Mounties Requested To Bring More Firepower

Let it not be said the RCMP does not take terrorism seriously. In response to this past summers’ shootings in Moncton, the RCMP’s retired assistant commissioner, Alphonse MacNiel, issued a report recommending the issuance of police carbines, as well as additional police training. The report is linked above, but CBC News has a good summary:

A review exploring the RCMP response to Justin Bourque’s deadlyshooting spree in June in New Brunswick calls for the force to take immediate action to better arm Mounties — one of 64 recommendations that have all been accepted by the RCMP.

The 180-page report, led by retired assistant commissioner Alphonse MacNeil, was released in Moncton on Friday morning, with nine pages redacted for officer safety, including details about the amount of equipment officers have.

The report urges the RCMP to expedite the deployment of patrol carbines across the force, including improved training.

‘The time it took to roll out the carbine project, including the training and delivery of the weapons to members of the RCMP, has taken far too long.’– Alphonse MacNeil, retired assistant commissioner

A carbine is a short-barrelled rifle that has a longer accurate range than a sidearm or shotgun.

MacNeil’s report says officers were outgunned during the incident, having to rely on shotguns and pistols, while Bourque was armed with a high-powered rifle.

Patrol carbines would have made a difference at several key stages of the shooting that claimed the lives of three Mounties, he said.

“Many … members stated … had the patrol carbine been available, it would have made a positive difference in this incident.”

Retired assistant commissioner Alphonse MacNeil led the RCMP review

Retired assistant commissioner Alphonse MacNeil, who led the review, said the three killed officers “truly are heroes,” and their sacrifice will never be forgotten by their families, Canadians or the RCMP. (CBC)

Officers told MacNeil there were sightings of Bourque during the incident at distances of 100 metres and they felt he could have been reached with a carbine. Bourque is now serving a life sentence after entering guilty pleas.

Issuing carbines was a key recommendation in 2011, following the 2005 tragedy in Mayerthorpe, Alta., when four officers were killed.

“The time it took to roll out the carbine project, including the training and delivery of the weapons to members of the RCMP, has taken far too long,” MacNeil said in his report.

The carbine procurement process was underway in March 2011, he said. But delivery of the weapons across the country did not begin until the fall of 2012.

As mentioned in the CBC article, C8 carbines were already being procured, however their issuance had not yet reached the New Brunswick RCMP.

Rifles are absolutely in a class of their own, in terms of effectiveness in these sorts of engagements. The combination of ease of use, penetration, high rate of effective fire, accuracy, and range make the carbine uniquely well suited as a police duty weapon. The proliferation of carbines as police weapons is seen by many as a sign of increasing militarization, but despite what the weapons have in common with military articles, there is a clear need for them in at least some departments.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • kgallerno

    I have no problems with the continuing arming of the RCMP with AR15’s. What I do have a huge problem with is when the RCMP refer to their AR15’s as “patrol carbines” but call them “assault rifles” when refering to the ones civilians like myself own.

    It is unfortunate that the RCMP has become increasingly politicalized in the last decade in trying to disarm law abiding citizens of Canada.

    • Wetcoaster

      It’s a lot more than just the last decade. At the very least, back to the mid-90’s when we lost access to a lot of guns.

      I get that the RCMP has a harder job than a municipal or even provincial force, having to serve a lot of very remote locations. On the other hand, their sheer size leads to some pretty spectacular bureaucratic everything

    • David Sharpe

      I don’t support police having anything that civilians can’t. If they get these rifles, the govt better remove them from the restricted list and remove capacity restrictions.


  • USMC03Vet

    “High powered rifle”?

    If an M14 is considered that then why are they equipping lower caliber rifles with shorter barrels as a counter?

  • Don Ward

    Uh oh. The Winchester 94 chambered in 30-30 is being referred to as a high-powered rifle. Can vilification in the media, bans and waiting periods be next?

    • VolkCNC

      You’re confusing the Moncton shootings with the Ottawa shooting. Moncton was a Norinco M305.

      • Don Ward

        Ooops. I was wrong on the Internet.

  • Anonymoose

    RCMP uses S&W 5906s, so the DMG would be kind of pointless.

    • David Sharpe

      Technically they use the 5946. But that’s a 5906 without a safety.

  • ColaBox

    You can always tell when the men in BDU’s are Canadian by the CAR-stock on the rifle. Never have I see this being used anywhere else. Any reason they still use them?

    • VolkCNC

      The C8 comes from the factory with the CAR stock.

  • Lance

    C-8 for city cops older C-7as for country cops. good combo we did something most PDs after North Hollywood in 97 went to CAR and M-4s over shotguns.

    • David Sharpe

      I don’t understand why you would suggest the longer version for country cops? The ranges that police fire at do not warrant the more cumbersome C7.

  • David Sharpe

    Didn’t he fire at a fleeing car? THAT’S why he’s being charged, at that point it is no longer self defense.

    • noguncontrol

      he got hit in the head, so that is still self defense. all that liberal nonsense from Justice Warren and all the liberal judges is infecting everyone.

      • David Sharpe

        Not once they flee, if he shot them WHILE they were assaulting him, it is self defense. Once they flee it is no longer defense.

  • Blake

    Personally for civil patrol I find a traditional Navy-style MP5 to look less menacing than AR-style carbines. Probably easier to handle too, & they use the same ammo as most police sidearms.

  • noguncontrol

    civilian gunownership is the answer to these whacko shootings, real civilian gunownership, not the neutered version they have in Canada, guns are for self defense, not just hunting or sport.

  • DIR911911 .

    I just love that the letter comes from the “retired assistant commissioner”