Quote from the Canadian Firearms Program Evaluation.
circumstances where those committing the act are also firearms owners.
Recent Canadian research in one province has shown some possible national
The study found that hunting rifles and shotguns are part of
the cycle of abuse for many victims of family violence living in rural areas.
The researchers learned that there is a very high tolerance level for firearm
misuse in rural communities, compared to that in urban communities.
Interviews with abused rural women, crisis workers, and police suggest that
for some abused women, threats with hunting rifles was a part of the
everyday life and that these firearms played a role in creating a climate of
control and intimidation. This ranged from dealing with their partner’s
frequent threats of suicide, damage to property, or threats to harm her, the
children or the pets/farm animals if she should ever leave. Such intimidation
increased women’s fears that something deadly could happen. The
acceptance of firearms as a normal occurrence in domestic violence
incidents often reduced the perceptions of firearms abuse and risks of
lethality even among professionals. Several service providers who worked
with victims noted that when a client (abused woman) said that there were
firearms in the home (hunting rifle or shotgun), it did not cause alarm. Some
police in the study (in particular regions) removed firearms in domestic
cases, while several officers mentioned that they did not routinely search for
and seize firearms in a domestic case. Authority exists in the Criminal Code
for police to seize firearms from all alleged perpetrators of domestic
violence. A recent Supreme Court of Canada decision may further put onus
to police to consider firearms present, even if they are unused, as possible
and probable threats to the victim’s safety, and hence fit for removal.