With hunting season in full swing, the Regina Police Service has a reminder to all gun owners to ensure that firearms and ammunition are properly stored, handled and secured, both in transport and at home. Your firearm should be unloaded. The only time an individual may load or handle a loaded firearm is when they are in a place where it can be legally discharged. A firearm must always be unloaded when it is stored, displayed, or transported. The only exception to this rule is in the case of a muzzle-loading firearm being transported between hunting sites with the firing cap/flint removed. Non-restricted firearms that are left in an unattended vehicle must be locked in the trunk or in a similar lockable compartment. If the vehicle does not have a trunk or compartment that can be locked, the firearms must be placed out of sight inside the vehicle, and the vehicle must be locked. The regulations pertaining to the storage, display, handling and transportation of firearms by individuals can be found here: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-98-209/page-1.html#docCont Essentially, these regulations call for individuals to ensure that non-restricted firearms are unloaded and locked up to prevent accidents or thefts of the firearms themselves.
Unfortunately, improper handling, storage and transportation of firearms occurs, perhaps because the owner is in a hurry or becomes complacent in following the laws around firearms. Stolen firearms are often used in the commission of other offences including Robbery, Assault with a Weapon and drug-trafficking-related offences. The Regina Police Service encourages all gun owners to review their storage, handling and transportation practices when it comes to firearms and ammunition. A person found to be transporting or storing an unrestricted firearm improperly can face criminal charges, including 86(1) Careless Use of Firearm. Now, more than ever, it is important to make sure firearms are handled, stored and transported in accordance with the laws for the safety and security of all people in our community. The Regina Police Service thanks the public for their assistance in this matter.