Firearms crimes

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Firearms crimes

Under Canada’s Criminal Code, there are different types of weapons or firearms crimes you can be charged with;

 

Use Offences

Using a firearm in committing other offence

This offence is when a person uses a firearm, regardless of the person’s intention to cause bodily harm,

(a) while committing an indictable offence, except criminal negligence causing death, manslaughter, attempted murder, discharging firearm with intent, discharging firearm — recklessness, sexual assault with a weapon or aggravated sexual assault, kidnapping or hostage taking, robbery or extortion;

(b) while attempting to commit an indictable offence; or

(c) during flight after committing or attempting to commit an indictable offence.

Using imitation firearm in the commission of offence

This is when a person uses an imitation firearm, regardless of the person’s intention to cause bodily harm,

(a) while committing an indictable offence,

(b) while attempting to commit an indictable offence, or

(c) during flight after committing or attempting to commit an indictable offence,

whether or not the person causes or means to cause bodily harm to

Punishment for both offences above

Indictment only

1-14 years of imprisonment (1st offence)

3-14 years of imprisonment (2nd offence)

Careless use of firearms, etc.

This is when a person, with no legal ground, uses, carries, handles, ships, transports or

stores a firearm, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device or any ammunition or prohibited ammunition in a careless manner or without reasonable

precautions for the safety of other persons.

Contravention of storage regulations, etc.

This is when a person contravenes a regulation made under paragraph 117(h) of the Firearms

Act regarding the storage, handling, transportation, shipping, display, advertising and mail-order sales of firearms and restricted weapons.

Punishment for both offences above

Hybrid – indictment or summary conviction 

Indictment

Imprisonment up to 2 years (1st offence)

Imprisonment up to 5 years (2nd and subsequent offences) 

Summary conviction

A fine of not more than $5,000 or to a term of imprisonment of not more than two years less a day, or both. 

Pointing a firearm

This is when a person, with no legal ground, points a firearm at another person, whether the firearm is loaded or unloaded.

Punishment

Hybrid offence – indictment or summary conviction

Indictment

Imprisonment up to 5 years

Summary conviction

A fine of not more than $5,000 or to a term of imprisonment of not more than two years less a day, or both.

Possession Offences

Possession of weapon for a dangerous purpose

This is when a person carries or possesses a weapon, an imitation of a weapon, a prohibited device or any ammunition or prohibited ammunition for a purpose dangerous to the public peace or for the purpose of committing an offence.

Punishment

Hybrid – Indictment or summary convictions

Indictment

Up to 10 years of imprisonment

Summary conviction

A fine up to $5,000.00 or imprisonment up to 2 years less a day

Carrying a weapon while attending a public meeting

This is when a person, with no legal ground, carries a weapon, a prohibited device or

any ammunition or prohibited ammunition while the person is attending or is on the way to attend a public meeting.

Punishment

Summary conviction only

A fine up to $5,000.00 or imprisonment up to 2 years less a day

Carrying concealed weapon

Every person commits an offence who carries a weapon, a prohibited device or any prohibited ammunition concealed, unless the person is authorized under the Firearms Act to carry it concealed.

Punishment

Hybrid – indictment or summary conviction

 Indictment

Up to 5 years of imprisonment

 Summary conviction

A fine up to $5,000.00 or imprisonment up to 2 years less a day

Unauthorized possession of firearm

This is when, with exceptions, a person possesses a prohibited firearm, a restricted firearm or a non-restricted firearm without being the holder of:

(a) a licence granting possession

(b) a registration certificate, in the case of a prohibited firearm or a restricted firearm

Unauthorized possession of a prohibited weapon or restricted weapon

This is when, with exceptions, a person possesses a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device, other than a replica firearm, or any prohibited ammunition, without being the holder of a licence granting possession.

Exceptions

1) If possessing any firearms or weapons under direct supervision of a person who may lawfully possess it for the purpose of a lawful use.

2) If coming into possession of any firearms and weapons by the operation of law and within a reasonable period of time after coming into possession:

– Lawfully disposes of it

– Obtain a license or registration certificate for it

Punishment for both offence above

Hybrid offence – indictment or summary conviction

 Indictment

imprisonment up to 5 years

Summary conviction

A fine up to $5,000.00 or imprisonment up to 2 years less a day

Possession of a firearm knowing its possession is unauthorized

This is when, with exceptions, a person possesses a prohibited firearm, a restricted firearm or a non-restricted firearm knowing that the person is not the holder of:

(a) a licence for lawful possession; or

(b) a registration certificate, in the case of a prohibited or a restricted firearm.

Possession of a prohibited weapon, device, or ammunition knowing its possession is unauthorized

This is when, with exceptions, a person possesses a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device, other than a replica firearm, or any prohibited ammunition knowing that the person is not the holder of a licence for lawful possession

Exceptions

1) If possessing any firearms or weapons under direct supervision of a person who may lawfully possess it for the purpose of a lawful use.

2) If coming into possession of any firearms and weapons by the operation of law and within a reasonable period of time after coming into possession:

– Lawfully disposes of it

– Obtain a license or registration certificate for it

Punishment for both offences above

Indictment only

Imprisonment up to 10 years (1st offence)

Imprisonment 1-10 years (2nd offence)

Imprisonment 2 years less a day – up to 10 years (3rd and subsequent offences)

Possession at unauthorized place

This is when a person, being the holder of an authorization or a license for possessing a prohibited firearm, a restricted firearm, a non-restricted firearm, a prohibited or a restricted weapon, a prohibited device or prohibited ammunition, possesses them at a place that is:

(a) indicated on the authorization or license as a place where the person may not possess it;

(b) other than a place indicated on the authorization or license as being a place where the person may possess it; or

(c) other than a place where it may be possessed under the Firearms Act.

