How does Canadian law define a firearm or gun?

A firearm is defined in the Criminal Code as “a barrelled weapon from which any shot, bullet or other projectile can be discharged and that is capable of causing serious bodily injury or death to a person, and includes any frame or receiver of such a barrelled weapon and anything that can be adapted for use as a firearm.”  Air guns also can be classified as a firearm.

What if I use a gun when I commit a crime?

If you use a gun while committing a Criminal Code offence, this constitutes a crime in and of itself. You are still liable for this offence regardless of whether you intended to cause a person bodily harm. You are also liable if you use an imitation firearm or fake gun.  That said, some offences in criminal code have firearm provisions built in. For such offences, use of a firearm will result in stricter penalties.

What is Unsafe Storage of a Firearm?

It is a crime in Canada to carry, handle, transport or store a firearm or any restricted weapon in a careless manner without taking reasonable precautions for the safety of others. You may also be liable for this offence if you contravene s.177(h) of the Firearms Act, which also sets out safety regulations for the storage of guns. 

Can I be charged with Pointing a Firearm?

It is illegal in Canada to without lawful excuse, to point a firearm at another person, whether that gun is loaded or not.

Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm – Do I need a gun License?

In Canada to possess a prohibited firearm, a restricted firearm, or a non-restricted firearm you must have the proper license. In other words, if you do not have a gun license, you cannot legally own a gun. That said, it is not a crime if you possess or use such a weapon in the direct and immediate supervision of someone who is authorized to have the gun, provided they are using it in a legal manner.

Discharging a firearm.

It is illegal to discharge a firearm or gun at another person with an intent to endanger their life or prevent somebody’s arrest.  It is also illegal to shoot a gun in a place if you are reckless to the fact another person might be in that place.  

How much jail time am I facing?

Penalties for firearm offences depend on what offence you committed along with a number of other factors. As experienced counsel I can advise you to better understand the penalties or jail time that you could face if convicted.

What to do if you’re charged with a firearm or gun offence?

I am here to help you through the process of being charged with a firearm or gun offence.  My job is to make the process easier for you - to review your case in relation to the charge(s) you are facing - address the court when, and as necessary – deal with the Crown Attorney for your matter – and give you the best defence at trial, or plea resolution possible.  Make sure you have a lawyer that understands the law and is prepared to act for you.

You may qualify for Legal Aid:  See Legal Aid Ontario Information.

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