Dr. Gary Mauser’s latest study of gun ownership, criminality, and gun control was released last week, and examines the number of violent and administrative criminal charges laid in Canada from 1998 to 2015.
Analyzing data provided by StatsCan, the findings are somewhat shocking, as Dr. Mauser found an overwhelming majority of cases pertained solely to administrative crimes such as unsafe storage or paperwork issues, rather than the actual violent crime commonly associated with the term “gun crime.” Finding an average of roughly 3,000 gun-related cases per year, roughly 2,880 of those cases did not involve any charges for violent crime, such as murder or assault. In fact, Dr. Mauser “found that just 4% of the charges for documentation irregularities involving “unsafe storage” of firearms and “firearms documentation” were accompanied by criminal charges for violence.” That means in the other 96% of the cases analyzed involved so-called “victimless crimes,” where no violence nor threat of violence was found.
During the same period, Dr. Mauser found that “firearms were used to injure approximately 1,300 victims of violent crimes annually from 1998 through 2016.” However, according to the data provided on cases involving gun charges, an average of just 120 cases per year see individuals charged with both gun crimes and violent crimes. The inevitable conclusion is that the vast majority of those committing violent crimes with firearms are not being charged with gun crimes. Put another way, just 9% of those victims of violent crime with firearm result in gun-related charges.
Ironically, the conclusion one is forced to reach is the same conclusion gun advocates have tried to get across for decades: That gun control laws only apply to the law-abiding. However, here in Canada it looks like that phrase is being taken literally. Too literally.