Canadian Mounties Confiscate Guns -- Temporarily, They Say -- in the Name of Disaster Safety

The Alberta city of High River was evacuated because of flooding; while the citizens were barred from returning to their homes, the Royal Canandian Mounted Police decided to take a bunch of their guns from their home. All for public safety, you know, and when you can later prove they are yours they will give them back.Photo credit: torbakhopper / Foter.com / CC BYPhoto credit: torbakhopper / Foter.com / CC BY

Still, some of those Canadian gun freaks are annoyed, as reported by Calgary Herald:

RCMP revealed Thursday that officers have seized a “substantial amount” of firearms from homes in the evacuated town of High River.

“We just want to make sure that all of those things are in a spot that we control, simply because of what they are,” said Sgt. Brian Topham....

That news didn’t sit well with a crowd of frustrated residents who had planned to breach a police checkpoint northwest of the town as an evacuation order stretched into its eighth day.

“I find that absolutely incredible that they have the right to go into a person’s belongings out of their home,” said resident Brenda Lackey, after learning Mounties have been taking residents’ guns....

About 30 RCMP officers set up a blockade at the checkpoint, preventing 50 residents from walking into the town. Dozens more police cars, lights on, could be seen lining streets in the town on standby.

Officers laid down a spike belt to stop anyone from attempting to drive past the blockade. That action sent the crowd of residents into a rage.

“What’s next? Tear gas?” shouted one resident....

“This is the reason the U.S. has the right to bear arms,” said Charles Timpano, pointing to the group of Mounties...

“We don’t want our town to turn into another New Orleans,” said resident Jeff Langford. “The longer that the water stays in our houses the worse it’s going to be. We’ll either be bulldozing them or burning them down because we’ve got an incompetent government.”

Langford blasted High River Mayor Emile Blokland over comments made Wednesday in which Blokland said residents will be allowed to return after businesses, such as hardware and drug stores, are opened....

“We have seized a large quantity of firearms simply because they were left by residents in their places,” said Topham.

The guns will be returned to owners after residents are allowed back in town and they provide proof of ownership, Topham added.

Let's hope all the gun-owners with their property, uh, "borrowed," have their paperwork in order.

David Kopel wrote for Reason back in 2005 on the U.S. government's going gun confiscations in flooded New Orleans.

[Hat tip: Gordon Magill]

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  • Doctor Whom||

    Prove ownership of the underwear that you have on, or let the nice officer seize it. It's for public safety and not at all because FYTW.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The officers ransacked homes to find those weapons, or were they all registered for easy pickings?

  • AlexInCT||

    ^^THIS!

  • Loki||

    It's Canada, ya hoser, so I'm going to guess that they were registered, buddy.

  • Almanian!||

    I'm guessing he's not your buddy, pal!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I'm not your pal, guy.

  • ||

    You're no guy, hoser.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    He is no hoser, friend.

  • RightNut||

    They would have to have a list I would think. Ransacking wouldn't be very efficient. I wonder what they did when they encountered a secure gun safe?

  • AlexInCT||

    Assumed the safe was there to hide illigal and unregistered weapons so they are prepping paperwork to arrest the owners?

    State security and all that, you know.

  • Gordilocks||

    Long Gun Registry was supposedly canned last year, but one would be suspicious after this.

    Thanks for the Hat Tip!

  • ||

    I think they ransacked it. IIRC, all they had was a long gun registry, and that was abolished.

  • Gordilocks||

    Correct. There is still a registry for hand guns, and the restrictions on possession for those are such that it's nearly not worth having one.

  • Jumbie||

    Canada had a long gun registry that they abandoned. I don't know what the hand guns situation was.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I am actually more upset at this than I am at the lack of alt-text.

    I wonder how many people decide not to evacuate the next time the police request it?

  • Loki||

    At the very least if you do evacuate, make sure you take your guns with you.

  • WTF||

    And then they will prosecute you for 'carrying' without a permit.

  • albo||

    But what about the toques? Did they confiscate all the toques???? I need to know! What about the toques????!!!

