There is a talking point in heavy use by the Trudeau government, police forces and gun control activists. It claims that 50% of guns used in crime in Canada are stolen from law abiding Canadian gun owners.
This false factoid has shown up in media reports for quite some time now and showed up again this week in the wake of the Danforth shooting.
Toronto Mayor John Tory even made the claim in an op-ed for the Toronto Sun back in March.
Here is the problem, it is fake news.
What is the source of this fact that gets repeated over and over again?
Dennis Young, the veteran researcher and former Parliament Hill staffer says there is no source, well other than a highly taken out of context footnote from an RCMP document dating back to 2016.
Young obtained the document through Access to Information and posted it to his website. At the bottom of page 17 you see this nugget about guns seized in Western Canada.
So this is about a small subset of guns seized in Western Canada. Of 783 trace requests, just 229 could be traced and 50% of those traced were domestically sourced.
That does not equal 50% of all guns used in crime in Canada.
Lies get repeated.
Yet this canard is repeated over and over again by officials at the highest levels.
Just this year Conservative MP Larry Maguire tried to find out what information the federal government had on this claim. He asked an Order Paper question, an official request through Parliament, to find out how many guns seized by police were domestically sourced and how many were from outside the country.
The response from the Canadian Firearms Information System, which all police services use, was pretty simple.
“The Canadian Firearms Information System does not collect the requested information.”
Young has asked Stats Canada for information to back up this claim and found nothing. In fact at the guns and gangs summit where Ralph Goodale said more and more guns are domestically sourced, a Stats Can official was quoted as saying, “We don’t know the origin of firearms involved in gun crime in Canada.”
Gun control, especially after a horrific shooting, is an incredibly emotional issue but facts still matter.
The gun control lobby wants to use this event to make it harder for Canadians that want to go shooting at the range to do so even though CBC is reporting that this was an illegal gun from the United States.
If someone can find me an actual report, with actual statistics that is in the public domain supporting this claim about domestically sourced guns then I will post it.
Until then, our politicians and the media should stop repeating claims that aren’t backed up with solid evidence.