Is it Time for More Severe Hand Gun Control? We ask Cornwall Ontario Chief of Police Mr. Dan Parkinson – January 13, 2011

Cornwall ON – We live in a country where Gun Control is sadly a political issue instead of a safety issue.  It’s not as bad as in the US, but after the Jared Lee Loughner incident in Tucson Arizona this week I had the opportunity to sit down with the Cornwall Ontario Chief of Police; Mr. Dan Parkinson.

Canada is not an island when it comes to shootings.  L’ecole Polytechnique, and other shootings at times have impacted communities and killed many innocent people.  While taking as many hand guns as possible off the streets may not ever eliminate such sad events; over time it certainly should limit their frequency.

Chief Parkinson has been an active and serving Officer of the law for over 37 years.   Unlike television and movies he shared that he’s only had to draw his hand gun once in his career and that was not to shoot it; but to try and make sure it wouldn’t be used.

Chief Parkinson took some time from his schedule to sit for a video interview with us.


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  1. Jamie, I’m quite impressed with this interview and how you opted to view it from the angle of a handgun. Rifles and shotguns are indeed meant to kill…for food, but handguns have only one purpose and that is to kill humans. They can be concealed and carried into public which makes them a threat to human life.

    Gotta give you a kudos for not sporting a set of blinders on this one.

  2. Out of curiousity, I asked ten people if they could get me an unregistered firearm. After a few days, one young person quoted me a price of one hundred dollars and there would be no way to know how it was previously used. Delivery time about a week. A silencer was a further one hundred dollars. Obviously I said no to both, preferring to walk heavy with a typewriter on the side of my hip; words being more sexy than bullets and all and me not being a big fan of silence.

  3. Well of course an officer of the law would have the opinion that only the police should have handguns. That is the mentality of his political bosses and he wants to make it to retirement with his full pension. But in the story the Chief says he has never had to draw his handgun. That to me means that there is not many handguns are being used illegally in his area. So why does he want them banned?

  4. Author

    Steve I can’t and of course would never speak for the Chief, but in my opinion as the humble editor of this Newspaper I think that the less hand guns available the less incidences of violence with them.

    I’d like to see the Federal Government, since it seems to be so big on crime, start to take action to prevent the stream of illegal hand guns coming into Canada from the US. This is a huge factor facing Canada right now and one that doesn’t get enough attention.

    Better money spent on that than on those that commit crimes with these US handguns.

  5. Hard to imagine a long serving police officer never having to unholster his/her side arm. I have a near and dear family member in the RCMP, and he tells me that they NEVER enter a dwelling to execute an arrest or search warrant without their guns drawn.

  6. Furtz, if you notice, he said early in his career. I know a few retired officers who often bragged how they NEVER had to draw their guns back in the day. It is a new age however and I don’t have trouble believing what you say about the new rules for entering a dwelling.
    I agree with the Chief on this one. Hand guns make it too easy to kill. If they are not banned then it should be very difficult to get one as the average citizen does not need to walk around with one.

  7. TASERS are an electrical torture device.TASERS are an electrical torture device.TASERS are an electrical torture device.TASERS are an electrical torture device.TASERS are an electrical torture device.TASERS are an electrical torture device.TASERS are an electrical torture device.TASERS are an electrical torture device.

  8. Respectfully, it’s a good thing Police don’t decide the Bill’s of Parliament. I have a hard time with the Chief’s opinion that handguns serve no valid purpose other than to kill, his opinion only, not mine! Most handguns are already prohibited and will never be owned by most new legal gun owners, the rest of them are all severely restricted. Why does the Chief not mention anything about the already very strict storage, transport, licencing laws? The laws are so strict only the law abiding will jump the hurdles, no criminal will follow this!
    Do you believe criminals go through all this? I don’t think so, so leave us alone!

  9. To quote the Chief….
    “People who CLING to their rights”…….

    Any public official let alone Police Chief who has the audacity to utter words of that nature should be FIRED and FIRED immediately!

