Public Safety Canada

Public Safety Canada

August 07, 2012 17:46 ET

Statement From Minister Toews on Firearms Sentences

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 7, 2012) - The Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, today issued a statement following two recent announcements by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) of mandatory three-year prison sentences imposed by Manitoba and Alberta courts for firearms smuggling. George Foster was sentenced on July 24, 2012 for smuggling 75 guns, including 48 handguns - four of which were loaded - and 12 high capacity magazines hidden inside his pickup truck, at the port of Coutts, AB. Dorion Larry Ozykowski was sentenced on August 7, 2012 for smuggling a prohibited 9mm handgun and a prohibited magazine clip, along with ammunition into Canada. Both men pleaded guilty to Criminal Code and Customs Act offenses.

"Mandatory sentences for gun-related offences send a strong message to individuals who attempt to circumvent our laws. I commend the CBSA for its vigilance in detecting and disrupting this smuggling effort. By preventing handguns from illegally entering this country, our border officials are helping keep our streets and communities safe.

Our Government's Tackling Violent Crime Act received Royal Assent in February 2008 and included higher mandatory prison sentences for serious firearm-related offences. These include three years on a first offence and five years on a second or subsequent offence for firearm trafficking, possession for the purpose of firearm trafficking, firearm smuggling and illegal possession of a restricted or prohibited firearm, loaded or with ammunition. "

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