A criminal defence lawyer’s top 5 tips for fighting firearms charges

By Last Updated: July 26, 2022
  1. If you suspect that you are being investigated for a firearms offence and the police have asked to search your home or your car, you are under no obligation to consent to the search and should not consent to it unless they present a warrant. If they do enter your home with a weapon, take note of what they do and where they go so that you can discuss the execution of the warrant later with your defence lawyer. It is possible that the police exceeded the scope of their warrant while conducting the search, which can be used to build your defence.
  2. Exercise your right to silence. If you suspect that you are being investigated for a firearms offence, or have been detained or charged for a firearms offence, the police may ask you questions or for a statement related to the offence. You are under no obligation to provide information beyond identifying yourself and showing them your registration, licence, or authorization as the case may be. Any questions beyond these should not be answered until you have sought advice from a criminal defence lawyer. The  information you provide can be used against you in trial, or can be used to justify further search and seizure of other weapons you may possess.
  3. If you have been charged with a firearms offence, it is likely that your guns have been seized and your that licence, authorization, and registration has been revoked. As such, until your matter has been resolved and your licence and ability to lawfully handle guns has been restored, it is imperative that you are not caught handling any firearms to avoid further criminal charges.
  4. If your guns have been seized contact one of our defence lawyers immediately so that they can begin working to prevent your guns from being forfeited to the government. When the police have taken your guns, there is usually a hearing 30 days after the date of the seizure where a justice will determine whether your guns should be forfeited to the government. Without proper representation at this hearing, you run the risk of permanently losing your firearms.
  5. Attend the court and the police station for fingerprinting as required. After being charged with a firearms offence you may be asked to go to the police station for fingerprinting, and will likely receive a document requiring you to be in court on a particular date and time. Ensure you comply with these dates and attend as required. Further, ensure that you comply with any other conditions that have been imposed on you following your charges. Failing to comply with the conditions of your release and failing to appear in court are both criminal offences that may lead to a warrant being issued for your arrest and you being brought into the custody of the police.

About The Author

Michael Oykhman

Managing Partner

Michael Oykhman is a senior lawyer and founder of Strategic Criminal Defence, a full-service criminal law firm with central law offices across Western Canada and Ontario.

My professional experience consists of countless court appearances and thousands of successful defences and satisfied clients. Over the last 10 years, I have worked to build a law office where all the lawyers share our collective experience, resources, and passion to help people. Our team approach to legal representation is client–rather than only law–centred. We look for opportunities to add value to our clients through strategic thinking and creative solutions.

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