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New Gun Lab Aimed at Speeding Up Criminal Investigations Across Manitoba

July 20, 2023 12:13 PM | The Canadian Press

By The Canadian Press

AR-15 Gun

A restricted gun licence holder holds an AR-15 at his home in Langley, B.C. Friday, May 1, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is putting up $5.2 million for a new gun lab at the Winnipeg Police Service headquarters.

The aim is to speed up the processing and examination of firearms linked to crimes, and the lab will serve police agencies across the province.

Insp. Elton Hall, with the Winnipeg police, says the change means more work will be done within a matter of hours, instead of shipping firearms to a national lab — a process he says can take up to a year.

Hall says new personnel will be hired, including forensic examiners who require specialized training.

RCMP Insp. Paul Peddle says crimes involving firearms have jumped sharply in recent years and the new lab will mean more capacity to investigate crime.

The announcement is the latest in a string of anti-crime promises made by the Progressive Conservative government in the lead-up to the provincial election scheduled for Oct. 3.

“There are (currently) delays in producing and processing ballistic leads and forensic examination of ballistic evidence, hindering timely investigations,” Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen said Thursday.

CP - The Canadian Press