BC Government sets up new Illegal Firearms Task Force

Credit: Alberta Serious Incident Response Team

VICTORIA, B.C. – With a new drug overdose Task Force already in place, the Government has created another one to combat illegal gun possession.

It was announced today that the Task Force is a part of a $23-million expanded Guns and Gangs Strategy. The new Task Force has a budget of $200,000 and will consist of key stakeholders and subject matter experts.

They will make up a series of recommendations to help identify, address and combat illegal firearms in BC.

The main goals of the task force’s study are is to:

  • Examine current provincial and federal legislation, interdiction and enforcement policies.
  • Identify gaps and needs to combat illegal possession and illegal use of firearms within British Columbia.
  • Develop a report with key findings and recommendations to be presented to the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

The task force will host their first meeting on Wednesday, September 28th 2016, and their final report and recommendations are expected in early spring 2017.

The creation of the task force is one of the steps outlined in the expanded Guns and Gangs Strategy announced on April 15, 2016.

Mike Morris, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General says this is an important step to combat illegal gun possession.

“The use of illegal firearms to commit murders, attempted murders, home invasions and other violent acts is a serious public safety issue in British Columbia and one this government has been working to address through the provincial Guns and Gangs Strategy and through events like the upcoming firearms amnesty scheduled for the month of October. I look forward to reviewing the report and recommendations from the task force this spring and for their contribution in the fight to keep illegal firearms off our streets.”

  • In 2015, there were over 2,000 incidents involving the criminal use of firearms in British Columbia.
  • These incidents included such offences as homicide, attempted homicide, robbery, assault, uttering threats, break and enters and careless use.
  • During the investigation of these incidents over 3,000 illegal firearms were seized by law enforcement personnel.