RCMP beefs up Hill security - Macleans.ca

RCMP beefs up Hill security

Officers will be equipped with submachine-guns over coming months


Anyone foolish enough to attack the seat of Canada’s government may soon be met with machine gun fire. RCMP officers charged with patrolling Parliament Hill will be equipped with Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine-guns over the coming months, which “should level the tactical playing field for our members,” says RCMP assistant commissioner Pat McDonell. The move to beefier firepower, even though the submachine-guns will be a “secondary” weapon in the Mounties’ arsenal, reverses the changes put in place in the 1990s, when the RCMP took the MP5s out of officers hands as a result of the transition toward 9-mm pistols. But Liberal Senator Colin Kenny says it’s a necessary change if officers are to stop a coordinated attack: “Bluntly put, it is hard as hell to hit someone with a handgun.”

Toronto Star

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RCMP beefs up Hill security

  1. It's about time. I've been so frustrated by all the gun fights they have been losing.

  2. We can barely trust them with Tasers…….and we are giving them automatic weapons?

  3. Bluntly put, are we expecting a coordinated attack for some reason?

    And if so, should, perhaps, the public be made aware? Or is it the public you fear?

  4. But doesn't Al Qaeda still have all the livable caves? When will we level the livable cave gap?

  5. I'm with mdh, regarding the tasers. Just don't assign any RCMP with BC service time to the Parliament Detachment and we may be fine. Parliament Hill is going to look like the Kremlin with cops sporting machine guns. Just what do we think this need is based on when our politicians basically walk the streets as freely as us peons, and I for one am proud of the fact that there are able to.

  6. But Liberal Senator Colin Kenny says ….“Bluntly put, it is hard as hell to hit someone with a handgun.”
    That's right but with an MP5 at 900 rounds per minute you could easily mow down a whole buch of protesters. Clearly Colin Kenny has no idea about automatic weapons, this particular gun wouldn't hit the broad side of a barn unless you spew out a bunch of bullets and then you are bound to hit someone……anyone.

  7. These guns are actually semi-automatic versions of the MP5 which doesn't make them "(sub)machine guns". They are actually pistol-caliber carbines. They phased them out in 1996, and are deciding to phase them back in because, as the article mentions, handguns are insufficient for any real "fire fight". Handguns are huge compromises on range and firepower to achieve compactness that can be carried around all the time. The MP5's are actually not much more than a larger handgun with a fixed stock as they fire the exact same cartridge.

    I doubt they are worried about green protesters, but it is a simple reality that a small group of competent criminals could easily outgun the police with common hunting rifles. The MP5 and the RCMP handgun both fire 9mm handgun rounds with 500-600J of energy which are effective to about 100 yards maximum (less than half that from a handgun). The average hunting rifle fires a 7.62mm (.308 caliber) round with 3600-4000J of energy which is effective out to at least 400 yards (the military uses similar rounds at up to twice that distance).

    I don't know what the chances of any type of armed attack on the capital are, but the fact is that police officers armed with only handguns (or even the "new" MP5's) could be easily outgunned by an arsenal purchased at Walmart. They should be investing in and training with modern AR-15 style rifle-caliber carbines, but they are cheaping out by bringing the old MP5's back into service. The important thing is that it looks like someone is fixing the problem–however much of a problem one would consider the risk of an armed criminal or terrorist attack on Parliament Hill to be.

    This story is framed as "RCMP bring powerful machine guns to Parliament Hill" when the actual story is "RCMP considers Parliament Hill's security to be a problem, but is too cheap to actually bother fixing it".

  8. I don't get this. A 9mm round is a 9mm round whether it is coming out of a MP5 or S&W handgun. This is not adding to the stopping power of the firearms and would still do nothing if the attackers were wearing body armour.

    Now if they properly equipped the officers with rifles (different round, increased velocity, more stopping power), that would be newsworthy.

  9. First of all it ain't a machine gun. It is a semi-automatic rifle. Second, the RCMP has been using this weapon for years with their Emergency Response Team as is every SWAT unit. Thirdly, they switched to a smaller weapon because of the crowd consideration. A shotgun can't be fired accurately without consideration for who or what is behind their target. A larger weapon can't be fired because of over penetration and the weapons poor handling in close quarters while indoors. The current 9 mm pistol worn by all RCMP officers has the same stopping power but is not as accurate because it is a handgun. It is semi-automatic and fires 15 rounds. Most police forces use semi-auto assault rifles as their secondary weapon. This is not news and I have no idea why the RCMP would think that anybody would care.

  10. Ehhh, I say give the horsey set whatever lets them stall an attacking force long enough for the lads from Dwyer Hill to fastrope in and start punching the tickets of those wascally Wahabbists.

  11. If we need heavier power at Parliament I suppose we could always request some from the American embassy next door. Judging from their heavily fortified entrance they've probably got some pretty heavy artillery behind those shiny glass walls . . .