It isn't an offence to post a picture of you and your gun, but Halifax police suggest you consider the consequences before doing so.
The suggestion was contained in a clarification, Halifax Regional Police issued Tuesday.
The clarification was in response to several questions people asked after the department issued a news release on Saturday in which it asked people to refrain from posting pictures of themselves and their firearms online. The request came after police had investigated a weapons complaint that led to the evacuation of a Saint Mary's University dorm after a student posted a gun photo online.
The department's request "understandably led to a number of questions about the legality of posting such pictures," Tuesday's release, issued by Cst. Dianne Penfoud, the force's media relations officer, said. "For clarification, our intent was to remind citizens that some pictures that include firearms (real or not) can cause fear and disruption to our community."
Police have a responsibility to investigate the complaints they receive and when responding to a weapons complaint "we must operate under the assumption that the firearm is real until we can prove otherwise," the release said.
Investigations into weapons complaints can involve a significant use of public resources and depending on the situation, the investigation may result in firearms charges, laid under the Criminal Code or Firearms Act, or public mischief charges.
"While it is not an offence to post pictures of people with firearms or guns online, we ask that people do so responsibly and consider unintended consequences so they don’t alarm their fellow citizens and unnecessarily tie up police resources," the release said.