THE Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) on Wednesday announced that it has made two significant seizures of “ghost guns” in the B.C. Interior, following interceptions at international mail centres.
The CBSA said that the importation by mail of 3D-printed firearms parts is a serious concern. Once in Canada, unlicensed individuals use these parts to assemble “ghost guns”, which are firearms that have no serial number.
These cases started when border services officers, in Vancouver and in Toronto, identified firearms parts arriving by international mail. This information led the CBSA’s Criminal Investigations Section to further investigate the people importing the firearms parts:
- On April 27, the CBSA executed a search warrant in West Kelowna, B.C. As investigators entered the residence, they observed a 3D printing machine that was in the process of printing a lower receiver for a handgun. They seized the evidence, along with six more handgun lower receivers with no serial number. Officers arrested a 46-year-old man and released him pending further investigation.
- On April 28, the CBSA executed a search warrant in Lumby, B.C. Investigators seized as evidence a loaded 9mm handgun with no serial number, nine non-restricted long guns, one prohibited knife, one stun gun, and four canisters of ammunition. The CBSA arrested a 27-year-old man who was prohibited from possessing firearms. He was released pending further investigation.
The CBSA’s Criminal Investigations Section is now reviewing all the evidence for violations of the Customs Act and Criminal Code. The CBSA may subsequently recommend that the Crown initiate prosecutions. Anyone convicted of manufacturing firearms without authorization is subject to imprisonment.
Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said: “We’re taking action to keep Canadians safe from gun violence. ‘Ghost guns’ pose a serious risk to our communities for many reasons including they are becoming easier to manufacture and difficult to trace when used by criminals. That’s why we are continuing to invest in new x-ray technology and K-9 units to protect our borders. I want to thank the CBSA for their incredible work in keeping guns out of Canada. “
John Linde, Director, CBSA Intelligence and Enforcement Operations Division, Pacific Region, said: “Canada Border Services Agency officers remain on alert to seize smuggled firearms and firearm parts. This continues to be a top priority for the Agency and an important way we contribute to Canada’s public safety, protecting the communities we serve on a daily basis.”
- From January 1, 2019, to June 30, 2022, the CBSA in the Pacific Region seized 581 firearms at ports of entry and in international mail shipments. CBSA officers in the Pacific Region seized 218 additional firearms while executing border-related search warrants within Canada, often in collaboration with police partners.
- In Canada, it is illegal to make guns without holding the proper firearms business licence. Under Section 2 of the Criminal Code, a firearm’s frame or receiver is in itself considered a firearm and unauthorized individuals cannot manufacture them.
- Unauthorized manufacturing of firearms (Criminal Code Section 99) and unauthorized importing of firearms (Criminal Code Section 103) are punishable by maximum penalties of 10 years imprisonment. Smuggling firearms into Canada (Customs Act Section 159) is punishable by a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a $500,000 fine.
- For the latest CBSA enforcement statistics, visit Canada Border Services Agency seizures.