Portapique Inquiry: Groups speak out on gun control

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Portapique Inquiry: Groups speak out on gun control

The 22 people killed in the April 18-19, 2020 massacre in Portapique, Wentworth, Debert and Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia.

Homeowners' rights advocates firearms and those who desire tighter control of these weapons say police, the federal government and border services could take action to help prevent another shooting like the one in April 2020 in Nova Scotia.

The Mass Casualty Commission, which led the public inquiry into the April 2020 shooting in which 22 people were killed by a gunman driving a replica car from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), heard submissions for final recommendations from groups for and against gun control.

Blair Hagen of the Canadian Firearms Association said the commission should not tighten Canadian gun regulations because current laws have done nothing to stop shooter Gabriel Wortman .

He did not have a firearms license and he smuggled firearms used in the shooting from the United States.< /p>

The abuser planned this incredible act of violence for a very long time, carefully hoarding the tools and paraphernalia he needed in complete disregard of any law or regulation, Blair argues Hagen.

Rod Giltaca, Canadian Coalition for Gun Rights

Rod Giltaca of the Canadian Coalition for Gun Rights believes the only regulation that could have influenced the shooting was search warrants.

He points to the section of the Criminal Code that allows an officer to apply to a judge for a search warrant, or in some cases a search without a warrant, with the intent to seize weapons in ;interest of public safety.

Rod Giltaca believes that the police could have applied this section of the Code on several occasions in the years preceding the shooting, including when the shooter uttered threats against his family.

Joanna Birenbaum of the Canadian Coalition for Gun Control believes there are many areas where gun regulations should be strengthened, including one area that could have prevented at least one gun to fall into the hands of the shooter.

Joanna Birenbaum of the Canadian Coalition for Gun Control speaks to the Mass Casualty Commission on September 22, 2022.

One ​​of five firearms found in the shooter's possession, a Ruger Mini 14, came from the estate of his New Brunswick friend Tom Evans, who bequeathed it to him after his death.

Joanna Birenbaum laments that the shooter was able to get his hands on this gun without anyone asking a question.

There is also little to no follow-up by authorities when a person's firearms licenses expire or a license holder dies, she says.

< p class="e-p">It is therefore up to the family or the lawyers to alert the police if there is a firearm that must be seized.

Joanna Birenbaum believes there should be immediate administrative and legal changes to prevent the illegal transfer of firearms.

An RCMP car is seen near a memorial exhibit in Portapique following the mass shooting in April 2020.< /p>

The Coalition is also calling for the creation of a national gun hotline where citizens can report illegal gun concerns to the RCMP Commissioner's staff, not their force. local law enforcement

Joanna Birenbaum also thinks the federal government should strike a deal with US border officials to better prevent firearm smuggling.

< p class="e-p">She would like the country to commit to prosecuting or extraditing American residents and businesses who sell or transfer firearms to a Canadian who does not have a license.

The shooter had five guns with him when he was killed at an Enfield petrol station.

Here are the guns the shooter had in his possession when he was killed at a gas station in Enfield, Nova Scotia. There are three handguns and two rifles. Three of these guns came from Maine.

Tom Evans' Ruger and an RCMP service pistol stolen from police officer Heidi Stevenson were the only firearms sourced from Canada.

The other three were from the United States, and court records suggest that the shooter's friend Sean Conlogue, of Houlton, Maine, once owned two.

Police believe the shooter arranged to purchase a Colt Law Enforcement brand 5.56mm semi-automatic rifle from another man after the shooting. having admired at a gun show in Houlton.

Evidence amassed by the Commission showed the shooter was capable of smuggling across the border guns, often rolled up in the bed lid of his truck.

With information from Haley Ryan,< em> from CBC

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