    Thousands of Canadians DIED to defend those rights and to so calously dismiss them is an abominable shameful act.

  10. Author

    John Evers no Canadian ever died to have the right to own a handgun. None ever. Let’s not mix American metaphors. We take sharp objects away from children, we don’t let people run around with flame throwers or machine guns.

    The only point for discussion really is where we draw the lines of what we allow, when and where. It’s the police that are the ones that always have to clean up the messes that our society capitulates to.

    It’s time to stop the bs because when the excrement hits the fan it’s the police we call. I don’t want to ever see what happens in the US happen in Canada. I lived in Los Angeles when there was a huge gun fight where the LAPD were actually out gunned by the bad guys who had military arms.

    I’m all for personal freedoms and would never want them trampled, but this “Clinging” to guns just isn’t going to work in the long run.

    Again, it’s all about where we draw the lines; and in my opinion the more hand guns and bullets floating around the more incidents of their misuse you’ll see. And right now we have way too many illegal weaponry flowing into Canada from the US.

    We need to address that issue and we need to make it clear that if criminals are using hand guns that the penalties for doing so really count.

  11. So Joseph, to summarize your post, you are saying that criminals with guns don’t want tougher gun control.


  12. It’s better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it!

  13. No Stan, it’s just better to not need a gun.

  14. Reg, agreed that criminals will not, do not, will never follow tougher gun laws. They don’t care! I’m sure the criminals are laughing at all the law abiding People. That’s why Police need 9mm handguns, shotguns, rifles, pepper spray, tazers, batons etc, for criminals. The only long term deterrent is long prison sentences for gun crimes, every legal firearm owner/hunter I know agrees with that, I think the Chief did say punishment works if they are applied properly, agreed. We hear plea bargains relating to gun crime/murders and it urks me.
    Admin, if you would look into current firearm laws, you would see the lines have been drawn, mentally ill, violent past, depression, spouse assaults and many more cannot “legally” get a firearm licence in Canada. You are right about illegal guns being the problem but I’m sure illegal guns are already prohibited so what do we do? Please look into it before buying all the anti-gun rhetoric based on fear and emotion instead of facts. Please see the RCMP Canadian Firearm Center website, read, read and read. You can also read the Canadian Fireams Act. on Govt. website, read again. Then talk to me about lines!

  15. Author

    Joseph I simply have my own opinion which I choose to share. I understand the argument by “responsible” gun owners, but the problem is that guns do get stolen from responsible gun owners. Responsible gun owners die and then guns get passed on to those that may not be. Guns get stolen.

    I agree gun laws should be more stringent and gun crimes dealt with more severely, but we simply as a country do not do enough to deter what we have now. Our government allows illegal guns to flow freely into Canada from the US and doesn’t seem to be doing much to stop it.

    It’s like when you’re a kid and a parent screams “If you can’t play nice I’m just going to take the toys away.” History has shown that some people can’t play nice. What is the acceptable amount of Tucson’s and Ecole Polytechniques? How many deaths warrant people owning hand guns? One? Ten? A thousand?

    If we don’t talk about it nothing will ever change. Create some new laws; grand-father in some old ones and in a generation or two let’s have a safer world.

  16. Mr admin.
    You can go on about NEW LAWS till you are blue in the face but in the end we have seen this crap before and your new laws will be aimed at ME, not the criminals. Bottom line is hands off my legally owned and stored and safely used property. Disarm the criminals first, why is it so hard to figure that out? Does the good chiefs men leave their guns locked safely in the station all the time? why not?
    And for your new laws you say we need, how about an old one that is on the books. You are so concerned about guns being stolen right? me too….maybe they should for once ENFORCE THIS PART OF THE CRIMINAL CODE:
    98.1 Every person who commits a robbery
    within the meaning of section 343 with intent
    to steal a firearm or in the course of which he
    or she steals a firearm commits an indictable
    offence and is liable to imprisonment for life.
    2008, c. 6, s. 9

