“I have a concern about firearms. Who can I call?”
OTTAWA – Firearms are present in an estimated 17 per cent of Canadian households. There are almost eight million firearms in Canada (or about two firearms for every 10 people). The majority of Canadian firearm owners have long guns, which they use for hunting, sport and wildlife control.
“Firearms in the home must be stored safely,” says Canada Safety Council president Jack Smith. The Canada Safety Council recommends locking the firearms in a cabinet, container or room that is difficult to break into, and storing the ammunition separately.”
If you have firearms in your home, or if you’re visiting someone who does, Smith advises you to make sure safe storage practices are in place. The Canadian Firearms Program has a toll-free number you can call to discuss any safety concern related to firearms.
Dr. Alan Drummond, with the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, says long guns are a major concern for doctors in rural areas, where firearm ownership is more common. “As a rural emergency physician and coroner, I have seen my share of accidental injuries and deaths inflicted by rifles and shotguns,” he says. In his community of Perth, Ontario, he finds that incidents of firearm deaths and injuries increase in situations where an unsafely stored gun is readily available.
The rate of firearms deaths in Canada has been falling year by year. In 2001, there were 837 firearms related deaths, or 2.70 per 100,000 Canadians. In 2011, the last year for which statistics are available, 679 Canadians died from shootings. Despite a growing population, that’s 158 fewer deaths, and the rate was 2.03 per 100,000 – a 25 per cent drop compared to 2001.
For safety reasons, Canadian firearms regulations require gun owners to be properly trained and licensed. The law also requires firearms to be safely stored when not in use. Safe storage includes keeping guns unloaded and locked, with ammunition stored separately or locked up.
Firearms licences can be denied or revoked if there are public safety concerns and risks. In 2013, the Canadian Firearms Program refused 886 firearms licence applications and revoked 2,497 firearms licences.
If you observe unsafe storage or use of firearms, or have a concern about firearms, call the Canadian Firearms Program’s toll-free (non-emergency) number during regular business hours, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. nationwide, Monday to Friday.
Telephone: 1 800 731-4000
You can also email email@example.com.
If you have an urgent or life-threatening concern related to a firearm, call 911 or your local emergency police number.
Canada Safety Council Public Service Announcement (PSA)
The Canada Safety Council is re-releasing a PSA to let Canadians know who to call if they have a concern about firearms safety. The purpose of this PSA is to raise awareness of firearms regulations.
About the Canada Safety Council
The Canada Safety Council is an independent, knowledge-based, charitable organization dedicated to the cause of safety. We provide national leadership in safety through information, education and collaboration. We are Canada’s voice and resource for safety.
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