Firearms: 'Red Flag Measure' in Federal Bill Criticized

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Firearms: 'Red Flag Measure' in Federal Bill Criticized

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For opponents, recourse to the courts would allow the police to discharge the responsibility of investigate and remove an owner's guns if it concludes there is a real risk.

Opponents of a bill to get guns out of the wrong hands say the move could actually undermine efforts to provide more safety to citizens, including women at risk of domestic violence.

A federal government bill, currently before MPs, would allow an individual to apply to the court for an emergency injunction that would restrain a person who may cause harm from violence, as a stalker or assailant, to possess a firearm for up to 30 days.

The identity of the person filing the petition could be kept confidential and the case could proceed without the gun owner being present in court.

Several organizations have told the Commons Public Safety Committee that this “red flag measure” is problematic and constitutes a legislative error.

Heidi Rathjen, coordinator of gun control group PolySeSouvient, even told a committee hearing that no women's organization had asked the government for this measure.

< p class="e-p">Under current law, a woman who fears violence from someone who owns a gun can call the police, who can then investigate and remove the guns if they find that he there is a real risk. However, by forcing a potential victim to go to court, argues Ms. Rathjen, the “red flag measure” could allow the police to offload this responsibility.

We believe that the& The existence of such a measure will undermine the reforms that need to take place in these kinds of cases where the police do not take complaints seriously enough, she told the committee. And that should be the goal of improving the system, because it is the most effective system in protecting victims and potential victims, especially in cases of domestic violence.

PolySeSouvient brings together students and graduates of the École polytechnique de Montréal, where a man shot 14 women in 1989.

In a brief presented to the committee, the; organization says the introduction of these new “red flag measures” for victims also shows a lack of understanding of the nuances of intimate partner violence.

Indeed, it is unrealistic to expect victims to have the means and courage to go to court when they face concurrent challenges, such as escaping violence. , care for their children and keep their jobs, the brief reads.

In its brief to the committee, the National Association of Women and the Law says the process of going to court is likely to be risky and inconvenient for women whose safety is at risk.

This association wants MPs to strengthen the law to ensure that firearms are quickly removed from an owner where a risk of harm is evident.

Act extremely quickly may be critical to avoiding femicide, her memoir reads. Too many steps or confusion about who pulls the guns and when can have tragic consequences.

Louise Riendeau, of the Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victims de violence conjugale, told the Commons committee that the “red flag measure” should be removed from the bill because it could harm more women than it does. x27;some would help.

The existing law is both sufficient and preferable to the proposed changes to the red flag measure, the Canadian Bar Association said in a brief to the deputies.

This association suggests that allowing the person going to court to conceal their identity could lead to abuse by a vengeful individual.< /p>

Police officers themselves are vulnerable to false complaints under these provisions, the Association argues. An aggrieved person who has been arrested can present a one-sided account of the interaction in court. There is no cross-examination or opportunity to check records.

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