Can the Police take Someone’s Guns for Mental Illness?
If you or someone you know with a mental illness may pose a risk towards themselves or others, contact the local authorities immediately.
Effective October 21, 2022, the Government of Canada introduced Bill C-21. To address the alarming role of guns in gender-based violence, Bill C-21 introduced red and yellow flag laws, which may prescribe prohibition orders. Some of these are specifically related to mental health. These are called “red flag” law, “yellow flag” law and expanded licence revocations. “Red flag” law enables anyone to apply to the court for an emergency weapons prohibition order, known as a “red flag,” immediately removing firearms for up to 30 days from a gun owner. If a gun owner may pose a danger to themselves or others, or may provide a firearm to another person with a weapons prohibition order, a concerned citizen may make the application.
Subject to a red flag, the gun owner would have to surrender or forfeit their firearm(s) to government agents or have the firearm(s) seized temporarily by a seizure order of the court. “Red flag” applicants are also guaranteed safety by the law. The judge would have the option to close a “red flag” hearing’s proceeding to the public and media, seal court documents for 30 days, or enforce a publication ban.
What Does the Firearms Act Regulate?
The Firearms Act works in conjunction with the Criminal Code to regulate the firearms in Canada. These regulations govern the labelling of guns, authorization of licenses, authorization of import and/or export, the sale of a weapon, storage regulations, transport regulations, and many more.
The Storage, Display, Trasnportation and Handling of Firearms by Individuals Regulations SOR/98-209 further specifies how exactly to deal with firearms. Generally, firearms should be stored unloaded, rendered inoperable, and not readily accessible to ammunition. This is to prevent any accidents from occurring.