Gun charges dropped against former Fruitvale councillor

Charges that a former Fruitvale councillor had an unlicensed firearm won’t proceed.

Allan Grieve was due to appear in Rossland Provincial Court today to deal with the charge of possessing firearms without a license, but the charge was dropped in light of the federal government’s long-gun registration amnesty.

“The government wants to have these laws but doesn’t want to take the heat with them,” said Crown counsel Hugh McSheffrey.

“(Grieve) had a previous possession license but didn’t have the weapons individually registered,” he added, pointing to an exemption in the amnesty, which was enacted in 2006 to protect non-compliant owners of non-restricted firearms from criminal liability.

“To Mr. Grieve’s credit, he had them safely secured in a gun locker. If it were you or I, we probably would have got the same amnesty, he’s not an evil man.”

The guns were located upon his arrest in January, which was a surprise for Grieve, though he’d had several disagreements with the village in regards to a drainage problem on his property.

He was picked up then for allegedly uttering threats to the Village of Fruitvale via email and in person, but the Crown rejected this charge as well.

“Just as background,” explained Mayor Libby Nelson, “last year some people felt threatened after certain incidents and reported those concerns to the RCMP, and then to me as mayor.

“This RCMP matter progressed to charges, which were then dealt with by Crown counsel. It is not a matter for the village to comment on, as police investigations, etc., are not in the authority of the village.”

The Times could not reach Grieve for comment by press time Wednesday.

The Conservatives’ gun amnesty expires May 17, but the Calgary Sun reported last week that a government official says it will be extended — for a fifth time.