UPDATE: Justin Bourque was arrested early Friday by Moncton police. Read updates here.
A New Brunswick firearms and “emergency preparedness” store issued a statement on Thursday denying it sold guns to Justin Bourque, the man identified by police as the Moncton shooter, after widespread speculation online about the source of his weapons.
"The Worlds End Warehouse is a fully authorised & licensed firearms dealer, with a spotless record, and we promote firearms for recreational hunting, target shooting and law enforcement/security. However, to prevent pointless media speculation we can confirm that the suspect in this case whilst known personally by employees of our store, was never a customer and never purchased firearms or ammunition from us," said the store.
Canada’s National Firearms Association also expressed its condolences about fallen RCMP officers, while making a statement about Canada’s “excessive” firearms regulations on its website.
“It is clear that Canada's excessive firearms control system has failed again,” the statement read. "The excessive rules in place do not in any way increase public safety, but merely contribute to an expensive and unnecessary regime which harms only those of lawful intent.”
While it’s unclear where Bourque acquired his guns, Global News describes them as an M-14 semi-automatic rifle (or possibly a similar M305), and a Mossberg 500 SPX six-shot pump-action shotgun. An M-14 rifle is approximately 45 inches in length and weighs about nine lbs. The shotgun is described as about 39 inches and six lbs.
According to a redacted copy of the long gun registry acquired by Global News, there are 10 M-14 rifles registered in the Moncton area, and only one Mossberg 500 shotgun.
While Canadian federal laws do allow citizens to own firearms, residents must pass a government gun safety course to acquire a five-year license.
It’s unclear whether the suspect had legal access to the guns.