The Coalition for Gun Control/Pour le Controle des Armes

Posts Tagged ‘Halifax’

Guns in the News: Parolee linked to shooting spree

Posted by cgccanada on July 23, 2009

Sparks leads feuding group, cops say in parole documents
By DAN ARSENAULT Crime Reporter, Halifax ChronicleHerald
Thu. Jul 23 – 4:46 AM

Halifax Regional Police think a parolee from a 2005 beating and killing in Dartmouth is the leader of a crime group involved in some drive-by shootings in April.

Aaron Mandell Sparks, 24, received a five-year sentence in February 2007 for aggravated assault in a March 19, 2005, attack that killed 21-year-old Christopher Clark of Dartmouth.

The conditions of Mr. Sparks’s parole were altered in April because of a police investigation into shootings that month.

“According to police, you are the subject of an ongoing investigation that involves drive-by-style shooting as a result of an ongoing feud between two criminalized groups,” states a National Parole Board document dated last Friday.

“Police suspect that you are the leader in one of those groups and that violence has increased in the area during the past couple of months. It is believed that numerous individuals are armed with illegal weapons including firearms and that you are one of the individuals carrying a handgun.”

The parole board notes that Mr. Sparks, a first-time federal offender, denied those allegations and said he spent most of his free time either with his mother or visiting his child… more


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Guns In The News: Judge speaks out on gun violence

Posted by cgccanada on July 14, 2009

Halifax ChronicleHerald

Fri. Jul 10 – 4:46 AM

Justice Felix Cacchione used Jerrell Johnston’s sentencing hearing as a forum to express his dismay at the increasing gun violence in metro Halifax.

“Recently, it would seem that not a week has gone by without guns being discharged in areas frequented by members of our community,” he said.

“In fact, the day before the date originally set for this sentencing, the local newspaper carried yet another story of someone being shot. That shooting occurred on the Upper Partridge River Road . . . the same road where Brandon Beals and Martaze Provo were killed and where the present offence . . . occurred.”

“Again the community, because of the fear instilled in it by the presence and use of handguns, was loathe to assist the police in their investigation.”

He said that a review of local newspaper articles on shootings in HRM since the Vegas shooting “shows that gun-related shootings are on the rise.”

He said there were 27 incidents in 2007; 29 in 2008 and “this year to date, there have been 40 such shootings.”

And the risk to “law-abiding citizens who are going about their daily business is high and increasing.”…more

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Kelly to push fellow mayors for tighter gun restrictions

Posted by cgccanada on June 2, 2009

From The

By DAN ARSENAULT Crime Reporter
Mon. Jun 1 – 4:46 AM

Mayor Peter Kelly in his office. (Ingrid Bulmer / Staff)

Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly intends to recruit his fellow mayors attending a national conference this week to help him seek tighter gun laws.

The mayors of Canada’s 22 largest cities will gather Thursday in Whistler, B.C., and Mayor Kelly plans to ask his peers to jointly push for automatic jail time for people who commit violent crimes with firearms.

“It would send a very clear message across the country that it won’t be tolerated,” he said in a recent interview.

Although mayors do not have the power to make laws, these cities have more than half of Canada’s population and bear the brunt of most violent crime, he said.

That’s one reason he wants to use the Big City Mayors’ Caucus to push the federal government on several points.

“Legislatively, legally, constitutionally we’re at the short end of the stick,” he said. “We need to make sure that we come forth with a collective voice and bring these issues to the forefront.”

Some of the other issues Mayor Kelly will ask the mayors to push Ottawa for include a ban on handgun possession except for sportsmen, collectors and gun club members; more federal money for extra police officers, a way to integrate the myriad of police agencies to improve efficiency and to push the United States to find ways to prevent guns from crossing the border into Canada.

He also wants more stringent rules for gun storage and he doesn’t want anyone awaiting a trial for incidents involving firearms and violence to be eligible for bail.

He expects the other mayors to be supportive.

“We are not the only ones going through this. We need to find a way collectively to address the issue for the long-term.”

Some of the mayor’s positions aren’t new to the group. Toronto Mayor David Miller started his own petition last year to ban handgun possession.

Criminals must be shown that society won’t tolerate gun violence, Mayor Kelly said.

He praised the work done by Halifax Regional Police and Halifax RCMP and said they have his full confidence despite a rise in the rate of violent crime in the city so far this year.

That trend reverses some notable improvements in recent years though.

Much of the recent violence is widely considered to be part of a struggle to control the local drug trade.

When asked, Mayor Kelly said he has not seen, a website run by Jimmy Melvin Jr., whose recent release from jail is thought to have re-ignited the violence.

Mayor Kelly, who noted that he wasn’t speaking specifically about Mr. Melvin, said he can’t comprehend life as a drug dealer because of the fear of retaliation and the notoriety one would have.

“For anybody to want to live in that kind of situation is, to me, asinine,” he said.

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