Desmond inquiry: Nova Scotia firearms official testifies about better communication – Halifax |


Nova Scotia’s chief firearms officer told an inquiry today that communications with his colleagues in other provinces have improved since a former soldier fatally shot his family and himself in rural Nova Scotia in 2017.

John Parkin was testifying at the provincial fatality inquiry investigating the death of former infantryman Lionel Desmond, who on Jan. 3, 2017, used a legally purchased semi-automatic rifle to kill his wife, daughter and mother before he turned the weapon on himself.

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


The inquiry, which started hearings in January 2020, has heard there were delays and confusion over the exchange of firearms-related information between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick when Desmond had a number of run-ins with the law in both provinces.

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Parkin said there have since been changes that improved communications among firearms officials.

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

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