Sunday, September 26, 2021

Desmond inquiry: Nova Scotia firearms official testifies about improved communication

Port Hawkesbury, NS – Nova Scotia’s chief firearms officer told an investigation today that communications with his colleagues in other provinces have improved since a former soldier fatally shot himself and his family in rural Nova Scotia in 2017. was killed.

John Parkin testifying at a provincial fatality investigation probing the death of former infantryman Lionel Desmond, who used a legally purchased semi-automatic rifle before killing his wife, daughter and mother on January 3, 2017 .

Desmond, an Afghanistan war veteran diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, had his firearms license reviewed on at least two separate occasions prior to the killings.

The investigation, which began hearings in January 2020, has heard that there was delay and confusion in the exchange of firearms-related information between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, when Desmond had several run-ins with the law in both provinces.

Parkin said there have been changes since then that have improved communication between firearms officers.

During the hearing in March, interrogation was heard from Joe Roper, a former firearms officer in New Brunswick, who also said there was confusion over incidents involving the RCMP, which he blamed for a lack of access to police reports.

At the time, firearms officers were required to file a request with an RCMP liaison officer to obtain police records, a process that could sometimes take weeks.

Also, Roper said, the files obtained from Mounties were only summaries.

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Roper said the “biggest shortcoming” when he was a firearms officer was that his office did not have access to police files through the RCMP’s Police Reporting and Incident System, otherwise known as the POS.

On Monday, Parkin told the investigation that while firearms officers now have access to PROS through the so-called police portal, it does not provide full access to police files.

“There have been some technical issues,” he told the interrogation. “Through the portal we have more reach than ever before. We can get some information out of it.”

The investigation is now in the final stage. The hearing was supposed to end this week but is now scheduled to continue till next month and may extend till November.

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The head of the investigation, Provincial Court Judge Warren Zimmer, may begin writing his final report after the hearing is over.

The task of the investigation is to determine the circumstances of the four deaths and whether Desmond and his family had access to mental health and domestic violence intervention services. Also, the investigation will investigate how Desmond purchased the firearm used to kill his family.

Zimmer’s report will include recommendations for change but will not contain any conclusion of legal responsibility.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

Desmond inquiry: Nova Scotia firearms official testifies about improved communication
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