A trucker who was busted north of Kamloops with a loaded revolver in the cab of his truck has been ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.
Christopher Ty Parsons, who drives a logging truck in the North Thompson, told court he uses the handgun for protection from wolves and cougars while out on the job.
The 53-year-old pleaded guilty in Kamloops provincial court on Thursday to one count of careless storage of a firearm.
Court heard he was hauling logs from the Kinbasket Lake area on the day of the incident.
Crown prosecutor Alex Wheele said Parsons’ rig left Highway 5 just north of Avola. He was injured in the wreck, which prompted a response from police and paramedics.
Wheele said a BC Emergency Health Services paramedic asked Parsons for identification and he pointed to a backpack in the cab of the truck.
“The EHS worker went to the backpack in search of his ID and they found in the backpack a different pouch which contained a handgun — a 22-calibre nine-shot revolver,” Wheele said in court.
The gun was loaded. Court heard the paramedic handed the weapon to a nearby Mountie who safely unloaded it.
“This firearm that he was carrying, he does have a license for and all the necessary background checks that one must have to legally possess such a restricted firearm,” Wheele said.
“However, he was carrying it where he should not have and was storing it carelessly given that it was loaded.”
Parsons, who has no previous criminal record, said he uses the weapon for protection while working in the bush. He said it’s not uncommon to see potentially dangerous wildlife on forest service roads, where he has to stop alone to put on and remove chains — sometimes in the middle of the night.
He said his usual practice is to load the gun while chaining up on the forest service road, then unload it when taking off his chains prior to returning to the public highway.
“This particular day, I forgot,” Parsons said in a statement read in court by defence lawyer Chris Thompson.
“There’s been wolves and cougars watching me many times, and I’m alone at night — no one anywhere near me. Protection is my only concern.”
Kamloops provincial court Judge Roy Dickey agreed to a joint submission calling for a $1,000 fine.