New provincial forensic firearms lab opens to enhance response to gang violence

B.C. government photo.
Point

The province opened a new forensic firearms lab to increase police capacity to analyze illegal guns used in criminal activity and seized by police.

“It will help police build intelligence on illegal firearms, including those used in gang-related shootings and aid in prosecutions so that dangerous criminals can be put behind bars and are no longer putting British Columbians at risk,” said Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and solicitor general.

The BC Provincial Forensic Firearms Laboratory (PFFL) will get $1.2 million of funding from the federal guns and gangs violence action fund and will be established under the Organized Crime Agency of BC (OCABC), according to the province.

“People in Surrey and communities across the province are tired and frustrated by the recent spike in brazen acts of violence, and they want to know what more can be done,” said Jinny Sims, MLA for Surrey-Panorama. “Our government is committed to providing the necessary resources to continue targeting violent criminals and build safer communities.”

Evidence secured within the facility will help support investigations and prosecutions of criminal organizations who pose a risk to public safety in B.C., according to Duncan Pound, acting chief officer superintendent of Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit-BC.

“This lab is a part of a comprehensive provincial response led by the Organized Crime Agency of British Columbia and the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia, and is already prioritizing the analysis of firearms and casings linked to gang violence,” he said.

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