Exception

Does not apply if in possession of a replica firearm

Punishment

Hybrid – indictment or summary conviction

Indictment

Imprisonment up to five years

Summary conviction

A fine up to $5,000.00 or imprisonment up to 2 years less a day.

 Unauthorized possession in motor vehicle

This is when a person, with exceptions, is an occupant of a motor vehicle in which the person knows there is a prohibited firearm, a restricted firearm, a non-restricted firearm, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device, other than a replica firearm, or any prohibited ammunition, unless

(a) In the case of a prohibited firearm, a restricted firearm or a non-restricted firearm,

(i) the person or any other occupant of the motor vehicle is the holder of:

  • a license for lawful possession
  • an authorization and registration certificate in the case of a prohibited firearm or a

  restricted firearm

(ii) Belief on reasonable ground that any other occupant of the motor vehicle was the holder of:

  • a license for lawful possession
  • an authorization and registration certificate in the case of a prohibited firearm or a

  restricted firearm

 (iii) Belief on reasonable ground that any other occupant of the motor vehicle was a person who

    could not be convicted of an offence as a preclearance officer or under the authority of any

    other Act of Parliament

(b) In the case of a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device or any

  prohibited ammunition,

(i) the person or any other occupant of the motor vehicle is the holder of an authorization or a

  license for transporting

(ii) Belief on reasonable ground that any other occupant of the motor vehicle was

  • a holder of an authorization or a license for transporting
  • a person who could not be convicted of an offence as a preclearance officer or under the authority of any other Act of Parliament

Exception

– Not applicable to an occupant of a motor vehicle who, on becoming aware of the presence of

the firearm, weapon, device or ammunition in the motor vehicle, attempted to leave the motor vehicle within the best of the occupant’s capability, or actually left the motor vehicle.

– Not applicable to an occupant of a motor vehicle when the occupant or any other occupant of the motor vehicle is a person who came into possession of the firearm, weapon, device or ammunition by the operation of law. 

Punishment

Hybrid – indictment or summary conviction 

Indictment

Imprisonment up to 10 years

Summary conviction

A fine up to $5,000.00 or imprisonment up to 2 years less a day

Possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition

This is when, with an exception, a person, in any place, possesses a loaded prohibited firearm or restricted firearm, or an unloaded prohibited firearm or restricted firearm together with readily accessible ammunition that is capable of being discharged in the firearm, without being the holder of:

(a) an authorization or a licence for lawful possession

(b) the registration certificate for the firearm

Exception

Not applicable to a person who is using the firearm under the direct and immediate supervision

of another person who has lawful possession is using the firearm in a manner in which that the other person is lawfully allowed to use. 

Punishment

Hybrid – Indictment and summary conviction

Indictment

Maximum: Imprisonment up to 10 years

Minimum: Imprisonment 3 years (1st offence)

                Imprisonment 5 years (2nd or subsequent offence)

Summary conviction

A fine up to $5,000.00 or imprisonment up to 2 years less a day 

Possession of weapon obtained by the commission of offense

This is when, with an exception, a person possesses a firearm, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device, or any prohibited ammunition that the person knows was obtained by a criminal offence in Canada or by an act or omission anywhere that, if it had occurred in Canada, would have constituted an offence.

Exception

Not applicable to a person who comes into possession of a firearm, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device or any prohibited ammunition, by the operation of law and who lawfully disposes of it within a reasonable period after acquiring possession of it.

Punishment

Hybrid – Indictment and summary conviction

Indictment

Imprisonment 1-10 years

Summary conviction

A fine up to $5,000.00 or imprisonment up to 2 years less a day

Breaking and entering to steal a firearm

This is when a person;

(a) breaks and enters a place with intent to steal a firearm located in it;

(b) breaks and enters a place and steals a firearm located in it; or

(c) breaks out of a place after (i) stealing a firearm located in it, or

                                            (ii) entering the place with intent to steal a firearm located in it. 

Break & Place defined

Break means;

(a) to break any part, internal or external, or

(b) to open anything that is used or intended to be used to close or to cover an internal or external opening; 

Place means any building or structure — or part of one — and any motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft, railway vehicle, container, or trailer. 

Entrance defined

(a) a person enters as soon as any part of his or her body or any part of an instrument that he or she uses is within any thing that is being entered; and

(b) a person is deemed to have broken and entered if he or she

(i) obtained entrance by a threat or an artifice or by collusion with a person within, or

(ii) entered without lawful justification or excuse by a permanent or temporary opening.

Punishment

Indictment only

Imprisonment for life

Robbery to steal a firearm

This is when a person commits a robbery with intent to steal a firearm or in the course of which he or she steals a firearm

Punishment

Indictment only 

Imprisonment for life

 

For more information about weapon or firearms crimes, read the frequently asked questions about criminal law.

Weapons and Firearms Toronto Lawyer

Weapons and firearms crimes are serious and detrimental to your life.  At Juzkiw Law, we have experience with all types of criminal offenses. Contact us  for more details on how we can built your denfense – 416-221-2221

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