  17. How do you make gun laws more stringent? you cant name a so called gun crime that isnt already illegal. Why not scrap the registry of property owned by the people who have shown they are responsible to own it, and start a registry of the people WHO ARE PROHIBITED FROM OWNING SUCH PROPERTY?
    Ever think of that? Legal gun owners are subject to more conditions than a person under a weapons prohibition. Seriously, how could that NOT fail? Somebody with a weapon prohibition isnt checked into, isnt required to inform the rcmp when he moves, isnt subject to the searches a gun owner could be subject to just for owning guns. I can face jail for not telling them I moved yet a convicted violent offender who is finished probation yet still under a weapons prohibition does not have to check in with ANYONE. Theres a lot of laws, aimed at the wrong people.

  18. Author

    Hi Charlie,

    I appreciate you posting. My goal is to discuss and find solutions. Not to tell people what to do and how to live their lives. There is always common ground and it looks like you and I agree that any crime committed with a gun; especially an unregistered or stolen one should be dealt with more stringently than they probably are now.

    Criminals need to know if you use a gun in Canada in a criminal act your days on the street are done; or at least drastically curtailed. So as a gun owner would you feel good with being able to keep your gun as a “Grandfather”, but that no new Hand Gun ownership would be allowed in the future?

  19. Hi Admin, at this point there is no more room for common ground, most legal firearm owners are done with compromise and know this is it, we fight politically or lose. They know the real – liberal, ndp, block and green party anti-firearm agenda, relentless gun control as Iggy said.
    You said, “Responsible gun owners die and then guns get passed on to those that may not be. Guns get stolen.”
    I can see you still have not educated yourself of current strict firearm laws in Canada, let me help you by posting the CFC laws on inheriting firearms, not like you thought?

    Inherited Firearms If you inherit firearms, or if you are the executor of an estate with firearms, here is some information you need to know about the Firearms Act.

    If you are the heir
    Licence Requirements
    To be able to acquire a firearm by any means, including as an inheritance, you must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL). While a Possession-Only Licence allows you to keep firearms you have lawfully owned since December 1, 1998, it does not allow you to acquire more firearms, so if you have a POL, you will need to replace it with a PAL.

    A PAL is only valid for the class or classes of firearms listed on it. The three classes of firearms are:

    •non-restricted: most common rifles and shotguns;
    •restricted: only allowed for approved purposes such as target shooting or as part of a collection; and
    •prohibited: see below for information on grandfathering requirements.
    To apply for a PAL or to upgrade your privileges for different classes of firearms, submit form CAFC 921. To be eligible for this licence, you must have met specific safety-training requirements.

    Grandfathering Requirements for Prohibited Firearms
    As a general rule, to be able to acquire a prohibited firearm, you need “grandfathering privileges” for that particular category of prohibited firearm. In other words, you must have continuously held a valid registration certificate for a firearm in that category since December 1, 1998. A registration certificate is valid only if you already have a valid licence authorizing you to possess that category of firearm.

    Exception: You do not need grandfathering privileges to inherit a registered prohibited handgun that discharges .25 or .32 calibre ammunition or that has a barrel length of 105 mm or less if:

    •the handgun was manufactured before 1946, and
    •you are the spouse, brother, sister, child or grandchild of the registered owner; and
    •the handgun is used for a permitted purpose such as target shooting or as part of a collection.

    Top of PageRegistering the Firearms
    The firearm will need to be registered to you as part of the transfer process that must take place when a firearm changes ownership. More information can be found in the section for executors.

    You will receive a new registration certificate in the mail for each firearm transferred to you.

    The initial fee for a PAL is $60 for non-restricted firearms only, or $80 for any combination of non-restricted, restricted and prohibited firearms, except in the following cases:

    If you are renewing a PAL or changing your licence privileges, the fee is waived until
    May 16, 2010.

