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Criminal Law

Firearms & Weapons Offences

The Firearms Act and the Criminal Code legislate Canadian rules surrounding firearms and weapons. In the Criminal Code, a weapon is defined in two ways: a weapon is any object that can be used to threaten, intimidate or harm another individual; or, a weapon can refer to any prohibited or unauthorized firearm or weapon. 

Weapons and firearms related offences include all of the following: Use of Firearm in Commission of an Offence, Unsafe Storage of a Firearm, Pointing a Firearm, Possession of a Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose, Carrying a Concealed Weapon, Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm, Possession of Unauthorized Firearm, Possession of a Restricted or Prohibited Firearm, Weapons Trafficking or Possession of a Weapon Contrary to an Order. 

While offences such as Unsafe Storage of a Firearm are considered less serious offences that have no mandatory jail times and lower sentencing maximums, most firearms and weapons charges carry severe consequences, especially if the charge is added to an Assault or Drug charge. Convictions for more serious firearms offences such as using a firearm, possessing a firearm and trafficking firearms can result in anywhere from one to fourteen years in prison. It is possible that, when tried as an indictable offence and combined with other charges, the accused individual can face up to a lifetime imprisonment.

In the current context of rising gun violence across the globe, Canadian legislation is obligatorily tough on firearms and weapons related offences. In attempting to prevent and curb the rise of firearm related violence and death in Canada, the mandatory minimum sentences for these types of offences are substantial and even more-so for multiple offenders. Individuals convicted of weapons and firearms offences face significant time in prison, have difficulty travelling outside of Canada and often face hardship due to an inability to procure future employment. 

Navigating precedents and your rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is half of the battle in your defense against a weapons or firearms charge. If you have been charged with a weapons or firearms offence, call Vishal Sharma to learn more about how he can help protect your rights and secure the best possible outcome for your future. 

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