The 16th Annual Gangs & Guns Training Symposium
An Interview with Firearms Consultant, Frank Grosspietsch
About Frank Grosspietsch
UNLIREC / OSCE / AFTE / SST, Firearms Consultant
Frank is a recognized expert in relation to the tackling of the illicit use and trafficking of firearms, ammunition, and components. He retired from the RCMP in early 2020, after spending 14 years with the National Weapons Enforcement Support Team. In addition to being a subject matter consultant for SST, he is a Technical Advisor to:
- United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean: Conventional Weapons – Including SALWs, Ammunition and Explosive Identification and Control / Firearms Evidence Management
- Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe : Preventing and Combatting Illicit Trafficking in SALW, Ammunition and Explosives
- The Association of Firearms and Tool Mark Examiners
What inspired you to get into your line of work? Can you share a short story where your team successfully provided intervention and enforcement strategies?
The “CHASE”. I can identify, field strip, build, trace, and track Small Arms & Light Weapons, but what I enjoy most is the hunt – the who, what, where, why, and how.
Successful Intervention & Enforcement Strategy? Easy, the regulation, registration, and control of Privately Made Firearms Kits. I was getting fed up with all of the homicides taking place with these types of firearms in B.C., so I sat down with a top notch legal advisor/lab personnel to present my thought process, and approached management with a business plan. I pitched the plan to an enforcement unit and we achieved it; in spite of individuals telling me it couldn’t be done. Know the law and positive outcomes can be achieved.
How are you continuing to stay informed about current trends related to gun violence?
Since leaving the RCMP in early 2020, I have been working for the United Nations (Latin America / Caribbean) specifically as a Technical Advisor for Conventional Weapons – Including SALWs, Ammunition and Explosive Identification and Control & Firearms Evidence Management.
I was asked to join the Association of Firearms & Toolmark Examiners as a Technical Advisor and after having done so, I have assisted law enforcement agencies around the globe. As of September of this year, I have been selected as an International Consultant to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)regarding Preventing and Combatting Illicit Trafficking in SALW, Ammunition and Explosives (SAA).
Can you discuss the relationship between gang activity and gun violence? How do these two issues intersect, and what are the consequences for public safety?
Simply stated, the days of two combatants (gangs) using bats, shovels, etc. to settle their differences or fight for territory are long gone. The compulsion to use higher forms of violence/force, namely guns, is too high. Individuals who follow the mantra “Live Hard Live Fast” don’t hesitate to step over that moral line. I have experienced combat and have seen that line between sanity and madness all too often. It is a very thin line for some individuals.
How do you see the issue of gun violence and prevention/intervention strategies evolving in 2024?
We need to recognize the signs of youth at risk, not ignore them nor sweep them under the rug. We need to change our education system to provide opportunities to those that are not academically skilled but more so to the trades/talents that give them purpose and pride.
How do you continue to educate and support communities throughout North America?
As you have already noted, my work now involves agencies around the globe and Knowledge is only good if it is shared! Everything that I learn is not for me to keep but to pass on so that the next person becomes more knowledgeable than I.