Gun expert provides insight into legality of weapons used in Saanich shooting

Seventeen shots can be heard in new footage sent to CHEK News of the Saanich shooting. (Del Flash/submitted)

Gun experts say the 22-year-old brothers behind the Saanich shootout likely had purchased their guns legally, but the magazines which hold the bullets were illegal.

“It sounded like they had full capacity magazines which are currently prohibited in Canada,” said Rod Giltaca, CEO and executive director, Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights, after listening to a new video submitted to CHEK News from Tuesday’s fatal botched bank robbery.

In Canada, semi-automatic rifles and shotguns are legally allowed to hold up to a maximum of five bullets.

“If you squeeze a sixth round into a magazine designed for those firearms that becomes a prohibited device like a hand grenade or a handgun in the eyes of the law,” said Giltaca.

As of right now, it’s impossible to know what kind of guns the Duncan twins Isaac and Mathew Auchterlonie were using. So far police haven’t released any information on the weapons they used.

But videos posted to Isaac’s Instagram account show the kinds of guns they had access to.

“They looked to be M14 clones. They were probably Chinese copies because the Chinese copies used to be rather inexpensive,” said Giltaca. “But those firearms were part of the group of the newly prohibited firearms on May 1st of 2020 that the Trudeau government banned.”

Days after the worst mass shooting in Canadian history, when a gunman disguised as a police officer and gunned down 23 people with a semi-automatic weapon in rural Nova Scotia, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a ban on military and “assault-style” weapons.

“These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time. There is no use and no place for such weapons in Canada,” Trudeau said. “Effective immediately, it is no longer permitted to buy, sell, transport, import or use military-grade assault weapons in this country.”

Isaac flaunted that ban on social media.

On a letter sent out by the government informing him and other gun owners of the change, Isaac wrote his own option: “Keep firearms and don’t surrender” before throwing the letter into a fire.

Since Canada’s 2020 assault rifle ban, gun owners have been allowed to keep their assault-style weapons, but not use them.

“They couldn’t leave the house. They have to sit in storage, waiting for a gun buyback,” said Giltaca.

Upon the announcement, Justice Minister David Lametti said Canadians must be in compliance with the law by April 2022, adding that gun owners who have not disposed of their banned firearms by that point could face sanctions under the Criminal Code.

Giltaca says the federal’s gun buyback program for assault-style guns hasn’t begun.

In Canada, all gun owners must be licensed and most semi-automatic weapons must be registered with the RCMP, who were unable to confirm to CHEK News if the Auchterlonie brothers were licensed gun owners.

“This is not something we are in a position to discuss at this time,” said RCMP spokesperson Corporal Alex Bérubé.

“Regarding the firearms used – while we have made some preliminary assessments, further more fulsome assessments are required and we are not in a position at this time to provide further specifics…We need to take into account that there is a concurrent IIO-BC investigation but also that providing specifics about firearms used could impact efforts into the fulsome assessment underway.”

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!