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Surrey man busted with loaded handgun in satchel gets 30 months jail

‘Ghost gun’ didn’t have a serial number, judge notes
Provincial Court of British Columbia in Vancouver. (Photo: Anna Burns)

A Surrey man convicted of possessing a loaded handgun without a serial number in a satchel has been sentenced to 30 months in jail.

Judge Reginald Harris noted in his Jan. 23 reasons for sentence, delivered in Vancouver provincial court, that a Metro Vancouver Transit police officers was patrolling a Metro Town parking lot in Burnaby on March 28, 2021 when he spotted Arunjit Singh Virk in a “suspected” drug deal and upon seeing the officer, Virk “moved in a hurried manner through the parking lot and into the mall.”

Police watched him inside the mall, with CCTV cameras, buying clothing and changing into the items. “His actions were obviously designed to avoid police detection,” Harris noted. Virk then left the mall and got into a taxi, which police intercepted. He was handcuffed, police searched his satchel and seized from it a Polymer 80 model PF940CL semi-automatic handgun. “The gun was loaded and it was a ghost gun in that it did not have serial number. In the result, the police could not trace the origins of the gun,” Harris noted.

The judge noted Virk, 23, comes from a stable home “free from neglect, abuse and substance abuse.” When he was 15 he started using Percocet, traumatized by his uncle’s death. He completed Grade 12 through Queen Elizabeth Continuing Education and held various jobs in roofing, drywall, glazier and decorating. At the time of sentencing he worked as an office assistant.

Prior to this case, Virk had two criminal convictions for unrelated offences. According to a pre-sentence report before Harris, Virk “acknowledges the harm that could have occurred, he admits putting others at risk, he recognized the impact of his offending and he understands that he makes poor decisions when using substances.” He is considered a mild to moderate risk to re-offend.

The Crown argued for a 36-month custodial sentence while Virk’s lawyer argued for a conditional sentence order of between 18 and 24 months followed by probation. Harris decided a fit sentence is 30 months in custody, adding that were it not for mitigating factors he “would be inclined to impose a higher sentence given the circumstances of his offence. Specifically, the public nature of the offence and the fact the firearm was loaded.”

Virk was also ordered to provide a DNA sample for the national bank and is prohibited from possessing any firearm, crossbow, restricted weapon, ammunition or “explosive substance” for 10 years.

About the Author: Tom Zytaruk

I write unvarnished opinion columns and unbiased news reports for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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