Firearms and weapons offences are governed by the Firearms Act and the Criminal Code of Canada. Some common weapons offences include:
- Possession of a firearm when not licensed.
- Possession of a prohibited firearm.
- Careless discharge of a firearm.
- Careless storage or transport of a firearm. Weapons trafficking.
Classes of firearms
In Canada, Firearms are classified into three general categories:
- Non-Restricted Firearms: These types of firearms are ones that do not require registration and are not prohibited. For example, shotguns and rifles.
- Restricted Firearms: These types of firearms require a valid firearms license to possess or acquire the firearm, along with ammunition. Also required, is a registration permit, and you must be pre-authorized to legally transport the firearm. These regulations require specific storage, display, and transport of the restricted firearm.
- Prohibited Firearms: These types of firearms are illegal to own in Canada unless the owner was grandfathered (in section 12 of the Firearms Act) before the weapon was prohibited.
If you are under investigation, the police may have seized your firearms for evidence. While there is some paperwork involved on their end, generally speaking, this is allowed.
If you are successful in defending your charge, and you are legally entitled to possess the firearms, and they are not prohibited weapons, the items should be returned to you shortly after the resolution of your matters. If you are successful in defending your charge but are not legally entitled to possess the firearms, you can ask the Court to release them to a third party who is legally able to possess them.
If you are unsuccessful in Court, or if they are prohibited weapons, they will likely be forfeited to the Crown and destroyed.
The Right Defence
The key to a successful defence to these charges is attention to detail. Our lawyers have a thorough knowledge of law surrounding weapons offences and know where to find the errors in the Crown’s case, including issues relating to unlawful search and seizure. Contact us today to discuss your particular circumstances.