Online purchases of gun silencers have Timmins police concerned
SUDBURY -- In the last year, Timmins Police Service says it has investigated three separate incidents of residents buying gun silencers online, which is a criminal offence in Canada.
Timmins police Service intercepted the noise suppressors in cooperation with the Canadian Border Services Agency.
"In at least one of the cases investigated by the Timmins Police Service, the item in question was given an innocuous description on its packaging as being an automotive part in order to avoid scrutiny from law enforcement agencies," police said in a news release Wednesday
In the first case, border services alerted Timmins police that a suspicious package originating from China was destined for a Timmins address.
"The investigation led to a search warrant being executed at a Lavigne Avenue residence in March of last year where the item, a prohibited device under the Criminal Code, was located and seized by the Timmins Police Service," police said.
As a 63-year-old Timmins man was charged with importing a prohibited device and weapons possession.
Imported from China
The second case happened last June, when a man from Kamiskotia imported a similar device from China.
"The subject of the investigation could not be criminally linked to the item in question, and was severely admonished by the investigators in this instance," police said.
The most recent case took place in November, and again, the suspicious package originated from China and was sent to a Timmins address.
"This investigation led to a search warrant being executed at a Churchill Street residence on Jan. 13," police said.
The silencer was seized and a 34-year-old man was charged with importing a prohibited device and weapons possession. He has a court date of Feb. 16.
"The frequency of such events and the criminal nature of the items being imported are extremely concerning to the Timmins Police Service," police said.
"From a police perspective, there is no legitimate or lawful purpose for obtaining or possessing items of this nature. Simply stated, these items are prohibited under the Criminal Code as it is extremely likely that they are intended to be used for an illegal purpose."
Silencers are used to disguise the sound of gunshots, police said, and it's hard to see a reason why a law-abiding resident would want to purchase one.
"While the intent must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the purpose of disguising the sound made by a gun is likely to allow for some form of nefarious act to take place," police said.