Are throwing stars legal in Canada?

By Last Updated: December 31, 2023

Are throwing stars legal in Canada?Throwing stars, also known as shuriken, carry a significant legal weight in Canada where they are classified as banned weapons under section 84(1) of the Criminal Code and its regulations. This article delves into the legal intricacies surrounding throwing stars, exploring their classification, the implications of their use in self-defence, the prohibition on possession, associated penalties, and the importance of legal representation when facing charges.

What weapons are classified as throwing stars?

Throwing stars, often called shuriken, fall under the legal classification of hard, non-flexible plates with three or more points radiating from a central hub. These points have one or more sharp edges and can take on shapes such as polygons, trefoils, crosses, stars, diamonds, or other geometrical forms. Any similar instrument or device resembling this description is also included within this classification.

What happens if I use throwing stars to defend myself?

Using throwing stars for self-defence in Canada is illegal due to their prohibited status. While the Criminal Code allows for the use of reasonable force in self-defence, the use of banned weapons, including throwing stars, may lead to serious criminal charges. It is vital to recognize the legal boundaries, explore alternative means of self-protection within the confines of the law, and seek appropriate legal guidance if faced with charges related to their possession or use.

Who can legally carry throwing stars?

The possession of throwing stars is explicitly illegal for all individuals in Canada. Even martial arts practitioners, regardless of their training, are not exempt from this prohibition. The categorical ban emphasizes the stringent approach to the possession of these weapons, irrespective of one’s background or intent.

What is the penalty for owning throwing stars?

Section 91(2) of the Criminal Code makes it unequivocally clear that possessing prohibited or restricted weapons, including throwing stars, is a criminal offence. If found in possession of throwing stars, an individual may face either a summary offence or an indictable offence. The potential penalty includes imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years. Understanding the gravity of this offence underscores the importance of compliance with the ban on throwing stars.

  • Summary Offence: Summary offences are characterized as less serious offences and carry lesser penalties or sentences. If you have been charged with a summary offence, the Police are allowed to arrest you without a warrant. Additionally, s.787(1) of the Criminal Codespecifies that, unless otherwise indicated, the maximum punishment for a summary conviction offence is 2 years less one-day imprisonment and/or a fine of $5,000.00. All summary offences are tried in the Provincial Court with no jury and the accused does not have the liberty to have a preliminary hearing or to be tried in a higher court. Furthermore, any appeals for summary offences are made to the next highest court, the Superior Court. Lastly, unlike indictable offences, for summary offences, there does exist a statute of limitation. As per s.786(2) of the Criminal Code, there is a 12-month limitation period from the time of the commission of the offence for a charge to be laid.
  • Indictable Offence: Indictable offences are more serious and are generally heard in superior court with the potential for a trial by judge and jury. If charged with an indictable offence related to throwing stars possession, an individual may face imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years.

The decision to proceed summarily or by indictment is often at the discretion of the Crown prosecutor and may depend on the severity of the alleged offence and other factors.

When should I hire a lawyer?

If you find yourself in a situation where legal issues related to throwing stars arise, seeking legal representation becomes imperative. Given the categorical ban on these weapons, navigating the legal system demands the expertise of a qualified criminal defence lawyer. A lawyer can assess the specifics of the case, provide guidance, and advocate on behalf of the individual facing charges related to the possession or use of throwing stars.


The legal status of throwing stars in Canada is unequivocal—they are banned weapons, and their possession, use, and importation are strictly prohibited under the Criminal Code. Understanding the nuances of their classification, the implications of their use in self-defence, the categorical ban on possession, and the potential penalties for ownership is crucial. For individuals entangled in legal issues related to throwing stars, securing legal representation is not just advisable; it is a fundamental step toward navigating the complexities of the legal system and safeguarding one’s rights.

Contact Us

If you have been charged with a criminal offence, visit our location pages to contact our team.

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.

Ask A Question

We endeavor to respond to questions within 24 hours. If your matter is urgent, please call our office or submit a request for a free consultation.

Client Reviews

Michael Oykhman is a very professional lawyer and the first time I spoke to him he asked about my situation and he gave me some very helpful advice and assistance and also told me his odds of winning this case. During the days I was in contact with micheal I could feel the level of professionalism of him and his team, he is able to respond back to you with any questions you have within 24 hours. In the end he was as successful in helping me win my case as he had initially promised me.If you are still struggling to find a lawyer, I highly recommend Michael Oykhman.


Please give yourself a favour and contact Mr. Michael Oykhman if you need any legal advice or if you are in a terrible situation. Even-tough, the odds are not in your favour, still they will go extra miles to help you out in bad situation and get you favourable outcome. Moreover, They will work on your file even after the business hours. I don’t have words to say thanks to Mr. Michael oykhman and Kiran Cheema who had worked on my file and get me out of trouble. I’m very grateful for your assistance and exceptional service. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


I am grateful that Ms. Moira McAvoy was my lawyer, and I remain thankful to her for everything. She made a successful resolution to my case possible. Ms. Moira McAvoy is a professional, trustworthy lawyer, and a compassionate person. She is an excellent listener and knowledgeable of the law. From the start, she was an excellent guide. I did not know anything about the legal system and court, and she outlined everything clearly in advance, so I could understand things. She never rushed me through anything. She spoke clearly, explained everything, considered what I said, and provided options and advice. She kept me up to date on new information, requirements, and deadlines. She was always positive and this helped so much.


Ryan Patmore and his team are simply the best. I was bullied by CPS in 2020 and it landed me with three separate charges, assault, refusal to blow and DUI, which all went down as I was parked at a friends. After some research and a conversation with Michael, he directed me towards Ryan and at the time I didn’t know that would be a game changer in my favour! He is honest, transparent, helpful and a brilliant mind. He successfully appealed my license suspension with ATSB and then proceeded to get the crown to dismiss all my charges before trial. I never had to step foot inside a courtroom. If you are in need of a criminal defence lawyer, don’t think twice, get in touch with this firm and ask for Ryan Patmore! The guy is an absolute saviour.


Joseph Beller, from the very beginning when I first contacted and then retained Joseph as my representative I felt I was in good hands. When I emailed him with a question. I got a prompt response. We communicated often on the phone as needed. Joseph kept me informed as to the process. He made sure I knew all the potential results so I knew and could plan for the different outcomes. I know this his his job. But appreciate his professionalism and also his ability to not make me feel any extra stress. Well done.