Under the Canadian Criminal Code, the unregistered use, possession, and trafficking carry some of the most serious sentences and penalties under our law. Most firearm offences have significant mandatory sentences of jail. This area of law is not only very serious, but also highly complex and requires a full understanding of criminal law.
With increasing gun violence in Canada, the government has come up with strict regulations and policies to curb the crime rate. Depending on the type and severity of the firearm or weapons offence, the sentence can range from a conditional or absolute discharge to life in jail. Hence, it’s important to understand the legal aspects of weapons possession (and use) in Canada.
The term “weapon” is defined in section 2 of the Criminal Code as follows:
“weapon” means anything used, designed to be used or intended for use
(a) in causing death or injury to any person, or
(b) for the purpose of threatening or intimidating any person
and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, includes a firearm.
Whether or not an object will be considered to be a weapon by the Court may depend upon the design, or intended use of the object. Weapons might include: knives, baseball bats, and broken beer bottles. The Courts have also found unloaded BB guns to be weapons in certain circumstances. Because it is necessary to examine the intended use of an object, things that would not ordinarily be considered a weapon, such as a chair, might become one if it is used to injure someone.
Generic weapons, like guns, are further classified into three categories.
It is not generally possible for an individual to be granted an authorization to acquire or possess prohibited firearms except under special circumstances. Restricted basically means “more difficult to own” where as Prohibited basically means “not allowed to own.” Although that’s not quite complete because some people are allowed to own certain prohibited firearms for certain purposes.
Carrying concealed weapon
90 (1) 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.
(2) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1)
(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or
(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
Carrying a Loaded Firearm involves carrying a loaded firearm on your person in a vehicle in a public place, on a public street, or in a prohibited area. This is considered different from carrying a concealed firearm, where the firearm is obscured from clear view.
The four elements to Carrying a Loaded Firearm are:
There are several defenses that a skilled criminal defense attorney can raise on your behalf. Some of these defenses might include:
A strong defence will bring any and all evidence to convince the judge or jury that the accused is of upstanding character, for example, in holding down steady employment, supporting a family, not having committed a prior criminal offence and so on. The foremost goal is to have all charges dropped. However, portrayal of the accused’s character in the best possible light is also an important consideration in obtaining the least severe penalty in the event of a guilty verdict.
Carrying a loaded firearm, whether it’s functional or not, could cost you your freedom and also make you incur unnecessary losses due to the hefty fines the judge imposes for the crime. Prosecutors aggressively pursue weapon and gun crime charges. If you have been arrested or accused of committing a crime involving a weapon or firearm, it is important to get experienced legal counsel to protect your legal rights. The penalties for breaking firearms regulations are harsh, and the sooner your lawyer can begin working on your case, the better chance you’ll have of avoiding a conviction.
The very first step of bringing client onboard is to have a no obligation consultation.
Then comes the evaluation of the situation. And building the case background.
After building the whole case, now is the time to fight it in the court.
As we fight the case, we keep on collecting more information to support the case.