I don’t known anything about Washington Post correspondent William Marsden, which means I know as much about Marsden as Marsden does about U.S. firearms laws.
This incontrovertible truth becomes achingly apparent in Marsden’s article attempting to blame American gun laws for Canadian crime, Canadians crack down on guns, alarmed by flow from U.S..
It rapidly goes downhill from the very beginning.
Canada bans most guns and has a minuscule number of gun-related homicides a year. But, worried about smuggled firearms from the United States, its government is preparing to stiffen its already tough gun laws and step up border surveillance.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised new regulations and a string of measures to counter gun smuggling, which is regarded here as a dangerous problem underscoring the United States’ much looser firearm laws.
The move comes as police have discovered an increased number of high-powered handguns, semiautomatic and automatic weapon s in Canadian cities.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news for Mr. Marsden and the “layers of editors and fact-checkers” at the Post, but automatic weapons have been tightly regulated in the United States since 1934, and have been outlawed entirely for civilian manufacture since 1986.
You heard that correctly. Outlawed. For 30 years.
The roughly 250,000 automatic weapons in the United States—one-half of which are owned by law enforcement agencies—are very tightly regulated, requiring an additional layer of background checks conducted by the ATF, a $200 tax stamp, and generally requires at least a 6-month wait before pickup after another NICS check.
U.S. regulations on machine guns in the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) have been so successful in ensuring that only law-abiding citizens have registered machine guns that there have only been two criminal homicides with then in 82 years… and one of those was a crooked police officer using his issued weapon.
In addition to the NFA, the Hughes Amendment to the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 (FOPA) outlawed the manufacture of machine guns for anyone other than military, law enforcement, and gun dealers serving those markets. There hasn’t been a single new machine gun introduced into the market in 30 years, so how are American gun laws responsible for Canadian criminals acquiring automatic weapons?
The simple fact of the matter is that American gun laws don’t play any role at all in Canadian criminals acquiring automatic weapons. Canadian criminals are getting their guns from the same place that Mexican narco-terrorists are getting their guns. No, I don’t mean the Obama Administration.
Criminals in every nation acquire firearms through the same smuggling routes as they do the drugs that form the backbone of their criminal enterprise. Military firearms from South America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East are being shipped alongside heroin, cocaine, and other narcotics from these countries of origin.
The U.S. gun laws that the Post is obliquely attacking have nothing to do with Canadian criminals acquiring machine guns.
The Post is lying to it’s readers about guns, yet again.
The number of legally manufactured and owned automatic weapons moving from the United States to Canada is likely zero—not a single one—but Marsden is careful to obscure that fact.
Homicides in Toronto spiked to 80 in 2005, from 64 in 2004, and the majority were shooting-related. About 70 percent of the guns used were handguns and automatic weapons smuggled from the United States, police say.
I suspect “about 100%” of those 70-percent of guns are either handguns, or illegal automatic weapons that were never legally part of the American gun market.
Marsden has plenty of opportunity to asked about the origins of machine guns seized by Canadian law enforcement…
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders told reporters in December that police had seized 11 machine guns, adding that he was worried about officer safety.
…but seems to want to carefully avoid finding out where these firearms are originating, and what their legal status was before being confiscated.
I can’t blame him.
The truth wouldn’t serve the agenda that the anti-gun editors of the Washington Post are trying to shape.