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Old 07-15-2013, 03:37 PM
 
Location: British Columbia ♥ 🍁 ♥
7,216 posts, read 6,570,009 times
Reputation: 14141

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I never saw a topic about this when it happened so I'm curious to know what other Canadians here on the forum think about it. I already know what a lot of angry Americans thought and posted about it on various websites on internet but I saw only a few Canadians comments about it, and hardly any that were aligned with American thoughts. Some Canadians did complain about it but many more Canadians who commented actually approved of the RCMP's action.

While searching flooded homes for victims the RCMP removed firearms (most of which were rifles) that were unsecured and left in plain view inside some of the evacuated homes. So what do you Canadians think about it, do you think the RCMP were right or wrong to be removing visible and unsecured firearms from the flooded evacuated houses? Or do you think the RCMP were complicit in a hidden agenda to take firearms away from gun owners and were using the flood as an excuse to confiscate firearms? The RCMP said they would return the firearms as residents were able to return to their homes and they have already started returning them now.

Personally I think the RCMP did what was correct and justifiable during a dire emergency situation. I think it may have saved several people from having their firearms stolen by looters, as I understand there were some looters apprehended who were trying to steal unattended firearms.

Something I wondered about though, and which never came up in all the media speculation, was what would happen with any firearms the RCMP found that might be previously stolen, or prohibited or illegal to possess in Canada? Do you think their owners would try to claim them back if unable to offer proof of ownership? Do you think the RCMP might initiate criminal investigations of people whose homes had illegal or stolen firearms found in them?


Following are some snips taken from a CBC article about it: RCMP seizure of High River guns sparks probe - Canada - CBC News

Quote:

The head of the commission for public complaints against the RCMP says a probe has been launched after Mounties seized guns from evacuated homes in the aftermath of flooding in High River, Alta.......

..... RCMP said they went door-to-door in sections of High River that had been evacuated due to the catastrophic flooding that hit southern Alberta in late June. Police said they were searching for victims of the flooding, but they also took firearms they said had been left in homes.

..... RCMP officials said at the time that hundreds of weapons that had been left out in plain view and not secure had been taken to the High River detachment.
"It's no different than Slave Lake, to seize firearms or to secure firearms that are in plain view," RCMP Insp. Garrett Woolsey, said on June 28, referring to the Alberta community swept by fire in 2011.

.... A gun owners' group, the Canadian Shooting Sports Association, was sharply critical of the RCMP's actions, calling it proof of a "not-so-hidden agenda" to take guns away from responsible gun owners.

The RCMP said on June 29 that they had begun returning the firearms to High River residents as they were allowed back into their homes.

...... continued ......
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:50 PM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
8,576 posts, read 11,065,012 times
Reputation: 10280
It's crap.

People were evacuated and marched out of their homes by the military, and some had the foresight to move their firearms out of the basement/safes that could be flooded.

The bigger question is why are the RCMP searching peoples homes beyond a safety check? They went door to door to ensure people were no longer in the homes, but I missed the part where that involved searching closets and seizing private property.

Nearly every home in High River has had one or both doors booted by the police. In some cases, even when they were left unlocked. As people were let back home, they were told to simply replace their doors and bring the bills to the Mounties and they'll be reimbursed.

There is no requirement to have registration on long rifles, so it would be a difficult process to provide proof of ownership for your rifle. It would be like trying to prove ownership of your big screen TV after they had all been taken from everyone's home.
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Old 07-15-2013, 04:05 PM
 
103 posts, read 138,178 times
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As a rule i don't support guns but in this case what the Rcmp did was over the top.
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Old 07-15-2013, 04:51 PM
 
Location: Lethbridge, AB
1,132 posts, read 1,653,022 times
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I don't think there's any secret "hidden agenda", as some of the more tinfoil-hat wearing crowd has suggested.

I do think the RCMP far overstepped what would be considered reasonable and demonstrated extremely poor judgement and high handedness.

As mikeyyc pointed out, most of those firearms seized were moved from storage to avoid damage. They were in locked homes and many remained inoperable, being either trigger locked or having the bolt removed (making the storage of them, plain sight or not, entirely legal).

If as, was suggested, looters were attempting to steal unattended firearms, the police may have inadvertently made the situation worse, as they conceivably left less noticeable firearms in now unsecured houses. Further to that, they allowed looters easy access to houses in pursuit of other property.

Comparisons have been made to the recent Slave Lake Fire, in which firearms were also confiscated. A reasonable case can be made that ammunition is a danger in a fire situation, if not firearms themselves. During a flood, however, the risk of flammable material is rather less.

Any firearms that were prohibited would not be returned, though I haven't heard of any.
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:37 PM
 
18,263 posts, read 10,362,943 times
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Here's what I think happened: they were tasked to enter homes to look for people refusing to leave and for pets left behind and almost certainly noticed a rifle left somewhere visible and up high to keep it out of the water. In addtion they may even have found such a rifle assembled (bolt in) without a trigger lock and maybe even loaded and of course asked that question no one seems to acknowledge "Hey sarg, what should we do when we find these weapons not stored securely?" ~ "Well you better gather them up, make a note of the make and serial number along with the address of each weapon so we can deal with it all later".

