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Desmond inquiry: Nova Scotia firearms official testifies about better communication

Click to play video: 'Lionel Desmond inquiry reveals cracks in Canadian veterans’ health care' Lionel Desmond inquiry reveals cracks in Canadian veterans’ health care
Canadian veteran Lionel Desmond struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after serving in Afghanistan. In 2017, he killed his family and himself. As Ross Lord reports, the inquiry into Desmond's case has revealed critical gaps in the system meant to help those who served our country – Jun 27, 2021

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.

Read more: Lionel Desmond inquiry: Veterans Affairs review cites delays, calls for changes

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.

Read more: Desmond inquiry: Veterans Affairs manager says family violence training was needed

During hearings in March, the inquiry heard from a former 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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