Tag Archives: third

Body Armour Control Act: Revisited


I first wrote about BC’s Body Armour Control Act on October 24, 2009.  At that time, I had little understanding of how quickly bills can move through provincial legislatures.  Even by provincial standards, this bill was pushed through with lightning speed, leaving practically no time for public input.  By the time I wrote my blog entry, it had already passed 2nd Reading.  Two days later, on October 26, 2009, the bill went through Committee, Report, Amendment and passed 3rd Reading – all in a single day!  On October 29, 2009 the bill received Royal Assent. 

First Reading October 20, 2009
Second Reading October 22, 2009
Committee October 26, 2009
Report October 26, 2009
Amended October 26, 2009
Third Reading October 26, 2009
Royal Assent October 29, 2009
Source: http://qp.gov.bc.ca/39th1st/votes/progress-of-bills.htm

What is it?

A brief backgrounder for those who don’t know, this Act was introduced in an effort to curb gang violence in BC, particularly Vancouver.  The idea is that by restricting access to body armour, it will reduce a criminal’s “sense of security” making them less likely to engage in shootouts in our communities. 

Though there are many faults with this legislation, the biggest one is the complete lack of logic involved.  Criminals will always have have access to body armour, and they’re highly unlikely to acquire a permit or register it with police.  In effect, the only thing this bill does, is give the Solicitor General 15 minutes of fame, and take away the ability of the public to possess a passive safety device.

For more details, see my previous blog post.

What’s the status now?

From February 25 – March 12, 2010 the Public Safety and Solicitor General’s office has opened the floor to “Interested Stakeholders” to give input into the regulations that will bring this act into force.  Here is the Proposed Framework on which they would like your feedback:

Proposed Framework

  • Types of Body Armour to be Included

It is envisioned that Body Armour Control Act (BACA) Regulations and policy will apply to body armour that is ballistic, stab and/or puncture resistant. This will include trauma plates, inserts and other devices that can be added to the vests over a localized area to increase the wearer’s protection against blunt trauma injuries or projectiles fired from a firearm.

This may include, but not be limited to garments and items which meet the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Standard 0101.06 – Standards for Ballistic resistance of Personal Body Armour, types II,IIA, III, IIIA or IV or National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Standard 0115.00 – Stab Resistance of Personal Body Armour, levels 1, 2 or 3.

  • Body Armour Permit Requirements

Unless exempt under the BACA or Regulations from the requirement to obtain a body armour permit, individuals wanting to possess body armour will be required to make an application to the Registrar of Security Services for a Body Armour Permit. This may include those wanting to possess body armour due to non-violent threats to personal safety related to a sport, hobby or occupation (e.g., sport shooting club members) or individuals with threats to their personal safety of an ongoing nature.

Permit applicants will be required to provide personal information – including name, date of birth and contact information – and will be required to prove a reasonable need for the possession of body armour. In addition, applicants will have to undergo a criminal record check and pay a permit fee (fee estimates at this time are $90 for 5-year term and $45 for renewal).

Once a risk assessment is performed on the applicant, a permit will be issued to the individual allowing them to purchase, wear or possess body armour. A permit holder must carry the permit when in possession of body armour and produce it upon request by a peace officer or inspector.

  • Body Armour Permit Exemptions

There are a number of legitimate uses of body armour where it is required for protection in the course of one’s employment or job-related duties. Among those that will be exempt from the requirement to obtain a body armour permit are individuals employed by police and other enforcement agencies, armoured car guards, security guards, security consultants and private investigators. Proof of exemption will be required to be carried by these individuals when purchasing body armour or when in possession of body armour and will be linked to their security worker license, badge number, employee identification or verification document as applicable.

Exemptions to requiring a permit will also be considered for those individuals who do not reside in British Columbia but require body armour during their stay (i.e., diplomats) and/or individuals with imminent threats to their personal safety.

An individual in an exempt category must carry proof of exemption and produce it upon request by a peace officer or inspector when in possession of body armour.

  • Body Armour Business and Sales Persons Licensing Requirements

Businesses that sell body armour and their employees play an important role in ensuring that purchasers of body armour are authorized to do so. Businesses that sell body armour in British Columbia will be required to obtain a security business license under the Security Services Act to sell body armour, and employees of the business selling the body armour must obtain a security worker licence with licence type Body Armour Sales. Body Armour vendors will also be required to record information about body armour sales to show that sales are made only to people who are authorized to possess body armour.

