News

Home firebombed, Ian Thomson wants special handgun permit

By Brian Lilley

A Port Colborne, Ont., man is seeking a rarely issued permit to carry a handgun at all times, saying that police cannot protect him.

Ian Thomson's home was firebombed by four men in August 2010 and last week the ringleader of the firebombing, Randy Weaver, was released from prison.

"I cannot rely on police for any kind of protection," Thomson told Sun News' Byline program Monday.

Thomson, a former firearms instructor, was prosecuted after the firebombing for firing warning shots at his assailants. He was acquitted last January shortly after Weaver was sentenced to prison.

Thomson has also received threats from a neighbour who is seen on surveillance tape threatening to shoot him in the leg before yelling, "Come here. I'll blow your f---ing brain out."

Despite this, Thomson said he won't be getting special treatment from police.

"I was in contact with them last week when I found out that he (Weaver) was released and I was told that I will receive the same level of protection as other citizens in the city of Welland," Thomson said. "And that doesn't make me feel comfortable."

Defence attorney and firearms law expert, Ed Burlew, who defended Thomson in court, said that these permits should be easier to obtain.

"When you are faced with a person who is a known assailant and are faced with a present threat you have to have the ability to defend yourself," Burlew said.

In order to be granted the permit, Thomson must first convince Ontario chief firearms officer Chris Wyatt that he deserves to submit an application.

"They guard those applications," Burlew told QMI Agency.

If Thomson is granted an application he then needs his local police force to agree, essentially admitting that they cannot protect one of their citizens.

"I have asked them and I was told that I'm not going to get one," Thomson said of his conversations with the Niagara police.

Queries submitted to Niagara police and Ontario's chief firearms office were not answered.

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