Gun Control: Open letter to the federal Minister of Public Safety
I believed, following our November meeting, that you recognized the devastating human cost of certain flaws in the current gun control law and that, in spite of your evasive answers and dispassionate commitment regarding the scope and strength of the upcoming new measures, you would have enough empathy towards victims’ families to change something in relation to tragedies committed with firearms that were legally owned at the time of the crime.
In Bill C-71 which you have just tabled there is nothing that would have changed anything in connection with the violent and preventable death of my son Thierry. (It still) allows individuals who clearly represent a risk to public safety to legally possess guns despite the fact that authorities are well aware of this risk. Like the history of violent and suicidal incidents — well-known to police and medical authorities — of the man who killed my son.
The law only requires authorities to consider a relatively limited list of very serious risk factors; there are no rules mandating judges or firearms officers to prevent access to guns to those who display these risk factors; authorities can allow people who clearly pose a risk to themselves or others to own guns. In fact, it was Thierry himself, on the orders of his superiors, who had to return the guns to his own future murderer, including the gun that ended up killing him. Before the murder-suicide, the man had acquired two new guns, including an SKS assault rifle. I don’t even want to imagine what more damage an unstable guy like him could have done with such a weapon.
Do you really think that maintaining the status quo is in the public’s interest?
Minister, my family and I were counting on the Liberal Party to make sure that Thierry's death was not in vain. Your party was elected on a gun control platform. I travelled to Ottawa to ask you in person to tighten the legal criteria for owning guns, so that the police and the courts systematically prioritize public safety rather than gun ownership, especially when it comes to obvious risks. Such measures could have prevented my son's death at the age of 26.
There is still time before the final vote to bring in amendments to Bill C-71.
Father of Thierry LeRoux
(1989-2016) Chicoutimi, Qc