What can I do?

Use the feedback form provided by the PSSG or send an e-mail to Sylvia.Montagnaro@gov.bc.ca

Let your lawmakers know that it is completely unacceptable for them to push through legislation without public input.  Tell them that this Act is an abomination that infringes on your charter rights.  It is a useless piece of legislation that will do nothing to improve public safety, it will reduce public respect for police officers who must enforce it, and it is nothing more than a blatant tax grab.  Let them know that the voters will hold them accountable.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS:  MARCH 12, 2010

Say it ain’t so!


Elizabeth Mandelman says:

July 28, 2009 at 5:47 pm

Brad,
Add the number of domestic abuse deaths prevented and the number of perpetrators prohibited from acquiring firearms to the number of prevented suicides (or the use of firearms by people mentally unstable to own one), prevented accidents, and prevented criminal activities in this and other countries together, and it’s pretty easy to justify the Firearms Act (and, as has been pointed out again and again, it did not cost $2billion dollars).

You are correct in stating that you haven’t been using an emotional plea, and neither have I. There are fellows in other countries such as Uganda, Argentina, Nepal and Serbia, working on the same issue that I am. However, in those countries, there are no harmonized laws. Take a look at the statistics on domestic abuse and the use of firearms in those places, and maybe you’ll understand better why sometimes regulation is a good thing. I’m here looking at the Firearms Act as good practice, determing what elements are useful and what changes could be made to make the legislation even better. So by me being here, I am working to help other places in the world that you say are in need of people like me, with convictions.

Please tell me I’m wrong.  Please tell me that Ms Mandelman didn’t just try to compare domestic violence in Canada to domestic violence in 2nd & 3rd world countries.

The above comment was taken from Elizabeth Mandelman’s blog.  She’s working with IANSA on their Disarm Domestic Violence campaign.  The campaign was recently launched in several countries around the world:  Argentina, Brazil, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, DR Congo, El Salvador, Haiti, Liberia, Macedonia, Mali, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

I’m not going to raise the question of what Canada could possibly have in common with the other 27 countries on that list.  I am going to ask if Ms Mandelman actually believes the segment that I highlighted.  Because it sounds to me like she is implying (if not outright saying) that the primary reason that our firearms use and domestic violence rates are lower in Canada, is because of our laws.

So the extreme poverty in most of those countries has nothing to do with it?  The staggering lack of education is irrelevant?  Not just the history, but the culture of violence that is so prevalent in many of those countries isn’t important to the issue of domestic violence?  And the fact that the majority of the countries on that list are traditionally patriarchal societies in which women have few inherent rights – that doesn’t factor in at all?

You see, I’ve been to several of the countries on that list.  I’ve seen first hand how their societies work.  I can say with absolute 100% conviction that restricting access to firearms will do NOTHING to reduce domestic violence in any of them.  Sure, it may reduce firearm use, but the crime rates and levels of violence will remain the same.

The rate of domestic violence has been declining in Canada for decades.  Any claims that a law which was introduced in 1995 has had any measurable effect on the numbers are completely false and not supported by the available data.  In fact a weapon is used only 7% of the time in cases of domestic violence – that’s all types of weapons, not just firearms.

Spousal Homicide Rate

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-224-x/85-224-x2008000-eng.pdf

 

Firearm-Related Crime

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/85-002-x2008002-eng.pdf

“The rates of overall fi rearm-related violent crime have been stable since 2003. Most violent offences, including homicide, attempted murder, robbery, forcible confinement and assault follow a similar pattern. Longer-term data, available for homicide and robbery, show that the rates of these two offences gradually declined throughout the past three decades with recent levels well below those reported in the 1970s. While the incidence of firearm-related violent crime is relatively low, those that are committed with a firearm most often involve a handgun.

The section I’ve highlighted in bold shows, once again, that firearm-related crime has been falling since the 1970’s.  So how could anyone claim that a piece of legislation introduced in 1995 has had anything whatsoever to do with it?

Handguns have been registered in Canada since 1934.  Yet, as the section I’ve underlined states, they’re still the most used type of firearm in violent crimes.  So what exactly has registration accomplished again?

There are many, many factors involved in the issue of domestic violence, especially in the third world.   Claiming that tighter gun laws reduce domestic violence is not only statistically false, it’s also a betrayal of the victims whom the makers of these laws are supposedly trying to protect.