Nova Scotia Shooting

Another one of these. 16 people dead. This one sounds particularly horrible and planned: the perp impersonated a Mountie, committed a string of murders across the province, lit cars and houses on fire. Fuck.

It’s truly awful and so senseless I have friends in NS in that area so it was a little nerve wracking until they finally checked in as safe.


I swear I have no agenda other than understanding and don’t mean this as a leading question at all, but what is the intersection of this incident and Canadian weapons laws? Pretty much all I know is that there’s a Long Gun Registry that…registers long guns, presumably?

So initially the registry contained information on all restricted weapons (handguns mostly?) and excluded long guns (hunting rifles and shotguns). A Liberal government added long guns to the registry but a following Conservative government removed them and ordered the records destroyed.

I don’t know if the registry would have made a difference in this case. I don’t know what type of weapons he used. I guess conceivably if he was someone who kept a large number of rifles, the registry would allow the police to know that and maybe keep an eye on him, but it doesn’t seem to likely unless he was on their radar for another reason.

Generally it’s much harder to legally own a handgun in Canada and I gather that the storage and transport restrictions are harder. But rifles and shotguns also need to be locked up so it’s harder for someone to steal it from you house or for kids to grab one. That doesn’t address something planned and premeditated like this.

It is only restricted and prohibited weapons that need to be registered federally. Hunting rifles shotguns etc are exempt from this

The federal government tried to start a long gun registry but it was discontinued under Harper.

edit: beaten to it by MikeJ

This was clearly long-planned–not only wearing Mountie-looking cloths, but made up his vehicle to appear to be official. And yet the killings appear to be random, at least so far. Which leads me to conclude bat-shit crazy is going to be the eventual evaluation.

The killer lived in a small town in Nova Scotia, obsession with police and guns, made fucking dentures for a living. No doubt David Lynch could make something out of this.

Nova Scotians tend to think of things like this as something that happens elsewhere, to other people, in other places, because we don’t act like this. This is a thing that only happens in “big” places, or places where life is wrong somehow. Even more so than in the “city” (the bustling metropolis of Halifax that can barely scrape 400k souls if you include everyone with something resembling a pulse in an area on the order of 5000km^2), smaller towns here are just immune to this sort of thing. Occasionally there’s a murder, because people suck everywhere, but this sort of random crime isn’t a thing.

I’m not one to be easily addled, but holy shit, first COVID and now this. Christ.

There is no long gun registry any more in Canada.

To obtain a gun you have to take a course and get interviewed by the federal police, in addition to passing other background checks. To get a pistol you have to take an additional course. Even if you have a firearms license, you can’t carry or travel with a weapon, and there are strict rules on carrying weapons from a shooting range to home (unloaded, locked up in a lockbox in the trunk of car, etc.), and no shooting ranges any more in most big cities, etc.

You also can’t have a firearm just for “home defence” or “self defence”- although possible to acquire one for that reason if disingenuously swearing under oath that you’re using it for hunting or sport at a range, you can be rejected for stating “home defence” or “self defence” as your reason for wanting a licence. You also have to store them locked up in a metal lockbox, etc. and unloaded, so you can’t legally have ready access to a firearm in a crisis anyway.

So this sort of mass shooting, which Americans are accustomed to occasionally happening, is extremely unusual here. There hasn’t really been one since 1989, over 30 years ago.