    You may not be required to pay a fee for a PAL if it would only be valid for non-restricted firearms and you need a firearm to hunt or trap in order to sustain yourself or your family.

    There are no fees to register or transfer a firearm or to obtain an Authorization to Transport.

    If You are the Executor
    While the Firearms Act sets out how firearms may be transferred and who may have them, provincial estate laws determine the role of the executor.

    Estate laws may vary from province to province. However, as a common principle of law, an executor of an estate generally has the same rights as the deceased had to possess firearms while the estate is being settled. Therefore, even if you are not personally licensed to possess firearms, you can generally possess a firearm left in an estate for a reasonable amount of time while the estate is being settled.

    If a court has prohibited you from possessing firearms, you cannot take possession of firearms left in an estate, but you can still act as the executor in transferring the firearms to someone who can lawfully acquire them.

    If the owner did not have a valid licence and registration certificate for the firearm, he or she was in illegal possession of the firearm, which puts you at risk of penalties for possessing the firearm unless you act quickly to comply with the law — for example, by transferring it to a properly licensed individual, deactivating the firearm or by turning it in to a police or firearms officer for disposal.

    Top of PageIf you are not sure if the deceased had a licence or registration certificate, call 1 800 731-4000.

    To be able to obtain information on a firearm that is registered to someone else, or to transfer the firearm to someone else, you need to be able to provide evidence that you are in a lawful position to do so.

    To confirm that the registered owner is deceased, you will need to provide a copy of:

    •the death certificate; or
    •letters of probate; or
    •a document from a police department or coroner on letterhead.
    To provide proof that you are the executor, you are required to complete form RCMP 6016 “Declaration of Authority to Act on Behalf of an Estate”.

    Transferring Ownership of a Firearm
    When you transfer the firearm to the new owner, there is a specific process you must go through to ensure that the new owner is eligible to have the firearm, the Registrar is notified of the transfer and the firearm is registered to the new owner.

    To initiate the transfer of a registered firearm, call 1 800 731-4000 and either complete the entire transfer process over the phone or request a paper application
    (form CAFC 681 for restricted and prohibited firearms or form CAFC 682 for non-restricted firearms). Both you and the new owner will need to be involved in the transfer process.

    Firearm Verification
    A firearm must be verified by an approved verifier before it is transferred to a new owner unless:

    •the firearm has already been verified; and
    •the description of the firearm has not changed; and
    •the Registrar is satisfied that the firearm does not need to be re-verified.
    Restricted and prohibited firearms that have previously been registered in Canada are already deemed to be verified. They do not need to be verified again unless the Registrar requests another verification to confirm their description or classification. Some non-restricted firearms might not be verified yet. Call 1 800 731-4000 for help to verify a firearm.

    Top of PageIneligible Heirs or Unwanted Firearms
    If there is no eligible heir, or if the heir does not want an inherited firearm, the estate may:

    •sell or give the firearm to any individual, museum or business with a licence to acquire that particular type of firearms through the official transfer process; or
    •export it to a country that allows it: call the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade at 1 800 267-8376 for information on requirements for an export permit; or
    •have the firearm permanently deactivated so that it no longer meets the definition of a firearm, and therefore, is exempted from the requirements of the Firearms Act; or
    •turn the firearm in to a police officer or firearms officer for disposal: Call first.
    Other Requirements
    If the deceased owner had a valid firearms licence, please return it, along with a copy of their death certificate, to the following address:

    Central Processing Site
    PO Box 1200
    Miramichi NB E1N 5Z3

    Top of PageTransporting and Storing Firearms
    All firearms must be unloaded and transported or stored in a safe and secure manner to deter loss, theft and accidents, as set out in the Storage, Display, Transportation and Handling of Firearms by Individuals Regulations.