  • Drake||

    I'm trying to think how I would "prove" I owned the Arisaka rifle my father-in-law brought home from WWII or the shotgun my grandfather was given by his grandfather in 1930.

    Were they busting open gun safes?

  • sarcasmic||

    If they are properly registered with the authorities then you should have your copy of the paperwork. Otherwise, some coppers just got some new toys.

  • John||

    http://www.breitbart.com/Insta.....-of-Choice

    Have some post modern evil nonsense. To this woman, freedom really is slavery.

  • ||

    Salecl: Because we constantly feel stressed, overwhelmed and guilty. Because, according to this ideology, it's our own fault if we're unhappy. It means we made a bad decision.

    Yes, you stupid cunt, it is your fault. Make different choices so you're not miserable, idiot.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: And if we make the right choice?
    Salecl: In that case, we constantly feel that there's something even better hiding behind the next corner. So we are never truly content and are reluctant to settle on anything.

    Who's not content? Stop projecting, idiot.

  • tarran||

    Oh god! She's a Meyer Briggs Feeler and hasn't figured out that sometimes you just say "good enough" and move on.

  • John||

    maybe. I think she is also a clinical psychologist and is talking about her patients. Since she can't help her patients, she has decided the entire world needs to do the job by giving up their freedom.

  • John||

    Since she can't handle choices and hasn't figured out that happiness is generally about being happy with what you have, everyone should be deprived of choices for their own good.

    Of course, she would never support anything that didn't just enforce her choices on everyone around her. So she will still be getting everything she wants and will be just as unhappy.

    In reality, this women just needs to become a full time submissive to a dominant and stop trying to use the government as a substitute.

  • ||

    I don't understand her complaint. It's not as though there's a shortage of people who would be happy to make all of her decisions for her.

  • PapayaSF||

    I think she has stumbled onto a grain of truth, because all ideologies contain paradoxes at some level, but she spoils it by forcing it into what sounds like trendy academic Marxist bullshit ("capitalism inhibiting social change").

  • Slammer||

    FTA:

    No. I don't criticize political or electoral freedom, but capitalism's perversion of the concept: the illusion that I hold the power over my own life

    Fuck off, slaver

  • anon||

    Wow. I feel sorry for anyone that would actually utter that comment.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Not a slaver, the sort of slave who would happily tell her masters how the underground railroad operated for a pat on the head.

  • ||

    What an evil cunt.

  • Loki||

    Wow, that woman is weapons grade stupid. Holy shit.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Usually that comment is metaphorical, but I think it is literal in this case.

  • ||

    I don't criticize political or electoral freedom, but capitalism's perversion of the concept: the illusion that I hold the power over my own life.

    So, in situations where, mathematically speaking, your choice truly is an illusion (i.e., your choice is vanishingly likely to have any consequences), choice is real. In personal situations where a choice will directly and possibly immediately effect your own life, choice is an illusion.

    Wow.

  • Floridian||

    Wasn't there a psychologist in Atlas that said pretty much the same thing? I'm sure she thinks she is very clever and has this totally new idea. Dumbass!

  • John||

    Being a single vote in a country of 300 million is real power Nikki. Being able to decide that you like coke better than pepsi or that you want to live in a house rather than an apartment is just an illusion. That is not power. When the state tells you what to eat and where to live, then you will have power.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    When I speak about the "tyranny of choice," I mean an ideology that originates in the era of post-industrial capitalism.

    Which is what?

    It began with the American Dream -- the idea of the self-made man, who works his way up from rags to riches.

    The "American Dream" as defined by the man who popularized the term, James Truslow Adams in 1931 (hardly post-industrial America):

    But there has been also the American dream, that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.
  • ||

    Note also that she was apparently considered worthy giving a TED talk. Should have been bookended with that billionaire trustfund baby "venture capitalist" who doesn't think that the rich are job creators.

  • Duke||

    I sure know whenever I hear a female academic begin with "an ideology that originates in the era of post-industrial capitalism,” I lean in and listen intently.

