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Hunter loses firearms privileges over handgun

A Red Deer hunter has been fined and lost his firearms privileges after taking extra firepower along for predator protection.

Cyle Craig Fox, 29, was arrested on Oct. 7 by Rocky Mountain House RCMP quad patrols doing compliance checks on people hunting in the Nordegg area.

Court heard that, along with his shotgun, Fox had packed a 40-calibre Smith & Wesson pistol into the back of his vehicle. Fox had the required permit and certificates for the gun, but the permit did not allow him to transport it except from his home to the shooting range and back.

All weapons and ammunition in the vehicle were subsequently seized.

Fox pleaded guilty before Judge Jim Hunter in Red Deer provincial court on Tuesday to carrying a restricted weapon in a place where he was not allowed to have it and to hunting without a proper licence.

An additional charge of carrying a loaded and restricted firearm was withdrawn as a result of the guilty plea.

Crown prosecutor Jason Snider told court that Fox and a friend, who did have the proper game licence and tags, had headed out to the Nordegg area to hunt.

Defence counsel Kevin Sproule said Fox planned to purchase his licence and tags on the way out, but was unable to buy them online because the government computer system was down. He ran into similar difficulties when he tried to purchase licences in person, said Sproule.

Fox had taken the pistol along in case they came under attack by bears or other predators, he said.

Hunter told Fox he had made two mistakes that day. Hunting without a licence was one and the other was to take his pistol.

He ordered that Fox pay a fine of $500 on each charge and that his pistol be forfeited. He has also been prohibited from owning any firearms for a period of two years.

Hunter said Fox can name someone else to recover his other goods from the RCMP in Rocky Mountain House, providing that person has the proper licence and certificates. Those items will be forfeited and destroyed if not picked up within 90 days.



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