Police gun raid raises questions
Ethan Baron, Vancouver Province, Dec. 21, 2010
An RCMP firearms officer involved in a police raid on a Delta gun-training business has opened his own company offering similar services.
Jeffrey Edward Harrison, an officer with RCMP agency charged with enforcing gun laws, is alleged in a lawsuit to have played a key role in initiating raids in May 2008 at Silvercore Advanced Training Systems, owned by Travis Bader, and at homes and properties of four members of Baders family. RCMP documents obtained by The Province show Harrison provided information to police about Baders father Gordon before the raids, and participated in the decision to obtain search warrants for Silvercore and Gordons property.
Bader, along with his father a former Vancouver police sniper his mother Jane and brothers Sylvan and Jared were arrested and charged with dozens of firearms offences. Hundreds of guns were seized. The charges were stayed in April 2009.
Bader and his family this May filed a lawsuit against Harrison, the B.C. government and three police officers, including Surrey RCMP Const. David Clarke who was charged this week with drug dealing and illegal gun possession [see story]. The suit alleges wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, trespass, assault and battery, negligent investigation, and malicious prosecution by police. It alleges negligence by Harrison an RCMP Canadian Firearms Centre officer for allegedly giving police information he knew or ought to have known was false and could lead to wrongful arrest.
The arrests, and ensuing publicity, cost Bader $500,000 in lost business as law-enforcement agencies and security companies took their business elsewhere, Bader says.
Bader raised with the RCMP his concern about Harrisons incorporation of a firearms-training company. He met April 15 with RCMP Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) for B.C. Terry Hamilton. Bader directed the CFOs attention to a website set up by Harrison, www.gunningitright.com, which offered training services that appeared to compete with Silvercores.
We do training in the firearms field and we do work with law enforcement agencies and government agencies, which is exactly what Gunning It Right is advertising, Bader said this week in an interview.
Harrisons website is part of his business JEH Firearms Consulting Ltd., incorporated in August 2009, according to the provincial corporate registry. The site highlights the work history of Harrison, recently retired from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Canada Firearms Centre. The site advertises firearms training for law-enforcement agencies and the public, assistance with personal gun licences, with issues in gun-related businesses, with transportation of firearms and with gun sales and purchases.
Although Harrison advertises himself on the site as recently retired from the Canadian Firearms Centre, when I called the centre this week and asked if he was a firearms officer there, I was told that he was, and I was connected to his office voicemail.
CFO Hamilton responded to Baders concerns in a letter on June 2, saying she had investigated the allegation by talking to Harrison, who told her that the website is currently not accessible to internet search engines and can only be accessed by individuals to whom he has given the precise web address.
Hamilton concluded in her letter to Bader that a person who Mr. Harrison had trusted with the web address has violated that trust and passed the address to you without Mr. Harrisons knowledge or approval.
Hamilton refused to investigate further, on the grounds that the information had been released without Harrisons consent.
So, an RCMP official receives a complaint about one of the officers in her department, and decides she wont investigate because the subject of the complaint didnt agree to the release of the information on which the complaint is based?
Most peculiar. I called the RCMPs national headquarters for an explanation, or at least a statement about whether tips will only be investigated if the subject of a complaint has approved release of the information provided.
We dont comment on investigations, Sgt. Julie Gagnon told me.
I called Harrisons Gunning It Right contact number and identified myself.
How did you get my number? he asked.
From your website, I told him, then explained that Bader had raised questions about his firearms business and his involvement with the Silvercore raid.
I dont choose to respond, Harrison said. I dont mean to be discourteous, but Im going to hang up now.
The Gunning It Right website was taken down by the next day.
Update: RCMP Chief Firearms Officer for B.C. Terry Hamilton
granted a firearms licence to known psycho Angus Mitchell,
who then killed two people and seriously injured a third