Weapons Offences

The Criminal Code definition of a weapon is as follows:

2. “weapon” means any thing 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
s.84(1)” prohibited weapon” means (a) a knife that has a blade that opens automatically by gravity or centrifugal force or by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in or attached to the handle of the knife, or

(b) any weapon, other than a firearm, that is prescribed to be a prohibited weapon;
s.84(1)”restricted firearm” means (a) a handgun that is not a prohibited firearm,

(b) a firearm that

(i) is not a prohibited firearm,

(ii) has a barrel less than 470 mm in length, and

(iii) is capable of discharging centre-fire ammunition in a semi-automatic manner,

(c) a firearm that is designed or adapted to be fired when reduced to a length of less than 660 mm by folding, telescoping or otherwise, or

(d) a firearm of any other kind that is prescribed to be a restricted firearm;

“prohibited firearm” means (a) a handgun that

(i) has a barrel equal to or less than 105 mm in length, or

(ii) is designed or adapted to discharge a 25 or 32 calibre cartridge,

but does not include any such handgun that is prescribed, where the handgun is for use in international sporting competitions governed by the rules of the International Shooting Union,

(b) a firearm that is adapted from a rifle or shotgun, whether by sawing, cutting or any other alteration, and that, as so adapted,

(i) is less than 660 mm in length, or

(ii) is 660 mm or greater in length and has a barrel less than 457 mm in length,

(c) an automatic firearm, whether or not it has been altered to discharge only one projectile with one pressure of the trigger, or

(d) any firearm that is prescribed to be a prohibited firearm;

Careless use of firearm, etc..
86. (1) Every person commits an offence who, 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.

Contravention of storage regulations, etc.
(2) Every person commits an offence who contravenes a regulation made under paragraph 117(h) of the Firearms Act respecting the storage, handling, transportation, shipping, display, advertising and mail-order sales of firearms and restricted weapons.

Punishment
(3) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) or (2)

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment

(i) in the case of a first offence, for a term not exceeding two years, and

(ii) in the case of a second or subsequent offence, for a term not exceeding five years; or

(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 86; 1991, c. 40, s. 3; 1995, c. 39, s. 139.

Possession of weapon for dangerous purpose
88. (1) Every person commits an offence who 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
(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 ten years; or

(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 88; 1995, c. 39, s. 139.

Unauthorized possession of firearm
91. (1) Subject to subsections (4) and (5), every person commits an offence who possesses a firearm without being the holder of

(a) a licence under which the person may possess it; and

(b) a registration certificate for the firearm.



Unauthorized possession of prohibited weapon or restricted weapon
(2) Subject to subsection (4), every person commits an offence who 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 under which the person may possess it.

Punishment
(3) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) or (2)

(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.

Exceptions
(4) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to

(a) a person who possesses a firearm, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device or any prohibited ammunition while the person is under the direct and immediate supervision of a person who may lawfully possess it, for the purpose of using it in a manner in which the supervising person may lawfully use it; or

(b) 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, within a reasonable period after acquiring possession of it,

(i) lawfully disposes of it, or

(ii) obtains a licence under which the person may possess it and, in the case of a firearm, a registration certificate for the firearm.

Borrowed firearm for sustenance
(5) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person who possesses a firearm that is neither a prohibited firearm nor a restricted firearm and who is not the holder of a registration certificate for the firearm if the person

(a) has borrowed the firearm.

(b) is the holder of a licence under which the person may possess it; and.

(c) is in possession of the firearm to hunt or trap in order to sustain the person or the person’s family.

R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 91; 1991, c. 28, s. 7, c. 40, ss. 5, 36; 1995, c. 22, s. 10, c. 39, s. 139; 2008, c. 6, s. 4.

Unauthorized possession in motor vehicle
94. (1) Subject to subsections (3) to (5), every person commits an offence who is an occupant of a motor vehicle in which the person knows there is a 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 firearm,

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

(A) an authorization or a licence under which the person or other occupant may possess the firearm and, in the case of a prohibited firearm or a restricted firearm, transport the prohibited firearm or restricted firearm, and

(B) a registration certificate for the firearm,

(ii) the person had reasonable grounds to believe that any other occupant of the motor vehicle was the holder of

(A) an authorization or a licence under which that other occupant may possess the firearm and, in the case of a prohibited firearm or a restricted firearm, transport the prohibited firearm or restricted firearm, and

(B) a registration certificate for the firearm, or

(iii) the person had reasonable grounds to believe that any other occupant of the motor vehicle was a person who could not be convicted of an offence under this Act by reason of sections 117.07 to 117.1 or any other Act of Parliament; and

(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 licence under which the person or other occupant may transport the prohibited weapon, restricted weapon, prohibited device or prohibited ammunition, or

(ii) the person had reasonable grounds to believe that any other occupant of the motor vehicle was

(A) the holder of an authorization or a licence under which the other occupant may transport the prohibited weapon, restricted weapon, prohibited device or prohibited ammunition, or

(B) a person who could not be convicted of an offence under this Act by reason of sections 117.07 to 117.1 or any other Act of Parliament.

Punishment
(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 ten years; or

(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Borrowed firearm for sustenance
(5) Subsection (1) does not apply to an occupant of a motor vehicle where the occupant or any other occupant of the motor vehicle is a person who possesses a firearm that is neither a prohibited firearm nor a restricted firearm and who is not the holder of a registration certificate for the firearm if the person

(a) has borrowed the firearm;

(b) is the holder of a licence under which the person may possess it; and

(c) is in possession of the firearm to hunt or trap in order to sustain the person or the person’s family.

R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 94; 1995, c. 39, s. 139; 2008, c. 6, s. 7.

Possession of prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition
95. (1) Subject to subsection (3), every person commits an offence who, 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, unless the person is the holder of

(a) an authorization or a licence under which the person may possess the firearm in that place; and

(b) the registration certificate for the firearm.

Punishment
(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 10 years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of

(i) in the case of a first offence, three years, and

(ii) in the case of a second or subsequent offence, five years; or

(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year.

Exception
(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person who is using the firearm under the direct and immediate supervision of another person who is lawfully entitled to possess it and is using the firearm in a manner in which that other person may lawfully use it.

R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 95; 1991, c. 28, s. 8, c. 40, ss. 9, 37; 1993, c. 25, s. 93; 1995, c. 39, s. 139; 2008, c. 6, s. 8.