The unregistered use, possession and trafficking of weapon(s) is a criminal offence that carries serious penalties. The crown must prove that the individual used, possessed or trafficked a weapon “without lawful excuse, 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”.
If this is the case they will be charged under the Canadian Criminal Code. This can be found in section [86 (1)]. It’s illegal to possess a weapon that causes danger to the public safety or with the intention of harming someone. By definition a weapon is anything that is used to threaten or to cause death or injury to a person. While some objects are weapons, like guns, others, such as a flower vase or coffee mug, can also be used as weapons, depending on the situation. Weapons that are classified as a firearm and/or need ammunition requires applicants to pass a series of safety tests, restricted or prohibited firearms require you to pass another set of tests.
- You cannot own a gun (firearm) in Canada, unless you are permitted to do so by a proper firearms licence.
- Your license is your authorization to own a firearm and to obtain ammunition.
- Your firearms licence must be valid (active) for as long as you possess your firearm(s). If you have an expired license and you’re still in possession of your firearm(s), you can be charged with a criminal offence.
- You must be a Canadian citizen and over 18 years of age to be eligible for the Possession and Acquisition License (PAL).
- Your license must be renewed every five years.
- Applicants must have passed the Canadian Firearms Safety Course.
Firearms Offences Include
- Careless use of a firearm
- Pointing a firearm
- Possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose
- Carrying a concealed weapon
- Unauthorized possession of a firearm
- Improper storage of a firearm
- Possession of a weapon obtained by commission of offence
- Trafficking weapons
- Aggravated assault (using a weapon)
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Robbery (along with weapons)
Weapons or firearms offences carry different penalties, depending on the type and severity of the crime.
Penalties for non-severe crimes;
- Careless gun storage or handling: between six months plus a $5,000 fine and two years jail time
- Pointing a firearm: six months plus a $5,000 fine to five years in prison
- Carrying a concealed weapon: six months and a $5,000 fine to five years in prison
Penalties for severe crimes;
- Weapons for public danger: six months plus a $5,000 fine to 10 years in prison
- Known possession of unauthorized firearm(s): a minimum penalty of one year and a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison
- Possession of restricted firearm(s) with ammunition: between one year and a $5,000 fine to 10 years in prison