The Burns Lake RCMP is reminding residents that firearms need to be safely stored.
“Unsecured premises plus unsecured firearms equals danger,” said staff sergeant Charlotte Peters with the Burns Lake RCMP.
After responding to a 9-1-1 call last week, the local detachment seized approximately 15 firearms from a local residence that were unsafely stored. Although the person who called 9-1-1 did not speak, the RCMP still attended the residence where the call came from.
“Nothing was heard on the other line, but we have to check to make sure that the people are okay,” said Peters. “We attended the residence and found that it wasn’t locked, and we entered to make sure that nobody was hurt or there were any other offences going on.”
Although officers determined that there was no emergency at the residence, when they walked inside they found over 15 firearms spread all over the residence.
“We located all of these firearms everywhere – some of them were loaded and didn’t have any trigger locks.”
Although it is not illegal to own so many firearms, it is a legal requirement to have them safely stored. This includes the use of trigger locks and securing them inside a container.
“Anybody could’ve gone inside, and every single one of these firearms were not locked up in any way,” explained Peters. “People need to have their firearms secured and properly locked up the way that they are supposed to be according to the Firearms Act.”
According to the RCMP, the owner of the firearms can claim them back given that he or she has all the proper licences.
“Our next course of action will be just talking to the person who owns the firearms and we’ll have a strong discussion with them about firearms safety, and we’ll go from there.”
How to store firearms safely
Unload and lock the firearms. Store the ammunition separately or lock it up; it can be stored in the same locked container as the firearms.
For non-restricted firearms, attach a secure locking device such as a trigger lock or cable lock (or remove the bolt) so the firearms cannot be fired; or lock the firearms in a cabinet, container or room that is difficult to break into.
For restricted firearms, attach a secure locking device so the firearms cannot be fired and lock them in a cabinet, container or room that is difficult to break into; or lock the firearms in a vault, safe or room that was built or modified specifically to store firearms safely. For automatic firearms, also remove the bolts or bolt carriers (if removable) and lock them in a separate room that is difficult to break into.