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$3,000 fine for man who flashed a gun

A Sylvan Lake man who flashed a gun in a hip holster to impress a waitress will pay more than $3,000 for his folly.

Christopher Glen Miller, 32, pleaded guilty in Red Deer provincial court on Wednesday to a pair of charges related to possession of a restricted weapon in an unauthorized place and a third count of refusing to provide a breath sample to police.

Crown prosecutor Murray McPherson said police were called on March 1 when alarmed patrons at a popular Sylvan Lake bar and restaurant saw the man showing off the weapon, which proved to be a loaded .45-calibre handgun. The weapon was in a holster partially concealed under a hoodie.

It was also alleged that the man had been telling people in the bar he was an undercover police officer.

Miller left the bar in a minivan and police pulled him over at the nearby Hazzard County Bar around 12:45 a.m. He admitted to police he had the gun but refused to provide a breath sample and was arrested.

Miller had a licence for the weapon, but that did not allow him to take it to unauthorized places such as bars.

Defence lawyer Kevin Sproule said Miller had recently purchased the holster and was “breaking it in.” That was followed by a series of bad decisions leading to his arrest.

In a joint submission to the judge, Sproule and the Crown suggested a $1,000 fine on each of the three counts.

Judge Darrell Riemer agreed and further prohibited Miller from owning weapons, ammunition or explosives for five years. He is also prohibited from driving for one year.

“This, in some measure, was juvenile and foolish behaviour,” Riemer told Miller, a father of three, who splits his time between Alberta and B.C. “It is also criminal.”

Miller must forfeit the gun to the Crown.

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