  • Duke||

    Although I have to agree with her statement that "we constantly feel stressed, overwhelmed and guilty.” I know I do, but probably not for the same reasons she does.

  • paranoid android||

    It's much funnier when they use terms like "late capitalism", continuing the now century-long Marxist delusion that free society's collapse is just around the corner, coming any day now, it's inevitable, dontcha know.

  • Floridian||

    I always put my defensive guns in the safe when I'm leaving town. I hope these people learned that not all thieves wear the same outfit.

  • anon||

    I don't have any defensive guns, just offensive ones.

  • Floridian||

    I mean the ones I keep readily available as opposed to my range firearms that only come out to play.

  • anon||

    You mean, you lock Vera up at night!? You bastard.

  • Floridian||

    Lol! Seriously though does anyone actually name their firearms? I have never met a gun person who admits to naming their weapon. I think this is like the tiny penis stereotype.

  • tarran||

    How many of them owned a weapon as fine as the Callahan Full Bore auto-lock with a customized trigger and a double cartridge thorough-gage?

    A thing has to be worth naming before people will give it one.

  • Floridian||

    Ah, I did not watch firefly and had to google your weapon. Now I get the Vera joke.

  • Jumbie||

    My niece is named Vera...

  • ||

    Aside from the gun confiscation, which of course is terrible, what about the fact that mounties simply went into these people's homes? Did none of them lock their doors? Can feds just go into your house if they tell you to evacuate? Fuck that noise.

  • John||

    The public safety exception is appalling. In the US, t he feds can't. But the local police totally can in an evacuation order. They have to make sure everyone is gone or that you are not hurt and couldn't leave. And knocking on the door isn't good enough since you might be hurt and unable to answer. So they have to go in and look and make sure. And if they rifle thought your stuff while you are there, well that only matters if you have something to hide.

  • ||

    Yeah, I had a feeling this was legal (in the US) for pretty much that reason. But it's fucking BS.

  • anon||

    But the local police totally can in an evacuation order.

    Sure they can. They can also kiss my ass when they get shot trying to B&E my house.

  • John||

    And you will be a great American. A dead one. But a great one.

  • anon||

    Far prefer suicide by cop to slavery for life. That's just me though, and I can understand why most people would fear making such a decision.

  • WTF||

    I guess you need the magic glasses to be able to see the part at the end of the fourth Amendement where it says "except if the government declares a matter of public safety."

  • John||

    You have the rights the Supreme Court says you do. It doesn't matter what the document says.

    But hey, they say you have a right to homosexual marriage, so Reason is totally okay with them having the power to tell us what rights we have.

  • WTF||

    You have the rights the Supreme Court says you do. It doesn't matter what the document says.

    Sadly, this has been true for quite a long time.

  • anon||

    It's only true because people don't have the balls to ignore unjust laws.

  • WTF||

    Good point, it's ultimately because the majority of people have allowed it to happen, and often because they simply like the result of a particular decision.

  • R C Dean||

    You have the rights the Supreme Court says you do.

    No, you have the rights you have. Whether SCOTUS gives the government license to violate them doesn't mean you lose your rights, just that the government has permission to violate them.

    I know, its a philosophical difference, but I think it matters.

  • Mainer2||

    Welcome Back

  • John||

    It does matter RC. I think the document means what it was intended to say and if we don't like it, we should change it rather than hoping that our robed overlords will pretend it says something we like.

  • ant1sthenes||

    RC! I was worried Thomas Reynolds and the NSA had caught up with you.

  • Calidissident||

    And John is perfectly ok with them inventing new government powers

  • John||

    No I don't. But if you think they have the power to read rights into the document that were not intended to be there because "times have changed" or whatever, then you can't complain when they use the same technique in reading other parts of the document.

    You can't say that the 14th Amendment can be read to include things its drafters didn't intend and then turn around and say that the commerce clause only means what its drafters intended it to mean. Either the court has to follow the intent of the drafters and some kind of set meaning or it doesn't. You can't say, well it does when we like the result but doesn't when we don't.

