9. Regina v. T.B. [Provincial Court of Alberta, Fort Vermillion – March 2014]
An unstable adult male purchased a rifle from a local firearms dealer and thereafter used that firearm to commit suicide. The police conducted an investigation germane to the suicide and traced the firearm back to the local dealer. The police determined that the dealer did not have the lawful authority (ie: a “PAL”) to acquire and sell firearms nor did that person confirm that the purchaser (deceased) was authorized to receive it. During intensive police interrogation of the dealer he eventually coughed up the name (TB) of the person from whom he had been purchasing multiple firearms. Furthermore, in an effort to ameliorate his own culpability/wrongdoing, he managed to convince the police that the person from whom he had been purchasing multiple firearms (TB) never sought confirmation that he (the dealer) was authorized to purchase and receive firearms.
As a consequence of the foregoing TB found himself the target of an aggressive police investigation into alleged weapons trafficking. TB was arrested, his home searched, thousands of dollars worth of firearms and related merchandise seized and his livelihood/business suspended. TB (an active gun collector, firearms safety instructor, national shooting champion, husband and father with no criminal record) found himself charged with an offence punishable by a minimum of three years imprisonment. All efforts to resolve this most serious prosecution amicably (ie: without the imposition of a jail term) met with negative results. Consequently, we were left with no alternative but to enter pleas of not guilty and to schedule a three day trial.
Bottom Line: The first witness called at trial for the prosecution was the dealer who had pointed the finger at TB. Succinctly put, that most unsavory witness imploded during cross-examination. The Defense thereafter moved for a directed verdict of not guilty and that application was promptly granted.
Patrick C. Fagan is a highly accomplished lawyer with an impressive career spanning over 35 years in the legal field.