Nova Scotia firearms officer testifying at Lionel Desmond inquiry

The chief firearms officer for Nova Scotia will testify Monday at the fatality inquiry looking into the triple murder-suicide of an Afghanistan veteran and his family — and whether the veteran ought to have reacquired his gun licence in New Brunswick. 

John Parkin is expected to speak about what happens in Nova Scotia when someone with a complex mental illness applies for a firearms licence, including the checks and balances in place. 

Parkin also marks the last witness in the first session of evidence heard in Guysborough, N.S., looking at the circumstances leading up to Lionel Desmond fatally shooting his wife, his mother, his daughter and then himself on Jan. 3, 2017. 

Judge Warren Zimmer has heard evidence about how Desmond came home from Afghanistan in August 2007 a “changed man” who would be diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder four years later. 

Desmond received treatment both within the military and through Veterans Affairs until he returned home to Nova Scotia in August 2016. He sought help in the provincial system. 

Zimmer has noted the difficulties that the clinicians who treated Desmond had in getting access to his medical history, which had been well-documented by Veterans Affairs. Some of those documents have since been read into evidence.

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