    You can say that. But you are basically just saying the document means whatever you want it to. People who think the equal protection clause protects gay marriage forfeit all intellectual standing and credibility to claim that the commerce clause has any kind of limited meaning.

  • sgs||

    I'd love to see the caselaw on that, since it's widely known and well publicized where I live that it is in fact, VERY illegal, even under emergency circumstances, for cops to enter your home.

    Just wondering if you got your info from the same place you get all your other info and to treat it accordingly since I personally know it to be wrong.

  • John||

    It depends on where you live and what the statutes say. Your state very well may have a statute that says they can't. Other states do not.

  • WTF||

    Although I'm pretty sure state statutes can't override the Constitution.

  • John||

    But there is a public safety exception to the 4th Amendment. If the cops think you are hurt or in trouble, they can come in without a warrant. If there is a flood they can come on your land and build a sandbag wall, cut down your fence to build a fire break and so forth.

  • WTF||

    Which basically just boils down to "fuck you, that's why" since none of the amendments have "except.." at the end of them.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Actually there is an "except" in Amendment V.

    And there are "buts" with the same effect in Amendment III and Amendment IV.

    However there isn't a FYTW clause in any of them.

  • WTF||

    I guess Canada has no equivalent to the Fourth Amendment.

  • Andrew S.||

    They do... except when the government doesn't feel like allowing it (see below)

  • WTF||

    So Canada also adheres to the "Fuck You, That's Why" legal reasoning.

  • Andrew S.||

    Apparently in Canada, under a State of Emergency, you have no rights. From wiki:

    Under the current Emergency Act a state of emergency can also be declared by provincial, territorial, and municipal governments. Since Canada's federal government and any of its provincial governments can suspend for five years at a time the Charter rights to fundamental freedoms in section 2, to legal rights in sections 7 through 14, and to equality rights in section 15 by a simple majority vote of the legislature which invokes the Charter of Rights and Freedoms' override clause, section 33, emergency powers can always be very easily created even without using the Emergency Act.

    Section 2: Fundamental freedoms, namely freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of thought, freedom of belief, freedom of expression, freedom of the press and of other media of communication, freedom of peaceful assembly, and freedom of association.

    Section 7: right to life, liberty, and security of the person.
    Section 8: freedom from unreasonable search and seizure.
    Section 9: freedom from arbitrary detention or imprisonment.
    Section 10: right to legal counsel and the guarantee of habeas corpus.
    Section 11: rights in criminal and penal matters such as the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
    Section 12: right not to be subject to cruel and unusual punishment.
    Section 13: rights against self-incrimination
    Section 14: rights to an interpreter in a court proceeding.

  • ||

    Five years? Damn. Charter is even more worthless than I had realized.

  • Bradley Strider||

    And how has the much stronger US Bill of Rights been doing in terms of restraining the government lately?

    They're both just pieces of paper. What you get is what you force the state to concede.

  • AuH20||

    So Canada could just go fascist tomorrow. For the next 5 years. Awesome.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I'm trying to think how I would "prove" I owned the Arisaka rifle my father-in-law brought home from WWII or the shotgun my grandfather was given by his grandfather in 1930.

    With universal background checks, millions and millions of guns like yours will be brought onto the books. It's for your protection, you know.

  • John||

    I have never bought a weapon in my life. Every weapon I own has been a gift from a relative or a trade with a friend/relative.

    That is how the "gun culture" works. And that of course is why universal registration and or background checks would make criminals out of most gun owners. How would I ever show that I acquired a shotgun that belonged to my great grandfather legally?

  • albo||

    Same here. I've inherited all of mine. I have no clue where my dad got his, and even less info where my father-in-law got his very motley set, including a bolt-action .410 and a Ross (obscure Canadian WWI rifle).

