Clarification to January 7, 2017 interim media release
On January 7, following an investigation into a complaint of a weapon, which appeared to be an assault rifle, at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax Regional Police issued a media release that asked people to refrain from posting pictures of themselves with firearms online. This understandably led to a number of questions about the legality of posting such pictures.
For clarification, our intent was to remind citizens that some pictures that include firearms (real or not) can cause fear and disruption to our community. We have a responsibility to investigate complaints we receive, and when responding to a weapons complaint, we must operate under the assumption that the firearm is real until we can prove otherwise. This can involve a significant use of police resources. Depending on the situation, the investigation may result in firearms charges under the Criminal Code or Firearms Act or public mischief charges.
While it is not an offence to post pictures of people with firearms or guns online, we ask that people do so responsibly and consider unintended consequences so they don’t alarm their fellow citizens and unnecessarily tie up police resources.
Halifax Regional Police thanks citizens for their cooperation while officers were on scene responding to and investigating this incident.
Source: Media Release