Canadian Cops getting the AR Bug!

    Come on guys! What is this? The Catch Up game? A growing number of Canadian police departments are acquiring AR15s in some form or fashion as a patrol rifle for their officers. Many Canadian special response teams already use AR15s for ERT (Emergency Response Team, SWAT equivalent) applications, but three recent news articles specifically cite the Regina Police Service, the Winnipeg Police Service, and the Toronto Police Service all acquiring Colt Canada C8 carbines for their patrol officers. American police departments have been integrating AR rifles as a patrol carbine since at least the 1980s (unless its the San Bernardino police department, then you have Mini-14s).  This trend is due to the threats being faced by many American police departments that maybe Canadian Police Services are just now coming across for their patrol officers. Within the Canadian patrol officer role, the rifle is being used for vehicle stops, clearing houses, and a number of other types of police work where the officers sidearm can’t perform as well as a long gun.

    Colt Canada isn’t the only supplier though, POF and Daniel Defense are being solicited as well-

    In Regina alone, the RPS is using most of its $130,000 carbine program budget to buy 30 weapons from Phoenix, Ariz.-based Patriot Ordinance Factory. Weyburn has ordered three of the short-barreled rifles from Daniel Defense — another American maker — and will get two more next year, meaning one for each of its five cars.

    In addition, it seems that Canada has a similar Law Enforcement arms acquisition program with the government as the United States has-

    The Department of National Defence, meanwhile, has a program to equip law enforcement agencies with surplus military equipment. DND officials say since March 2015 it has received requests from 63 separate organizations for C8 Carbines, including from the Durham Region Police Service.

    From our own Edward O. about the AR acquisitions (Earlier we had a differently written statement from him)-

    Carbine programs are not all that uncommon in Police Forces of major metropolitan Canadian cities. If you have an ERT (SWAT) component in a dept, you can bet that you’ve also got a supply of carbines and numerous officers trained to use them. In addition to selling to the Canadian Forces, Colt Canada makes it a point to pursue LE sales. Calgary, my home town of 2 million people, has had a carbine program in place since at least 2013. The bigger issue for us has been the RCMP. The Mounties form both the frontline federal and back-country police force, almost like a blend of sheriff and FBI. As a result, they have notorious bureaucratic issues. 2005 saw a tragedy with 4 RCMP officers ambushed in Mayerthorpe, Alberta. While the officers were only equipped with side-arms and a single Winchester Model 70 .308 bolt gun, the drug dealer inside the Quonset carried a G3. A key result of the RCMP investigation into Mayerthorpe was that in 2011 a carbine program was adopted to get officers access and training to Colt Canada C8s. However, when the 2014 Moncton shootings occurred, the responding officers had still not received training on their carbines, and the guns themselves were unavailable. This time the perpetrator carried and Chinese M14 clone, and three officers lost their lives while engaging with handguns.

    For the mainstream media usually being a self destructive nuclear explosion of firearms terminology, the article in the Reginia Leader-Post was extremely well written when it came to operating systems and nomenclature. I will say, whomever the Canadian armorer or cop outfitting the AR in the title picture is, he’s got a sweet set up!


    Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

    Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at [email protected]