12-year-old accepts handgun delivery; Chilliwack father furious
With several online shopping orders on the way, Wade Smith wasn’t sure which one would arrive first. He was stunned when his 12-year-old daughter texted him a photo of a plain brown package she’d just signed off on and opened.
“I lost my mind for a minute,” he told CTV News, showing a photo with an open gun case holding a revolver next to boxes of ammunition. “I was like ‘oh my God, put it away -- don't touch it.’ She said ‘ok’ and didn't want to anyway. I've taught her to be responsible with weapons."
Smith, who recently received his restricted firearms license, had ordered the Rhino 60 DS online from retailer Tenda Canada several weeks ago. He says he’d contacted the courier company to make sure he’d be home for the delivery, since he’d tried unsuccessfully to have it delivered to his workplace.
“I called twice before to make sure I wouldn't miss [the delivery] and they said if you miss it you'll have to go to the depot to pick it up," Smith said.
The Canpar Courier receipt of delivery shows “Kaitlynn” hand-printed in the signing box for receipt of the delivery.
Canpar president Brian Kohut told CTV News the company had no idea the package contained the powerful, .357 Magnum revolver and treated it as it would any other parcel.
“Anybody can sign off on any package…we didn't know what was inside this package," he said.
Kohut points out Canpar has policies much like other courier companies, allowing anyone at the delivery address to accept on behalf of the buyer.
“If we waited for signatures from people 18 or over, nothing would get delivered on time,” he said.
Smith is also targeting Tenda Canada for shipping the revolver without a trigger lock or some other mechanism to make it harder to easily load the firearm, especially since it arrived in the same delivery as the separately-packaged ammunition.
Tenda manager Steve Kuang insists it takes some time to unpackage the weapon, which comes in factory condition, and says he’s already had discussions with Canpar.
“We're already working closely with our courier to understand why [the customer] is receiving the package [without signing himself].”
A notation on the package from the seller reads “must sign in person” but doesn’t specify whether the buyer or simply someone at that address is expected to do so.
Kuang places much of the blame on Smith for not being home to accept delivery of a restricted firearm himself.
“Firearm safety is everyone's responsibility," he insisted. "If I have a 12-year-old girl in the house and I know that today is when the firearm is arriving in my house, what I would do is stay home to accept the package."
Smith finds that idea unreasonable, especially since he was given a two-day window for delivery.
"They really expect I just won't go to work and wait at home all day long for this package to arrive? They told me they could not redirect to my workplace because it's registered under my name, under my address, [and it] has to go to my house and has to be received by me.”
All sides emphasized the importance of firearm safety in their discussions with CTV News, but no one shouldered the blame for a pre-teen girl getting her hands on a deadly weapon with nothing more than the flick of a pen.