Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

RCMP head asks for investigation into High River gun seizures

  • Print

OTTAWA -- The head of the RCMP is asking for an investigation into the seizure of firearms from homes evacuated during flooding in Alberta after the move was criticized by the Prime Minister's Office.

Commissioner Bob Paulson has written to the Commission for Public Complaints against the RCMP and asked the agency to look into the matter. He said he and a lot of Canadians have questions about the force's actions in the devastated town of High River.

"I am quite concerned by the sharp criticism that has arisen in the media with respect to the gun seizures from evacuated homes," Paulson wrote in a letter to Ian McPhail, the interim chair of the watchdog agency.

"Naturally this is quite troubling to me, and I am sure to you, as indeed it must be to many Canadians who wonder what was going on in High River."

The Mounties said they took the weapons as officers searched homes in the town's flood zone to look for stranded people, pets and anything that might pose a threat to returning residents.

In a statement issued last week, the RCMP said officers found some gun owners had laid out their weapons in plain view as they presumably moved valuable possessions to higher ground. The weapons were tagged for return to their owners.

"The last thing any gun owner wants is to have their guns fall into the wrong hands," assistant commissioner Marianne Ryan said at the time.

Earlier this week, the force said the weapons could be reclaimed with the presentation of a possession-acquisition licence.

While Paulson praised officers for their "heroic work" during the flooding, he said he wants the investigation to assess whether the gun seizures were "well-founded, reasonably executed and in accordance with our policies."

RCMP in Alberta referred requests for comment on Paulson's letter to the national office.

The Prime Minister's Office criticized the seizures at the time, saying the RCMP should be focusing more on protecting life and property. Opposition politicians, in turn, jumped on the PMO for meddling in the operational affairs of the national police force.

Last week, Alberta Premier Alison Redford said the RCMP were simply securing weapons, rather than "leaving them sitting on fireplace mantles in a town that was evacuated."

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 6, 2013 A22

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Keri Latimer looks for beauty in the dark and the spaces between the notes

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • A gosling stares near water at Omands Creek Park-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 25– June 21, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What should the city do with the 102-year-old Arlington Street bridge?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google