    If you ship the firearms, you have two options:

    •you may ship non-restricted firearms, restricted firearms and prohibited handguns to another location within Canada, using the most secure method offered by Canada Post that requires a signature upon delivery; or
    •you may ship any class of firearm by licensed carrier to a location inside or outside Canada. This is the only option for shipping prohibited firearms other than prohibited handguns.

    For more information, contact the CFP.

    This fact sheet is intended to provide general information only. For legal references, please refer to the Firearms Act and its Regulations. Provincial, territorial and municipal laws, regulations and policies may also apply.

    Le présent feuillet d’information est également disponible en français.

    Revised August 2008

  20. Mr Admin. When you get the criminals disarmed and enforce the laws already on the books you will see that no need exists to grandfather anyones legal guns.
    The laws already exist. Most offenders are re offenders. The resources overwhelmingly target the law abiding. The registry is proven useless. The shooting sports are safe. You make the mistake of thinking gang bangers, armed robbers and legal gun owners are the same thing. Its like comparing a drunk driver to you just because you both drive cars. Try to look at us with trust and realise the stringent testing and constant background checks we are subject to. Every legal gun owner in canada has his name ran through the national police computer every single day to check if his/her status has changed. Its called the continuous eligibility system. Sometimes a Police officer screws up, sometimes even a legal gun owner screws up but we do it LESS than the average person you meet on the street .
    The guns in the hands of good people are not the ones you need to fear and the good people are police, security firms and legal gun owners. You need to focus on criminals.
    You really are uninformed on this issue sir, and I say that with all due respect. Calling for more laws isnt going to do anything. This gun problem does not exist. Check the statscan website for lots of stats on violent crime and you will see its way way down on all categories listed.
    And for your information people died on the battlefield for your rights and my rights and for a police chief to say we cling to them is quite ignorant. You told Mr Evers above that the right to own a handgun wasnt a right they fought for and it shows you also are, like the chief, misinformed. My fathers died in a battlefield for something called freedom. They fought against people who wouldnt allow you to own a handgun, or own your labor, or own your property, or enjoy freedom of speech and freedom to move about at will.
    If you dont think people died for freedom you need to read a history book. And freedom isnt taking away one mans property because of the crimes of another man.

  21. Joseph, look at the monster we’ve created. Used to be that you could go to Canadian Tire, Sears or even the Eaton Catalog and buy a gun. Look at all the complications and obstacles the ex-government (Liberal) has thrown at us now! It’s a little strange that they haven’t condemned knives too. There are more people killed by knives than by guns. Where will this madness end? Stephen Harper and the Conservatives are trying to get rid of that ridiculous Bill. They are not scared of being assassinated like the Liberals, NDP and BLOC are!

  22. This man has no right to spout his personal opinion on the subject of gun laws. He is hired and paid to enforce current laws. If he wants to change the laws, run for office.

    I like my guns, and I think that all of the men and women who died in WW2 would turn over in their graves listening to a cop belittle those who “cling to their rights”. It is us “clingers” that keep men like this and politicians in their place. If it wasn’t for people like us, you would see your personal freedoms eroded, but fast!!!

  23. I have to say, I’m totally with charlie, james01, Stan, and Joseph on this all.. Again, to punish everyone for the actions of a very minimal few, is honestly stepping on everyone else’s rights plain and simple.. I agree with charlie above as well, start a registry on who shouldn’t have any firearms and work on building that.. probably a lot cheaper too..

    On another note, Jamie you said “So as a gun owner would you feel good with being able to keep your gun as a “Grandfather”, but that no new Hand Gun ownership would be allowed in the future?”

