bernardo said the Remington is one of the most commonly produced hunting shotguns in the world.

"There are millions of them in Canada," he said.

Until recently, gun owners also had to register their shotguns and rifles, also known as long guns. The controversial long-gun registry was abolished in April when Parliament passed Bill C-19. Restricted and prohibited firearms still must be registered in the RCMP-managed database.

Guns can't be concealed in Canada

When it comes to the Smith & Wesson rifle and the handgun, the rules are tighter than for the long guns because they are classified as restricted firearms in Canada.

To possess a restricted firearm, you must have a PAL plus take an extra training course and pass its exam.

Police checks are done at the local, provincial, and federal levels, according to Bernardo, and CSIS and Interpol databases are also consulted. The person's spouse, neighbours and employer may also be consulted by police before a licence application is approved.

That's not the case for someone trying to buy a handgun in most U.S. states. The FBI runs a background check but generally, no licence is required to possess it, or to carry it concealed. Gun laws vary from state to state, however, and different rules can apply.

With some exceptions for police officers and some others, Canadians generally are not allowed to carry any gun concealed. A special permit must be obtained to transport a restricted firearm anywhere, even if it's from someone's house to the shooting range.

"It is definitely a bit of a process," Jason Swanson, director at Executive Firearms Training in Richmond, B.C., said of acquiring a restricted firearm in Canada.

Restrictions on magazine size

There are also limits on the number of rounds that restricted firearms can have, and they differ from the United States. Handguns in Canada, except for the ones used by police, are limited to a 10-round magazine whereas in the U.S. they can have 15 rounds.

The magazine size for semi-automatic long guns is also restricted in Canada, generally to five cartridges.

"The magazines for the Canadian market are different than the rest of the world per se," said Tony DiSalvatore, owner of Canadian Firearms Academy in Surrey, B.C.

"All the magazines look pretty much identical but they're pinned or altered so that they can only handle the specific requirements," he said.

The Colorado shooting suspect reportedly had a 100-round magazine for his rifle, a size that firearms experts have said is unusual for that firearm.

The Glock handgun allegedly used by Holmes is one of the most common handguns, according to Bernardo. "For a hobbyist that's using it for target shooting, it's a reasonable choice," he said, adding it is reliable and reasonably priced.

The semi-automatic Smith & Wesson rifle allegedly used by Holmes is also a popular model. "It's as common as dirt," he said. Bernardo said that while Canada has it on its restricted list, the rest of the world views it as a standard sporting rifle.

He's not surprised that the Colorado shooting incident has stirred up debate in the U.S. about gun laws, just as the recent shootings in Toronto have put the spotlight on gun violence. Law-abiding gun owners often take the blame for gun violence, even though they have nothing to do with it, said Bernardo.

"We're so clean, we squeak," he said.

His organization advocated for the elimination of the requirement to register long guns, but groups such as the Coalition for Gun Control argued to maintain it. The gun control group said registration rules helped police trace guns used in crimes and that they helped promote accountability among gun owners.

Tagged : No tags for this article

Headlines Newsview all

Nigerian Dominic Adesanya Arrested After He Jumped the White House fence and ran onto the North Lawn

A Maryland man jumped the White House fence and ran onto the North Lawn before being subdued Wednesday night. Dominic Adesanya, 23, stood on the North ... Full story

Jealous Boyfriend Warns President Obama - Video Video

A voter standing beside President Barack Obama as he was casting his early ballot for the 2014 midterm elections in Chicago warned the Commander-in-Chief: 'Don't ... Full story

Father abandons his three children in boarding school for eight years

Three children abandoned in a boarding school in Abule-Iroko in the Ado-Odo Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State are longing to meet their parents ... Full story

University Students Storm Lagos Club To Strip Dance For Money

Cave night club could have passed for any other club but it is not like any other in Nigeria. It is a strip club where ... Full story

Oscar Pistorius sentenced to 5 years in prison for the manslaughter of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp

There was almost complete silence in the courtroom as Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to five years in jail for the manslaughter of his girlfriend Reeva ...

Popular Musician Feyisayo Mojisola Oyetade Dies On Child Naming Ceremony Day

A popular hip-hop singer has died on the naming day of her 8-day-old baby boy. The singer, Feyisayo Mojisola Oyetade, who is a popular singer in ... Full story

Husband Snatching Mess: Femi Anibaba's Wife Tells Ronke Odusanya She Can Have Her Husband

Folape Sokoya, wife of Femi Anibaba, the man Ronke Odusanya was accused to have snatched, has finally spoken on the issue and has also wished ...

Boko Haram divided over peace talks with the Federal Government

Following the ceasefire deal the Federal Government entered into with Boko Haram, the violent fundamentalist sect has split into two. While one faction wants peace, ...

Dilish Mattews - The Truth About My Affair With Edo State Governor

Pretty and sexy Dillish Mathews, became famous when she made it to the top and announced the winner of the 2013 edition of Big Brother ...

Stephen Keshi expected in Ethiopia for contract talks

Former Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi, is expected in Ethiopia this week to finalise discussions with the country’s FA on the vacant national team job, ...

Boko Haram captures another town in Borno State

Suspected members of the terrorist sect, Boko Haram, have captured another Borno town, Abadam, after laying a massive siege to it. It was gathered from security ...

Comment on: Guns used in Colorado theatre shooting legal in Canada

Rate this article

0

Breaking News

My Husband Has Not Slept With Me For 9 Years—Woman Laments

A 30-year-old woman who has been denied action on bed by her husband has begged the court to dissolve her marriage of 18 years to ...

Jim Iyke Joins Politics Too

Popular Nollywood bad boy, Jim Iyke has joined other entertainers who have gone into politics. But unlike his other colleagues, he isn’t contesting for any ...

OPINION: WHY T.B. JOSHUA’S CHURCH COLLAPSE ACTUALLY CONVINCED ME HE IS A GENUINE MAN OF GOD

I know many will be surprised at this opinion but it is an honest and frank progression of thoughts from an open-minded individual, not emboldened ...

Folly Coker Denies Dating Tiwa Savage, Owning Mavin Records

Do you have a story/gist for publication? Please email it to story@nigeriafilms.com Igwe | 10/22/2014 5:57:30 PM Even if Tiwa wanted to have an affair,Aid? No way! ...

Governor Uduaghan Vows To Fish Out Killers Of Clems Onyeka

Nigeriafilms.com has been informed that the Governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan has promised to ensure that the killers of Nollywood actor, Clems Onyeka, who ...

Controversial Nollywood Producer, Dickson Iroegbu Displays Family (Pictures)

Award-winning Nollywood director and producer, Dickson Iroegbu is definitely one of the proud fathers and husbands in the film industry. The controversial filmmaker is not ...

Why I May Never Consider Politics—AY Reveals

Top comedian, Ayo Makun, better known as AY, has stated one of the reasons he may never want to venture into politics as some of ...

Anita Joseph, Yomi Fabiyi, Others Battle Piracy

Piracy in Nigeria has almost become a deadly virus that has no cure. Despite many efforts to force the cankerworm to its knees, the menace ...

KCee Joining Politics Soon?

The latest trend of entertainers massively going into politics has made some of their fans to begin to have the notion that it must have ...

Laide Bakare Welcomes Baby Boy (Picture)

Nollywood actress Laide Bakare, has been delivered of a bouncing baby boy in USA, where she has been for months after her new husband, Alhaji ...