Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Iqaluit August 29, 2012 - 1:34 pm

Nunavut RCMP want to see trigger locks on all firearms

Most of the firearms used in violent incidents are borrowed or stolen

SAMANTHA DAWSON

The members of the Iqaluit RCMP detachment take gun safety very seriously, Sgt. Kevin Lewis told Iqaluit city councillors Aug. 27.

Police are encouraging the safe storage of guns throughout Nunavut due to the recent rash of violent incidents involving firearms, Lewis said, in response to a question from Coun. Jimmy Kilabuk, who wanted to know how the RCMP is helping stop the misuse of firearms.

“It’s always scary when we hear of someone having firearms and intimidating everyone else,” Kilabuk said.

That is especially true in relation to police officers in the communities, Lewis responded.

“We are pretty concerned actually. It’s getting to the point where a lot of members don’t feel as safe as they once did in communities. It’s quite concerning to me,” Lewis said.

The RCMP are working towards increasing awareness about firearms safety and “trying to get the word out there,” by talking to gun-owners and handing out free trigger locks.

“It’s going to take a bit of time and a bit of money on [our] part to get the message out there about firearms safety,” Lewis said. “[We are] more or less giving away these trigger locks to try to get the message across that this is how you’re supposed to properly store them.”

People must maintain proper storage of their firearms, that is, put them in a safe place, with trigger locks on them. Gun owners should also keep the only key “because the majority of people who are using firearms in the communities, and the rare case we get in Iqaluit here, the firearms are borrowed or stolen.”

“So safeguarding the firearms you do have is probably the most important thing you can do,” Lewis said.

Everyone who owns a firearm should make sure access is limited to it, he said.

“The last thing you want is your firearm being taken and used in a commission of offense especially if it ends up harming somebody,” he said. “It all starts with the gun-owner, essentially.”

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