    I cannot see any closer to the argument about Pitt Bulls then what you stated above.. Again, it’s all Pitt Bull (not an actual breed either) owners that are being punished for the actions of a few, and they wrote out that law banning all Pitt Bulls.. when every good pet owner realizes, its not the actions of the Pitt Bull but the actions of the owner.. in fact, statistically shown, golden labs are more common to attack and bite someone then pitt bulls are.. should all dogs be banned for this? same about guns.. Again, this guy Laughner was a whackjob, with a gun, and went and did whackjob deeds with a gun.. It would have been the same with a knife, or a vehicle, or a bomb, whatever.. But taking his gun away wouldn’t have removed the “whackjobbedness” from his mentality.. just like taking a pitt bull away from him wouldn’t make him any less dangerous either..

    So again, I sit here and go, why should all of everyone else’s rights be trampled because of a few whackjobs that should be tracked better?

  24. Author

    Grimalot using your rationale why not give people machine guns too? To me it’s simply about where to draw the line. In my opinion I saw let’s draw the line at hand guns because they fit the description of a weapon that can kill a lot of people very quickly.

    Now switching gears, I agree the Pitt Bull ban was wrong; but I sympathize with the reasoning behind that law. As someone that owns a Rottweiler I can tell you that my dog is no threat unless there’s a visible threat to anyone in our home.

    But then I have a fully fenced in yard and rarely take her out of it thus putting her and others at potential risk because if any issue happened she’d be blamed because of her breed.

  25. Forget the guns, I want a tank 😀

  26. Author

    My point proved again 🙂

  27. What point was that? Can I not own a tank? Richard D James, aka “Aphex Twin” was able to buy a tank.. why can’t I have one? so long as I’m not a whackjob it should be ok.. I’m sure they’d definitely track me after I bought a tank, which I would fully expect.. but hey, its safe to travel in 😀

  28. Author

    Not very Green though ;the mileage would be a bitch. Again, point proven. 🙂 Tanks don’t kill people; people kill tanks…..

  29. You know what else is not green? Smoking..

    Here we’re discussing banning handguns because a minimal few whackjobs go nuts and start killing people with them..

    When in reality, the government, allows the sale and taxation of “cigarettes” (death), which are rated right on top of the list for the number of deaths in this great country of Canada, alongside obesity which is quickly catching up too..

    Smoking kill’s 45,000 people a year according to the labels on the packs (government approved labels of course).. So it’s safe to say we have a bunch of whackjobs in government that are slowly killing off the Canadian population every year while they are soaking in potloads of our money off of it.. all the while complaining to us that smokers are a burden on the health system.. seems like both “smoking” and “handguns” go hand in hand…

    I think government should put their money where their mouths are and “ban smoking” before any more stringent bans on “handguns” are made.. what do you think Jamie?

  30. Author

    Are you brown nosing now Grimalot? Yes, I agree, smoking kills far too many people and should be outlawed. I’m glad that there’s a new free initiative that helps smokers quit. You can read about it HERE.

  31. lol! 😀 Soon I’m going to switch to a lighter, because matches also kill trees.. we should ban matches too.. 😉

  32. If our governments really wanted everyone to quit smoking, which they don’t, it would be a fairly simple thing to do. They could pass legislation requiring the tobacco companies to reduce the nicotine (addictive component) by 25% each year for the next four years. They have the power to do this, but not the political/business will.

  33. Author

    I’ve never figured out why with all the money the tobacco companies make they never invested in creating healthy cigarettes? We now have those electronic cigarettes coming out of China. Anyone reading this try those yet?

  34. I don’t think that anything you can set on fire and inhale the smoke can be made safe to use as directed. Safer sources of nicotine like the patch, gum, puffers etc, are all controlled and sold by large pharmaceutical companies that exist to make as much money as they can. It all boils down to business versus public health. Business always has and still rules.

  35. The only thing that you should have in your lungs is air which is natural. Cigarettes and marijuana, hash and all that other stuff people smoke is unnatural and will kill you in the end. Wake up smokers!

  36. The government would never get rid of smoking cigarettes or cigarettes because they make money off the taxes plus the more people smoke the chances of getting cancer are pretty good and by you getting cancer at any age and passing away before 65 the government wont have to give you a pension.

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