In Canada, amidst the ongoing gun crackdown, a concerning trend has emerged. The Federal Government emphasizes confiscating guns based on serial numbers to curb violent crimes and atrocities. However, an alarming escalation in gun-related crimes persists, particularly with 3D-printed guns, indicating a growing challenge in controlling illicit firearms.
The proliferation of Ghost Guns in Canada is a growing concern, exacerbated by the widespread availability of affordable technology worldwide. Despite stringent regulations on firearms, the circulation of these untraceable weapons has escalated.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) faces significant challenges in monitoring and documenting these incidents. While acknowledging anecdotally the existence of several ghost gun seizures in Canada, the RCMP does not maintain specific statistics on this issue, hindering comprehensive tracking.
Recent law enforcement efforts underscore the gravity of the situation. RCMP conducted raids across eight provinces, leading to the arrest of 45 individuals and the seizure of 440 3D-printed firearms.
Disturbingly, a coroner’s inquest revealed that weapons used in a random triple murder in the Montreal area were homemade by the assailant, highlighting the potentially lethal consequences of unregulated ghost guns.
The Ghost Guns: A Problem No One Saw Coming
The absence of serial numbers on 3D-printed guns presents a significant challenge to existing regulations. Remarkably, possessing digital blueprints for these firearms is not prohibited by the Firearms Act or other laws, making it relatively easy for individuals to manufacture these weapons.
Utilizing a 3D printer and online instructions, anyone can create a functional firearm, further worsening law enforcement’s efforts to curb this alarming trend. Despite these challenges, the RCMP maintains that it does not systematically collect data on these ghost guns, reflecting a more critical gap in addressing this pressing issue in Canada’s security landscape.
In the midst of the Canadian government’s intensified crackdown on guns, Ottawa is significantly ramping up surveillance efforts. Allocating an additional $390 million over five years, the government aims to combat gun crime and violence.
This funding surge supports provinces and territories in various initiatives, bolstering law enforcement and prevention programs, as outlined by Public Safety Canada. This initiative builds upon the 2017 launch of the Initiative to Take Action Against Gun and Gang Violence (ITAAGGV).
Guns Taken: Not Ghosts
Between 2018 and 2022, Ottawa had already committed approximately $327.6 million in federal funding to address the rise in gun violence and gang activity in Canada. Despite these efforts, the absence of legislation regulating 3D-printed guns continues to pose a significant challenge.
This regulatory gap perpetuates the existing problem and, arguably, exacerbates it further, maintaining a concerning status quo in the face of growing technological advancements.
The proliferation of 3D-printed guns has exacerbated the worsening trend of shooting incidents in Canada. Shockingly, Canada now ranks third in firearm homicide rates among populous high-income countries, trailing only behind the U.S. and Chile.
The country also faces the ninth-highest age-standardized rate of firearm suicide among men globally, more than double the global average. Over the past decade, Canada has witnessed 15 mass shooting events, underscoring the gravity of the situation.
Despite efforts to regulate legal firearms, the challenge posed by 3D-printed guns remains unaddressed. Prime Minister Trudeau’s policies, while targeting legal guns with existing databases, do not extend to these untraceable 3D-printed weapons.
Consequently, the stringent gun control measures implemented so far have proven insufficient in curbing the rising menace of ghost guns in the country. As a result, amidst the ongoing gun crackdown, Canada’s safety is haunted by the growing prevalence of these unregulated and untraceable firearms, posing a serious threat to public security.