  • Almanian!||

    Yep - up until I bought a handgun a couple years ago (and then another last year), all my guns were the ones my dad had when I was growing up. Shotguns and rifles mostly, a couple .22 pistols. Many of which HE got from his dad, brothers, etc. - gifts of gifts of gifts...I got them when my dad died...in 1974. Hmm, no paperwork on these bad boys by now, of course.

    I finally wrote down the model and serial numbers just so we'd know what we have in case they were ever stolen or something.

    ...and I have no idea where that list is now, so I should probably make another accounting and put it in our safe and in the safe deposit box :)

  • AlexInCT||

    John, don't you know that the state would preefer you wouldn't or couldn't so they can take it from you?

    And being able to then weild the full force of the law against you if you deigned to try and fight them on this would just be the icing on the cake..

  • John||

    Of course. That is the whole point of background checks. It is nothing but a way to turn gun owners into criminals and seize guns. It is a complete trojan horse.

  • Rich||

    I trust the nice officers also protectively seized TVs, stereos, jewelry, etc. -- you know, all that stuff looters would go after in an evacuated city.

  • Almanian!||

    Hey - they don't wanna be like New Orleans.

  • ||

    “This is the reason the U.S. has the right to bear arms,” said Charles Timpano, pointing to the group of Mounties

    Canadians speaking favorably about an aspect of US government!

    *flips furiously through Bible*

    Yes, right there in Revelations, this is definitely a sign of the apocalypse!

  • albo||

    Pfft. Don't be silly. The Cubs haven't won the series yet. Relax.

  • Slammer||

    Since people might go into other people's houses and take guns, which would be scary, the STATE will go into people's houses and take guns.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I don't have any defensive guns, just offensive ones.

    They all have that thing that goes up?

    You monster.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    How would I ever show that I acquired a shotgun that belonged to my great grandfather legally?

    That's the point. They want those guns in the registry.

    You know; the national firearm registry they totally aren't creating, and wouldn't ever think of using to clean out your gun safe during an emergency.

  • anon||

    Of course. They just want a firearms registry so they can know who legally owns what gun. You know, for TEH CHILDRUNZ safety. That's all. Nothing to see here, move along.

  • John||

    One thing I can tell you, I will never under any conditions register any weapon I own. Fuck them.

  • anon||

    I don't know the emotion, but I feel something akin to dread plus pity for people that would register a firearm in their own name. I'd register a couple of mine in some asshole's name and address just to fuck with them though...

  • WTF||

    It's always wise to have at least a few that are 'off the books'.

  • Almanian!||

    Yep - you can't buy new in MI without getting a "permit t purchase" from Teh Sheriff of Nottingham, so they know about the noobs.

    Now, these 1940's and 1950's era Remingtons and Colts? WHAT Remingtons and Colts? Huh?

  • Slammer||

  • Almanian!||

    Related: my bulk 9mm came in a bag inside a cardboard box. So I thought, "Hey, I've saved a shitload of plastic cases with empty shells for reloading - I'll drop these into those, box 'em. Will be better organized, boxed in sets of 50 for easy transport and I can count them."

    So, 1000 on the nose - thanks, honest bulk bullet seller! But the cool part was the utter JOY of seeing 1000 rounds of shiny, shiny 9mmm laid out before me before I locked it up in the aafe. SO pretty. SO lethal.

    Going to the range for the first time in almost a year, SINCE I FINALLY HAVE ENOUGH AMMO THAT I KNOW I WON'T RUN OUT AFTER PLINKING FOR A COUPLE HOURS.

    Fuck the Mounties, fuck Obama, fuck Pelosi (with someone else's dick), fuck Gabby Giffords, and fuck California, just for good measure.

  • WTF||

    Yeah, I'll be getting back to the range a little more often now that the ammo supply seems to be loosening up a little.

  • Mongo||

    Somewhat related: I was reading a bio on the Canadian-born Amazing Randi and his reasons for becoming a US citizen.

    He said that in 1987, when he was touring with Alice Cooper in Toronto, the RCMP ransacked their lockers looking for drugs and contraband. Tore the whole place up and didn't find a thing, with nary an apology or explanation.

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