Bit Of History: No Consequences For 2013 Illegal RCMP Gun Grab In High River

True, this is several years old, but what happened then could easily happen again to honest citizens. The Canada Firearms Media Wire posted this video from 2015, where the RCMP attempt to justify a gun seizure in High River, Alberta. It doesn’t go so well.

1. Gun Rights Are Essential, Need Protecting

The freedoms of a society can be gauged by the laws and attitudes they have towards firearms. Governments, and other groups can push around an unarmed population much easier than those who can defend themselves. It’s not conspiratorial to wonder about those pushing for gun control. In fact, healthy skepticism is needed for a society to function.

2. RCMP Attempts To Justify Gun Grab

Mr. Ian McPhail, the Chair of the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP (Commission), today released the Commission’s report on its Chair-initiated complaint and public interest investigation into the RCMP’s response to the 2013 flood in High River, Alberta.

The Commission’s investigation reviewed the decisions and actions of RCMP members with respect to the entry of private residences, and the seizure of firearms from some residences during the emergency response to the flooding of High River.

The investigation included an examination of approximately 10,000 pages of documentation, more than 1,000 images and 50 videos, as well as a review of RCMP operational and administrative policies, applicable laws and jurisprudence related to the actions in question. Investigators also interviewed dozens of individuals affected by the flood and the resulting emergency response.

“The 2013 flooding of the Town of High River, Alberta, was unprecedented and challenged the emergency response capacity of the region to its limits. There is no question that the emergency measures implemented were extraordinary and saw countless examples of heroic efforts by first responders, including members of the RCMP, which deserve to be fully recognized,” said Mr. McPhail.

“However, it is also clear that, in the interest of saving lives and securing property, RCMP members exceeded their authorities in some instances during the emergency response. The Commission’s investigation found no evidence that this was deliberate, but rather that it occurred as a result of a lack of understanding of legal authorities applicable under the circumstances, unclear policy relating to emergency response management, and gaps in RCMP leadership. This, combined with ineffective communications by the RCMP about how it was responding to the crisis, added to public anxiety and led many to question the integrity of the RCMP’s actions,” added Mr. McPhail.

Following the seizure of many firearms from the homes of law abiding residents, a formal complaint was filed against the RCMP.

In the Interim Report of February 2015, it was admitted that firearms were seized that were not unsecure, and not in plain view. However, the the RCMP attempts to justify this as a communications breakdown, and officers acting in good faith. There is plenty of self-congratulations about the officers involved, and the lives saved.

The Final Report in April 2016 recommended the RCMP revisit their communications and emergency management policies, but did not recommend any action be taken against the officers involved.

3. Should There Have Been Real Consequences?

The RCMP have tried to justify this by claiming that they went door-to-door looking for survivors and pets to rescue. They say that guns were seized, but that they were in plain view, or unsecured weapons.

However, even the findings say that weapons that were hidden and secure were seized. This means that the narrative about “plain view” is false. Also, it doesn’t really fit the narrative of a search-and-rescue to save lives, if police end up searching small and hidden spots for guns.

Why were these other guns taken? A charitable theory would be that police found a few weapons in the open, and got startled. A more conspiratorial approach would be that this flood just provided a convenient excuse to try out such a seizure. But only the RCMP and the politicians know for sure.

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