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Firearm Offences in Canada

Toronto Defence lawyers
  • Part III of the Criminal Code of Canada sets out firearm offences. These offences are further split into categories including the use, possession, trafficking, assembling, exporting/importing, and offences relating to lost, destroyed, or defaced weapons. This post will highlight some of the most common Criminal Code offences in relation to firearms.
  • According to the Criminal Code of Canada, use offences include:
  • In this section [a weapon] refers to a firearm, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device, or any ammunition or prohibited ammunition
  • Using a firearm (including imitation) in commission of offence
  • Every person commits an offence who uses a firearm, whether or not the person causes or means to cause bodily harm to any person as a result of using the firearm:
  • while committing an indictable offence
  • while attempting to commit an indictable offence
  • during flight after committing or attempting to commit an indictable offence
  • Careless use of firearm
  • Every person commits an offence who, without lawful excuse, uses, carries, handles, ships, transports, or stores [a weapon] in a careless manner or without reasonable precautions for the safety of other persons
  • Pointing a firearm
  • Every person commits an offence who, without lawful excuse, points a firearm at another person, whether the firearm is loaded or unloaded
  • According to the Criminal Code of Canada, possession offences include:
  • in this section [a weapon] refers to a weapon, an imitation of a weapon, a prohibited device, or any ammunition or prohibited ammunition
  • Possession of weapon for dangerous purpose
  • Every person commits an offence who carries or possesses [a weapon] for a purpose dangerous to the public peace or for the purpose of committing an offence
  • Carrying concealed weapon
  • Every person commits an offence who carries [a weapon], unless the person is authorized under the Firearms Act to carry it concealed
  • Unauthorized possession of firearm
  • Every person commits an offence who possesses a prohibited firearm, a restricted firearm or a non-restricted firearm without being the holder of:
  •  a licence under which the person may possess it
  • in the case of a prohibited firearm or a restricted firearm, a registration certificate for it
  • Possession of weapon obtained by commission of offence
  • Every person commits an offence who possesses a [weapon] that the person knows was obtained by the commission of an offence or by an act or omission anywhere that would have constituted an offence
  • Breaking and entering to steal firearm
  • Every person commits an offence who:
  • breaks and enters a place with intent to steal a firearm located in it
  •  breaks and enters a place and steals a firearm located in it
  •  breaks out of a place after stealing a firearm located in it, or entering the place with intent to steal a firearm located in it
  • According to the Criminal Code of Canada, trafficking offences include:
  • in this section [a weapon] refers to a prohibited firearm, a restricted firearm, a non-restricted firearm, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device, any ammunition or any prohibited ammunition
  • Weapons trafficking
  • Every person commits an offence who manufactures or transfers, whether or not for consideration, a [weapon] knowing that the person is not authorized to do so under the Firearms Act or any other Act of Parliament or any regulations made under any Act of Parliament
  • Possession for purpose of weapons trafficking
  • Every person commits an offence who possesses a [weapon] for the purpose of:
  • transferring it, whether or not for consideration
  •  offering to transfer it
  • knowing that the person is not authorized to transfer it under the Firearms Act or any other Act of Parliament or any regulations made under any Act of Parliament
  • According to the Criminal Code of Canada, assembling offences include:
  • Making automatic firearm
  • Every person commits an offence who, without lawful excuse, alters a firearm so that it is capable of, or manufactures or assembles any firearm that is capable of, discharging projectiles in rapid succession during one pressure of the trigger
  • According to the Criminal Code of Canada, export and import offences include:
  • in this section [a weapon] refers to a prohibited firearm, a restricted firearm, a non-restricted firearm, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device or any prohibited ammunition
  • Unauthorized importing or exporting
  • Every person commits an offence who imports or exports:
  • a [weapon]
  •  any component or part designed exclusively for use in the manufacture of or assembly into an automatic firearm otherwise than under the authority of the Firearms Act or any other Act of Parliament or any regulations made under an Act of Parliament.
  • According to the Criminal Code of Canada, offences relating to lost, destroyed, or defaced weapons include:
  • in this section [a weapon] refers to a prohibited firearm, a restricted firearm, a non-restricted firearm, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device, or any prohibited ammunition
  • in this section [officer] refers to a peace officer, a firearms officer, or a chief firearms officer
  • Losing or finding
  • Every person commits an offence who:
  •  having lost a [weapon], an authorization, a licence or a registration certificate, or having had it stolen from the person’s possession, does not with reasonable despatch report the loss to an [officer]
  •  on finding a [weapon] that the person has reasonable grounds to believe has been lost or abandoned, does not with reasonable despatch deliver it to an [officer] or report the finding to an [officer]
  • Destroying
  • Every person commits an offence who:
  • after destroying any [weapon]
  • on becoming aware of the destruction of any [weapon] that was in the person’s possession before its destruction
  • does not with reasonable despatch report the destruction to an [officer]
  • False statements
  • Every person commits an offence who knowingly makes, before an [officer], a false report or statement concerning the loss, theft or destruction of a [weapon], an authorization, a licence or a registration certificate
  • It is important to note that Criminal Code offences related to firearms are very serious offences. If you are charged or are a suspect in a firearm offence, it is important to be represented by an experienced criminal defence lawyer if you intend to fight it.
  • If you are facing criminal offence charges contact Kostman and Pyzer, Barristers for your free consultation today!

20 Mar 2018

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