Iqaluit RCMP ask people to secure guns following two standoffs in a week

IQALUIT, Nunavut — Mounties in Nunavut have issued a “call for action” asking people to secure their guns after two recent standoffs, including one where a man opened fire on officers.

Iqaluit RCMP say officers were dispatched Saturday to investigate a report of a man brandishing knives in a residence.

They say a 25-year-old man barricaded himself in the home, and during an ensuing three-hour standoff opened fire on police and vehicles passing by.

The standoff ended with the arrest of a suspect who now faces numerous firearm charges.

No one was injured by the gunfire, but investigators say both police and public property were damaged.

Police say in a news release that it’s the second critical incident in Iqaluit in a week, and they’re urging gun owners to take immediate action to secure firearms and ammunition.

“Our resources cannot sustain this sort of continued behaviour. It is both a danger to the community and in most instances irreparable to our members, who are having to respond in extreme weather conditions and often in complete darkness.,” Insp. Mark Crowther said in the release issued Sunday.

On Wednesday, RCMP said their critical incident team was activated when a 34-year-old Iqaluit man barricaded himself in a home for 12 hours while police negotiated with him.

After the incident was peacefully resolved, police said three young children were placed in the custody of Child and Family Services. The man faces charges of forcible confinement, assault, uttering threats and breach of conditions.

Police say alcohol was a contributing factor in both incidents.

RCMP said in Sunday’s release that gun owners should use trigger lock mechanisms, remove bolts, secure their guns and store ammunition separately.

They also warn that alcohol and firearms do not mix.

“We are asking you to help us please. Take the time necessary to secure firearms,” the release stated.

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