A convicted drug dealer from Eastern Passage has won an exemption from the Criminal Code's 10-year firearms ban so he can continue hunting, a Nova Scotia judge has ruled.
In May 2011, police caught Kevin Anthony Cruikshank with three kilograms of marijuana in Eastern Passage. He pleaded guilty the year after.
Cruikshank — a house painter by trade — got a conditional, 18-month sentence in February. The conviction carries an automatic 10-year firearms prohibition under Section 109 of the Criminal Code.
Cruikshank applied to have the prohibition overturned on the grounds he needs a gun to supply meat for his family. In his affidavit, Cruikshank said he's been a hunter for nearly 18 years, hunting deer, partridge, bear, pheasant, rabbits, ducks, geese and occasionally moose.
The 29-year-old man told the court wild meat has been a major source of food all his life and he wants to continue the practice for his three-month-old son.
The court document said he gathers meat for family members who don't hunt, including a friend who is legally blind.
"It is clear from the affidavit evidence that he does not hunt as a sport, but rather to provide a significant source of wild meat to himself, his family and even a few friends," provincial court Judge Theodore Tax wrote in his decision.
"I am satisfied that the evidence established that, up until the time of the firearms prohibition, the applicant relied upon his firearm to provide wild meat, which has been the predominant source of food for himself and his family."
Tax placed restrictions on Cruikshank's ability to have a firearm. He can only have a gun designed for hunting and he can only possess it when he's actually hunting. The rest of the time, the judge has ordered that the gun must be under the care and control of another family member.