What follows is a brief summary of the law. While it is not, and should not be relied upon as legal advice, it may assist you with some of the questions you might have. As always, consult a criminal lawyer should you need criminal advice.
“Weapon” means any thing used, designed to be used or intended for use
1. in causing death or injury to any person, or
2. for the purpose of threatening or intimidating any person
and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, includes a firearm
“Prohibited Weapon” means:
1. 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
2. any weapon, other than a firearm, that is prescribed to be a prohibited weapon
“Prohibited Device” means:
1. any component or part of a weapon, or any accessory for use with a weapon, that is prescribed to be a prohibited device
2. a handgun barrel that is equal to or less than 105 mm in length, but does not include any such handgun barrel that is prescribed, where the handgun barrel is for use in international sporting competitions governed by the rules of the International Shooting Union
3. a device or contrivance designed or intended to muffle or stop the sound or report of a firearm
4. a cartridge magazine that is prescribed to be a prohibited device, or
5. a replica firearm
“Firearm”means 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.
“Prohibited Firearm” means:
1. a handgun that has a barrel equal to or less than 105 mm in length, or
2. 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 barrel is for use in international sporting competitions governed by the rules of the International Shooting Union
3. a firearm that is adapted from a rifle or shotgun, whether by sawing, cutting or any other altercation, and that, as so adapted, is less than 660 mm in length, or
4. A. is 660 mm or greater in length and has a barrel less than 457 mm in length
5. an automatic firearm, whether or not it has been altered to discharge only one projectile with one pressure of the trigger, or
6. any firearm that is prescribed to be a prohibited firearm;
“Restricted Firearm” means:
1. a handgun that is not a prohibited firearm,
2. a firearm that is not a prohibited firearm has a barrel less than 470 mm in length, and is capable of discharging centre-fire ammunition in a semi-automatic manner,
3. 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
4. a firearm of any other kind that is prescribed to be a restricted firearm
For the Crown to prove that you are guilty of possessing a weapon for a purpose dangerous to the public peace, the Crown must prove that: (a) the defendant possessed a “weapon”, (b) the defendant knew that what was possessed was a “weapon”, and (c) the defendant had the weapon for a purpose dangerous to the public peace. Note, the Crown does not have to prove that the defendant was necessarily holding the weapon him/herself: possession can exist if the defendant knowingly had a weapon in the possession of someone else or at some other place if the defendant exercised control over it. For this reason, often several people may “possess” a weapon at the same time. A central issue in Weapons Dangerous cases is the purpose for which the weapon was possessed.
Carry Concealed Weapon
To find someone guilty of carrying a concealed weapon, the Crown must prove that: (a) the defendant carried a “weapon”, (b) the weapon was concealed, and (c) the defendant meant to conceal the weapon. Assuming that the object in question can be proven to be a weapon, to prove (b), the Crown must prove that it was hidden from view.
There are numerous different types of firearm offences. These can generally be divided into two types of categories: “use” offences and “possession” offences. Under the “use firearm” category, offences include: Using Firearm in the Commission of an Offence and Careless Use of a Firearm and Pointing a Firearm. Under the “possession” category, offences include: Possession of a Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose, Carry Concealed Weapon, Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm, Unauthorized Possession in a Motor Vehicle, and Possession of a Prohibited or Restricted Firearm with Ammunition. Again, all of the offences can be found in the Criminal Code of Canada: http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/laws/stat/rsc-1985-c-c-46/latest/rsc-1985-c-c-46.html.
Use Firearm in Commission of an Offence:
In terms of the offence of “using a firearm while committing an offence, the Crown must prove that: (a) the defendant committed/attempted to commit a particular offence, (b) the defendant used a firearm, and (c) the defendant used the firearm while committing/attempting to commit the particular offence.
Careless Use of a Firearm
To prove “careless use of firearm”, the Crown must prove that: (a) the defendant used a firearm, (b) the defendant used the firearm in a careless manner, and (c) the defendant had no lawful excuse for that use of the firearm. Firearms obviously have the potential to cause serious injury or death and that is why there are strict laws relating to how an individual has control over the firearm. The law prohibits the control of firearms that does anything but show respect for a firearm’s harm. “Careless use” occurs where there is a marked departure from the standard of care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in the same circumstances.
