Arizona man, 26, charged with bringing loaded handgun into CN Tower
Amara McLaughlin, CTV Toronto
Published Monday, April 24, 2017 10:16PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, April 24, 2017 10:57PM EDT
A 26-year-old Arizona man has been charged with allegedly bringing a loaded handgun into the CN Tower on Friday afternoon, Toronto police said.
Security officers notified police after a gun was found in a backpack during a routine metal detector screening around 3 p.m., Toronto police Const. David Hopkinson told CP24.
There’s no evidence so far that suggests the man intended to carry out a shooting at the tower, he added.
"He was not targeting somebody," Hopkinson said. "This may have been a simple mistake of what our laws are compared to what the American laws are."
The tourist told police he brought the firearm with him through customs and security at Pearson International Airport last week.
While Hopkinson said that’s possible, investigators have not verified how the gun was transported into the country. It’s also not clear where the gun came from.
Although police are working under the assumption the accused simply didn't know he couldn't have a gun, Torontonians say he should have known better.
"If someone comes into a different country, they should at the very least, brush up on basic laws that they should be following," Maxwell Chan told CTV Toronto.
Ben Traore shares this view.
"The U.S. is different from Canada and if you come into a country where generally a gun is forbidden everywhere, you should know better before you get into a public centre like the CN Tower," he said.
But this isn't common knowledge for everyone.
Kathleen Butte is from Chicago. She says she "wouldn't know off hand" that guns weren't permitted here without proper licensing.
"I would operate under that assumption though," she added.
Erik Hall faces three charges for the possession of a prohibited firearm with ammunition, carrying a concealed weapon and the careless storage of a firearm.
Hall is a registered gun owner in the United States and holds a carry-and-conceal weapons permit in Arizona, police confirmed with CP24.
The accused appeared in a Toronto court on Monday. He was granted bail.