Weapons Offence Charges
Weapons offences are rarely stand alone charges. They are more commonly associated with other types of offences like Drug, Break & Enter, and Assault charges. If this is the case, please also consult the other headings.
Generally speaking, firearms are viewed more seriously than other weapons like knives, for example. A firearm can be a weapon, but not all weapons are firearms.
Typical weapons offences include the following charges:
- Possession of Firearm
- Possession of Firearm with Ammunition
- Possession of Unregistered/Unlicensed Firearm
- Possession of a Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose
- Possession of Prohibited/Restricted Weapon
- Improper Storage of Firearm
- Carrying a Concealed Weapon
These charges can sometimes be resolved if pleading guilty to associated charges that otherwise involve a weapon, such as assault with a weapon. If the matter proceeds to trial, a typical issue that arises is how the alleged weapon came into police possession. If police obtained the weapon through unlawful means, it will likely be excluded from evidence. For charges of possession of a dangerous weapon, the Crown must prove the weapon was actually intended to be used for a dangerous purpose. With firearms offences, the Crown must prove that the weapon was in fact a firearm, and was capable of firing a bullet.
The weapons charges that are most concerning are those involving either prohibited firearms, loaded firearms, or firearms within reach of ammunition. In cases involving loaded firearms specifically, a minimum 3 year term of incarceration is mandatory. It is therefore especially important to obtain legal advice on the consequences of a conviction.