Punishments for firearm related offences vary significantly. Some of these offences carry minimum sentences of imprisonment. That is, regardless of your background, if found guilty, you will be sent to jail. To find out the punishment for a particular offence, refer to the Criminal Code of Canada at: http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/laws/stat/rsc-1985-c-c-46/latest/rsc-1985-c-c-46.html.
There are numerous ways to defend against Weapons Offences and I have successfully defended people against them numerous times – please refer to my Recent Successes page. The consequences to receiving a conviction for any Weapons Offence are severe and include minimum jail sentences.
Again, the foregoing is only a summary. It is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. For a free consultation to discuss your case, please call me at
Client charged with Possession of a Loaded Restricted Firearm and various other firearm offences. Police officers observed the client within an apartment hallway. When they approached the client, they claimed to see a firearm sticking out of his pocket. The client took off running and the police followed him outside and observed him thrown the gun in the woods. A police dog found the gun moments later. The client denied that he ever had this gun and claimed the police were lying.
Client charged with Possession Prohibited Firearm with Ammunition, and numerous other firearm offences. A police officer pulled over the client’s vehicle over a purported Highway Traffic Act offence. The officer claimed to see a bag of marijuana “falling” out of the client’s pocket and upon grabbing it, felt a firearm in the client’s waistband. The grounds to stop and search the client were fabricated and violated the client’s rights.
Client charged with numerous Firearms offences. It was alleged that he attended at the home of an individual and shot up the home, shooting through windows and doors. He subsequently ran away. The police were called and ultimately stopped a vehicle in which the client was an occupant. Upon speaking to him, he ran from the police and a handgun was found in the area in which he ran. Client testified that he knew nothing about the gun and was not involved in the shooting.
Client charged with Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, Disguise with Intent, Possession of a Loaded Prohibited Weapon and various other Firearm related offences. It was alleged that he, and others, attended at a home and attempted to commit a “home invasion”
Client charged with Possession of a Restricted Firearm and numerous other firearm related offences. Police attend at his house and locate a firearm in a coat hanging in his bedroom closet.
Client charged with Possession of a Restricted Firearm with Ammunition and several other firearm related offences. Police officers in an unmarked vehicle were stopped at a traffic light beside K.S.’s vehicle. Police claimed that they saw K.S., the driver, smoking marijuana. They subsequently pulled over the vehicle and upon searching the vehicle, located a loaded firearm. It was the client’s position that his rights under the Charter were violated.
Client charged with a “home invasion” (Robbery with a Firearm, Break and Enter, Possession of a Firearm; sawed off shotgun). It was alleged that the client broke into a home and robbed the owner. Police were called and allegedly found the client in possession of a sawed off shotgun. It was alleged that the client’s Charter rights were violated.
Client charged with Carry Concealed Weapon and t found to be in possession of a “flick” knife.Possession of a Prohibited Weapon. Clien
Client charged with Weapons Dangerous. Police officers stopped A.M. to investigate him. During this investigation a knife was located on him. It was our position that the police violated his Charter rights as they had no lawful reason to stop and detain him in the first place.
Brian Ross is professional, straightforward, and honest. After we reviewed my case I didn't have high hopes for a positive outcome because there really wasn't much for him to work with. However, come court date, charges were withdrawn!! It had all happened so fast. I am so grateful for Brian Ross and his team. He didn't give up on my case and he definitely made lemonade out of like a 1/4 of a lemon. I would 100% use their services again - hopefully I won't have too.Kate Rice
Money well spent! With all the issues with my case Brian gave me hope. I would definitely recommend spending the cash to hire Brian as he is an amazing lawyer. Watching him work I knew I had great chances. I feel like I have a new lease of life now with this behind me. All charges dropped which I could not imagine. Thank you to you and your team on helping me with this. Best lawyer in the city!!!Jan Lane
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As a young professional, the weight of a conviction was staggering, and would have greatly affected my ability to work in my chosen profession. Hiring Mr. Ross was the best way to guarantee against such effects. Throughout, Brian was present, helpful, positive, and supportive; hard-working and diligent. It was truly a pleasure to work with him, and a relief to get the call that Mr. Ross had accomplished what he initially set out to do. Consider this a sincere “Thank You” and commendation.Kylie S
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