Sask. farmer pleads guilty to gun charges
A Saskatchewan farmer acquitted in the fatal shooting of a young Indigenous man is giving up his guns and has been ordered to pay a $3,000 fine after pleading guilty to unsafe storage of an unrestricted firearm.
Gerald Stanley pleaded guilty Monday in North Battleford provincial court to the charge that involved six rifles and shotguns. The Crown said none of them had trigger locks.
The Crown dropped a second count of unsafe storage of a restricted handgun.
Stanley was acquitted in the death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie, who was shot and killed on Stanley’s farm in August 2016.
With members and supporters of the Boushie family looking on, the judge accepted a joint recommendation for the fine and a 10-year ban on possessing a firearm. Stanley is also forfeiting all of his guns, which the defence said are pretty common in many rural homes.
“Mr. Stanley doesn’t desire to own a gun ever again,” his lawyer Scott Spencer told court.
Family and supporters of the Boushie family shouted “murderer” as Stanley walked into the courthouse to enter a plea.
Boushie was one of five young people who drove onto Stanley’s farm near Biggar in 2016. His friends testified they were looking for help with a flat tire.
Stanley told the trial he thought they were trying to steal an all-terrain vehicle. He testified he fired warning shots to scare them away and the gun accidentally went off again when he went to pull the keys from their SUV.