‘Hell to pay:’ Residents angry as RCMP seize

‘Hell to pay:’ Residents angry as RCMP seize guns from High River homes  (with video)

 It’s just like Nazi Germany,’ says resident

HIGH RIVER — RCMP revealed Thursday that officers have seized a “substantial  amount” of firearms from homes in the evacuated town of High River.

“We just want to make sure that all of those things are in a spot that we  control, simply because of what they are,” said Sgt. Brian Topham.

“People have a significant amount of money invested in firearms … so we put  them in a place that we control and that they’re safe.”

That news didn’t sit well with a crowd of frustrated residents who had  planned to breach a police checkpoint northwest of the town as an evacuation  order stretched into its eighth day.

“I find that absolutely incredible that they have the right to go into a  person’s belongings out of their home,” said resident Brenda Lackey, after  learning Mounties have been taking residents’ guns. “When people find out about  this there’s going to be untold hell to pay.”

See photos from the scene.

About 30 RCMP officers set up a blockade at the checkpoint, preventing 50  residents from walking into the town. Dozens more police cars, lights on, could  be seen lining streets in the town on standby.

Officers laid down a spike belt to stop anyone from attempting to drive past  the blockade. That action sent the crowd of residents into a rage.

“What’s next? Tear gas?” shouted one resident.

“It’s just like Nazi Germany, just taking orders,” shouted another.

“This is the reason the U.S. has the right to bear arms,” said Charles  Timpano, pointing to the group of Mounties.

Officers were ordered to fall back about an hour into the standoff in order  to diffuse the situation and listen to residents’ concerns.

“We don’t want our town to turn into another New Orleans,” said resident Jeff  Langford. “The longer that the water stays in our houses the worse it’s going to  be. We’ll either be bulldozing them or burning them down because we’ve got an  incompetent government.”

Langford blasted High River Mayor Emile Blokland over comments made Wednesday  in which Blokland said residents will be allowed to return after businesses,  such as hardware and drug stores, are opened.

“It was ridiculous,” said Langford. “I think he’s a puppet on a string.”

Langford said Premier Redford should come to High River to address residents’  concerns and provide information.

“This is at the highest tension,” he said. “What’s going to happen next is  that people are just going to be walking across these fields, and I don’t care  if they put hundreds of thousand of police officers there, they’re not going to  stop from getting in.”

Sgt. Topham said he didn’t know when residents would be allowed to return to  their homes. “People much higher up are going to make those decisions,” he  said.

He did confirm that officer relied on forced entry to get into numerous  houses during the early stages of the flood because of an “urgent need”, said  Topham.

Police are no longer forcing themselves into homes and the residences that  were forced open will be secured, he said.

Topham said the confiscated firearms have been inventoried and are secured at  an RCMP detachment. He was not at liberty to say how many firearms had been  confiscated.

“We have seized a large quantity of firearms simply because they were left by  residents in their places,” said Topham.

The guns will be returned to owners after residents are allowed back in town  and they provide proof of ownership, Topham added.

Residents promised to returned to the checkpoint at noon every day until they  are allowed to return to their homes.

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald   

Read more:  http://www.calgaryherald.com/Hell+Residents+angry+RCMP+seize+guns+from+High+River+homes+with+video/8588851/story.html#ixzz2Xk7PQxUd

 

Read more:  http://www.calgaryherald.com/Hell+Residents+angry+RCMP+seize+guns+from+High+River+homes+with+video/8588851/story.html#ixzz2Xk79bqit

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