BC Hydro smart meter opponent to get guns back 0
Madeson Chase says the federal government used a "dirty trick" against him in his court fight to be given his guns back by authorities. (JEREMY NUTTALL/ 24 HOURS)
Vancouver police must return a hunting rifle and shotgun to Madeson Chase after a judge ruled out a public safety concern Monday.
Chase surrendered the two firearms he legally owned in January after the BC Hydro smart meter opponent erected signs around his Vancouver property warning he possessed the weapons. He appealed the seizure, arguing the signage wasn’t a threat but akin to common “beware of dog” warnings.
“It feels great,” Chase, who represented himself in court, told 24 hours. “It's vindication.
“Of course the Vancouver Police Department have an opportunity to appeal, but I'm hoping they won't ... I'm not a danger to society or myself.”
Judge Reginald Harris didn’t find fault with police officers' grounds of taking the weapons in the first place, but ruled they could only refuse to return them if they can prove it's not in the interest of public safety.
While Chase argued in court the signs were never intended as a threat to use the weapons, he added he wouldn’t repeat their display.
“The way the police responded to even the mention of a firearm was totally ridiculous,” he said. “Nevertheless, it's not something I'd repeat. I don't feel like going through this again.”
Police have 30 days to appeal the decision, and at that point if they refuse to return the firearms Chase said he plans to launch legal action.
On Oct. 16, Chase questioned Sgt. Fred Ullrich, the officer who accompanied BC Hydro staff to his property.
“What have I done that could hurt people?” Chase asked.
“You fortified your fence with upside-down screws that could hurt people,” Ullrich replied.
Chase said he will now “wait patiently” for the 30-day appeal period to expire.
“On the next day, I'm getting paperwork together to present to police at their property lockup,” he said. “If they don't give me my property at that moment, I'll be launching procedures against them.”