A Carry the Kettle First Nation man was recently acquitted of several firearms offenses, after a provincial court judge ruled police illegally seized his firearms.

Judge M.T. Beaton ruled that RCMP violated the Charter Rights of Perry Thomson Sr. when they entered his home and seized 31 weapons.

“I find that officers breached Mr. Thomson’s s. 8 rights when they entered his residence as the circumstances did not establish a necessity, reasonably and objectively considered, to address an imminent threat to the safety of the public or the police. If the entry into the residence was unlawful, all other searches within the residence will also be unlawful,” the ruling read.

Thomson Sr. was charged on September 5, 2018 at Carry the Kettle First Nation that he left multiple firearms unlocked and improperly stored.

Mounties were called to the home on a complaint by the neighbour that she heard gunshot coming from Thompson’s house.

Police were told that Aiden Thomson fired a rifle in the air, as he was unhappy with his children not cleaning, but that Thomson was not threatening.

Officers knew that the family were hunters. At the scene RCMP demanded that Aiden Thomson come from the house, but another man emerged and informed authorities that Aiden had left but children were still inside.

The officers then approached the house and were met at the door by three children, ages eight, seven and five years. The children were not crying and appeared fine.

After securing the children’s safety, police conducted a search of the home, uncovering the firearms, and seizing the weapons without a search warrant.

“I conclude that the breach of Mr. Thomson’s right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure had an extremely serious impact on his privacy rights. The search, which was not brief, involved entry into many rooms of his private residence,” stated the ruling.

“I find that the officers’ purpose for entering the residence was to secure the life and safety of anyone who might have been in harm’s way, and not for the ulterior motive of investigating a crime. They were well-intentioned. However, I conclude that the officers did not have an objectively reasonable basis to enter the residence as they had no objectively reasonable basis to conclude that anyone was in danger, or that there was a possible assailant in the residence who would present a risk to anybody. The failure of the police to give due consideration to the objective circumstances makes their conduct relatively serious.”

Judge Beaton concluded that excluding the firearms, meant there was not evidence of a crime, Thomson was acquitted.