Concerns raised over accessibility of police paraphernalia following Nova Scotia shooting

It’s not hard to buy an old police vehicle.

Across the country, it’s common practice to sell decommissioned, stripped-down police vehicles at auctions, available to anyone with a credit card.

“You’re likely to see more at a government auction; there’s a couple auction houses here that sell that,” said David Giles, vice-president of All EV Canada, a company that specializes in electric vehicles.

Through his work, Giles regularly monitors auctions across the country for parts, and says he has seen much more than just old vehicles up for sale.

“I’ve seen anything from decals, light bars push bars, racks, cages for inside the vehicles,” said Giles.

In early March, an auction in Dartmouth was selling a skid that included roof lights and strobe controllers.

But in the wake of this month’s shootings, where 22 people were killed in Nova Scotia by Gabriel Wortman as he used a replica RCMP vehicle, there are now questions over why these items are allowed to go up for public sale.

The replica vehicle was nearly indistinguishable from real RCMP vehicles, something that RCMP Superintendent Darren Campbell said helped the gunman gain an advantage over police and the public.

When asked about the sale of old police equipment, Premier Stephen McNeil said it’s all part of the RCMP’s ongoing investigation.

“I’m sure there will be recommendations coming out of this not only here in Nova Scotia, but also, nationally, I’m sure they’ll be looking at how do we address the issue of surplus issue equipment from law enforcement agencies across the country,” he said.

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