Saskatoon police will host social media Q&A on firearms storage

Saskatoon police will host social media Q&A on firearms storage after Jordan Lafond inquest recommendation

Saskatoon police plan to hold a Q&A day on social media in the New Year on unsafe firearms storage.

It stems from the coroner’s inquest held earlier this year into the death of 22-year-old Jordan Lafond.

Lafond died in 2016 following a police chase of a stolen truck on the outskirts of Saskatoon.

A pathologist couldn’t decide if an officer’s use of force contributed to Lafond’s death.

Police said the presence of weapons in the vehicle added to the scene’s tension.

Didn’t know about weapons in truck: prosecutor

According to a report to the Board of Police Commissioners, firearms and ammunition were left in the truck by the vehicle’s owner in anticipation of a hunting trip the next day.

A prosecutor said Lafond and another man were unaware of the weapons when the truck was stolen.

The inquest jury recommended police increase public awareness about safe firearms storage.

Deputy police Chief Mitch Yuzdepski said he hopes the social media campaign improves the way firearms are handled.

“We had a conversation around the new cannabis legislation and we had a lot of community involvement and a lot of good questions,” he said.

“And we had provided the community with a lot of answers in a new area, or an area of uncertainty.”

Yuzdepski said there seems to be some confusion among gun owners about what the law says about proper firearm storage.

“I think some of that might be, ‘Do I need to need to keep the firearms stored in a locked room? Is it a locked safe? Does this apply to handguns? Does it apply to shotguns? Does it apply to rifles? What is my responsibility as a gun owner?'” he said.

Yuzdepski noted that many city residents are people who have moved to Saskatoon from rural areas.

“The expectation was a little bit different … maybe, once they moved into the city,” he said. “But really, the law hasn’t changed at all. There is still an expectation on everyone to keep their firearms properly stored and properly locked.”

Saskatoon police also plan to stage another gun amnesty in 2019.

Last spring, police across the province gave residents the chance to turn in guns without fear of charges.

In Saskatoon, 122 firearms and about 500 rounds of ammunition were turned over to police.

With files from Guy Quenneville.