As Saskatoon police continue to investigate the case of a stolen RCMP pistol, an expert in Canadian firearms law says he expects to see discipline, and likely criminal charges, for the officer responsible for the gun.
Ed Burlew is an Ontario-based lawyer who specializes in gun law.
Speaking Tuesday on Gormley, he said off-duty RCMP officers are subject to the same laws around safe storage and handling of guns and ammunition as any other Canadian.
“If it’s in a vehicle, the vehicle has to be locked. The gun has to empty, it has to have a trigger-lock on the trigger and it has to be in a locked, opaque box.”
In the case of the service pistol stolen on Aug. 8, RCMP indicated the gun had been left overnight in an unmarked police vehicle parked at a Saskatoon hotel.
“As a civilian, if that happens to me, they take all my guns out of my house and they want me prohibited from ever having a gun,” Burlew said.
A suspect was arrested a few days after the theft. Police reported on Aug. 21 that the pistol itself was returned anonymously.
In an email, a Saskatoon Police Service police spokesperson said it was still too early to say whether the RCMP officer would face any weapons charges, as the case remains under investigation.
Burlew said he and others in Canada’s firearms community would be watching the case closely to make sure police are held accountable.
“It would be very disappointing to the legal gun-owning public who’s gone through such expensive training if this officer was not, in some way, at least disciplined.”
RCMP said the officer who lost the gun has been placed on administrative duty while the case is investigated both internally and by the Saskatoon Police Service.