Firearm Offences

Firearm Offences

Canadian law defines a “firearm” as a barrelled weapon from which any shot, bullet, or other projectiles can be discharged and that can cause bodily injury or death to a person. This includes any frame or receiver of a barrelled weapon and anything that can be adapted for use as a “firearm.” Air guns can be classified as a firearm as well. Fake guns or imitation firearms may also meet definition.

If a firearm is used while committing a crime it can constitute a separate crime in and of itself. If bodily harm occurs, liability can be found whether or not it was intended.

If you carry, handle, transport, or store a firearm or a restricted weapon in a careless manner without reasonable precautions to the safety of others it can be a crime. Section 177(h) of the Firearms Act sets out the regulations around storage and safety.

It is illegal to point a firearm at someone without a lawful excuse.

The type of license required depends on the type of firearm in question. Some are restricted, non-restricted, and others are outright prohibited. You need some form of firearm licence to be legally allowed to possess a standard rifle or pistol. It is important to have the proper license to handle the type of firearm in question. It is your responsibility to be informed of this. Ignorance of the law is not a defence to breaking the law in firearm cases.

Discharging a firearm at a person to endanger them or prevent an arrest is illegal. If the discharge of the firearm was simply reckless, criminal liability may apply.

One or a combination of, fines, license revocation, ownership and use prohibitions or restrictions, fines, and potentially jail time depending on the seriousness of the circumstances.

Both lawyers at East Law grew up on farms and began hunting and using firearms at a young age. Both lawyers at East Law have their ‘gun licence’ and while these days they hunt less, both lawyers at East Law still shoot for sport. We understand the ins and outs of firearm offences, and given our background, will easily be able to understand your side of the story.


    John East


    B.A. (Hons), M.A., J.D.

    John East lives for a fight. He is not afraid to throw a punch and is certainly not afraid to take a punch. He then became a Criminal Defence Lawyer. Having spent many years working on a farm, John East understands that hard work is what wins out at the end of the day. He applies this motto to every case that he defends, no matter what.