Firearms officers testify about reviewing Lionel Desmond’s gun licence after suicide attempt

Firearms officers who reviewed Lionel Desmond’s gun licence after a suicide attempt are testifying this morning at a Nova Scotia fatality inquiry about how a veteran with complex mental illness was able to get the licence back.

Desmond would use that licence on Jan. 3, 2017, to buy a Soviet-style semi-automatic rifle at Leaves and Limbs in Antigonish, N.S., which he used to kill his wife, daughter, mother and himself that evening.

A medical assessment obtained by CBC News, shows that a Fredericton family doctor determined Lionel Desmond was “non-suicidal and stable” and that he had “no concerns for firearms usage” in February 2016.

That report came just three months after the Afghanistan veteran was taken to hospital after cutting his leg in what his wife described as a suicide attempt. 

Desmond got his guns back in mid-May 2016, about the same time he would enter an in-patient treatment program in Montreal for veterans with severe post-traumatic stress disorder.

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