UPDATE 2020-02-26 11am: New information about retaining possession of gun added to end of column.
After police caught Tyson Mallett with an illegal rifle and no firearm licence, he escaped jail time entirely and must only pay a $500 fine.
Tyson Mallett is one lucky man.
On August 24, 2019, police pulled over a truck because it had no licence plates. Mallet was riding in the back seat.
Police became suspicious and asked everyone to get out of the truck. During their search of the vehicle police discovered a Non-Restricted rifle, ammunition and a loaded magazine.
To Mallet’s credit, the rifle was inside a gun case, unloaded.
When asked who owned the rifle, Mallet immediately said it was his, and told police he applied for his firearm licence but hadn’t received it yet.
Police seized the rifle and ammunition and arrested him for illegal possession of a firearm.
“It’s quite concerning that [Mallett] is in possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle when he’s not allowed to be in possession of one,” Crown attorney Grant Hughes said.
The Canadian Firearms Centre confirmed to the court Mallet’s PAL application was submitted but not yet approved.
Despite his lack of a firearm licence, Hughes told the court a fine would be appropriate to the circumstances of this case.
“You either have a licence or you don’t.”
Mallet’s defence attorney asked for a conditional discharge, but Judge Donovan Dvorak disagreed.
“It’s a real issue the court sees with individuals with firearms not properly licensed. It’s not a minor matter, it’s a concerning matter. We have numerous firearms that are used in the area in crime, most of which are unlicensed and certainly being carried by people who are unlicensed,” he said.
The Brandon Sun reports Tyson Mallett will be given the opportunity to regain possession of his currently-illegal firearm once he obtains his Possession and Acquisition Licence.
That’s an odd statement for a reporter to make and one I’m puzzled by, since Mallet acquired, possessed and transported the rifle illegally – all criminal code violations.
Since standard practice is to destroy all illegal guns, it’s strange that procedure is not, apparently, being followed in this case. I’ve reached out to the reporter who wrote the original story for clarification, and will update this page as soon as I learn anything new.
Erin Debooy, the author of the Brandon Sun piece, sent the following clarification on how Tyson mallet could keep his gun.
The Crown requested forfeiture of the firearm, but Mr. Mallett’s lawyer requested an exception to the forfeiture order which would allow his stepfather (who allegedly has his PAL) to take possession of the gun if he could provide the proper paperwork within 60 days of the court date.
The judge approved this.
So, if his stepfather comes through and takes possession of the firearm, and if Mr. Mallett eventually gets his PAL, it was my understanding from the lawyer’s discussion he would eventually be able to repossess it.
What are your thoughts on the following questions?
- Should Tyson Mallett be granted a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL)?
- If the RCMP does issue his PAL, should he be able to regain possession of this rifle?
- Or should the rifle be destroyed, as per the usual policy in cases like this?