I believe the thing started innocently enough but morphed into opening closets and locked cupboards in some cases with the caveat they were "securing" the weapons from possible looters.

Non less than the Prime Minister, when advised, ordered the return of the weapons to the owners of record or to the head of the household where it was found.

They now have a record of each firearm they found and it would not overly surprise me to find they may even have fired a ballistic sample from each one. Knowing the mindset they'd think it only prudent for future use. It would indeed be interesting to see if weapons left with trigger locks, had those removed upon return.

They overstepped but I can understand how their thinking evolved from securing an unsecured weapon from possible theft or misuse to then actively searching for any weapons.

The breaking down of doors would be an interesting conundrum faced by any court forced to make a decision based on a suit or other action brought before the bench. What warrant was ever issued and what did the warrant allow in scope even if their was one. Does the declaration of a civil emergency grant police forces exemplary powers to circumvent the rights of individuals as pertains to search and seizure? Would any contraband or other illegal items be able to be used in a charge against them vis-a-vis illegal search and seizure without a valid warrant specifying what probable cause and items were authorized by the bench to be sought upon entry?

It's gonna get hotter before it's all over I'm sure.
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:05 PM
 
Location: British Columbia ♥ 🍁 ♥
7,216 posts, read 6,570,009 times
Reputation: 14141
Quote:
Originally Posted by BruSan View Post

The breaking down of doors would be an interesting conundrum faced by any court forced to make a decision based on a suit or other action brought before the bench. What warrant was ever issued and what did the warrant allow in scope even if their was one. Does the declaration of a civil emergency grant police forces exemplary powers to circumvent the rights of individuals as pertains to search and seizure? Would any contraband or other illegal items be able to be used in a charge against them vis-a-vis illegal search and seizure without a valid warrant specifying what probable cause and items were authorized by the bench to be sought upon entry?

It's gonna get hotter before it's all over I'm sure.
From what I was reading and viewing on the news on TV many of the hardest hit houses had already had all their windows and doors destroyed and broken down by the rushing flood waters and floating debris, thereby making access easy for anyone.

According to the Alberta Emergency Management Act apparently the RCMP wouldn't have needed a warrant.

Powers of Minister in emergency

19(1) On the making of the declaration and for the duration of the
state of emergency, the Minister may do all acts and take all
necessary proceedings including the following:

(a) put into operation an emergency plan or program;
RSA 2000
Section 19 Chapter E-6.8
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ACT 13

(b) authorize or require a local authority to put into effect an
emergency plan or program for the municipality;

(c) acquire or utilize any real or personal property considered
necessary to prevent, combat or alleviate the effects of an
emergency or disaster;

(d) authorize or require any qualified person to render aid of a
type the person is qualified to provide;

(e) control or prohibit travel to or from any area of Alberta;

(f) provide for the restoration of essential facilities and the
distribution of essential supplies and provide, maintain
and co-ordinate emergency medical, welfare and other
essential services in any part of Alberta;

(g) cause the evacuation of persons and the removal of
livestock and personal property from any area of Alberta
that is or may be affected by a disaster and make
arrangements for the adequate care and protection of those
persons or livestock and of the personal property;

(h) authorize the entry into any building or on any land,
without warrant, by any person in the course of
implementing an emergency plan or program;

(i) cause the demolition or removal of any trees, structures or
crops if the demolition or removal is necessary or
appropriate in order to reach the scene of a disaster, or to
attempt to forestall its occurrence or to combat its
progress;

(j) procure or fix prices for food, clothing, fuel, equipment,
medical supplies, or other essential supplies and the use of
any property, services, resources or equipment within any
part of Alberta for the duration of the state of emergency;

(k) authorize the conscription of persons needed to meet an
emergency.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:08 AM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
14,800 posts, read 17,705,729 times
Reputation: 9029
It's fine because it's in Canada,
If this happened in America?
"Omg! What a crappy third world police state! Glad we don't live down there!"
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:56 AM
 
Location: Canada
5,690 posts, read 6,532,688 times
Reputation: 8188
I hadn't heard anything about breaking down of doors by the RCMP. If that happened, that went too far. But based on the broader description as I understood it, I would be in favour of the RCMP collecting firearms left lying around. I can see the other scenario all too clearly - firearms lying around and some looter or kid gets at them, someone dies, and the RCMP are blamed. And I say that as someone with firearms in the house.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:58 AM
 
Location: Canada
5,690 posts, read 6,532,688 times
Reputation: 8188
Quote:
Originally Posted by iNviNciBL3 View Post
It's fine because it's in Canada,
If this happened in America?
"Omg! What a crappy third world police state! Glad we don't live down there!"
Now that is a very strange thing to say after accusations the "Canadians just don't understand the second amendment" posts in the other thread. How can you have it both ways?
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:17 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,492 posts, read 51,354,718 times
Reputation: 24612
All cops everywhere hate the idea that non cops might have guns of any kind. all authoritarians hate the idea that their victims might be able to fight back. This applies to both cops and looters.
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