Firearm & Weapons Charges Lawyer in Brampton, ON, Canada

Firearm offences are a serious matter in Canada. A conviction after trial can result in a criminal record and even imprisonment. If you are facing firearm and/or weapons charges, contact a criminal defence lawyer at GSP Law to discuss your options.

We expertly defend firearm charges throughout Ontario, focused primarily in the Greater Toronto Area, including but not limited to Brampton, Milton, Mississauga, Newmarket, North York, Orangeville, Oshawa, Toronto.

Sealed bag of evidence containing a gun

Firearm and Weapons Offence in Canada

Section 86 (1) of the Criminal Code of Canada:

“Every person commits an offence who, without lawful excuse, uses, carries, handles, ships, transports or stores a firearm, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device or any ammunition or prohibited ammunition in a careless manner or without reasonable precautions for the safety of other persons.”

If you have been charged with firearms and/or weapons offences anywhere in Toronto, Brampton, Orangeville, and the surrounding GTA, we can help guide you through the complex and stressful process that lies ahead.

Call GSP Law to discuss your case and put forth your best defence!

Pistol gun on a wooden table

What is a Firearm?

Section 2 of the Criminal Code of Canada defines a firearm as a barrelled weapon from which any shot, bullet, or other projectiles can be discharged and that can cause 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.

What is a Weapon?

Section 2 of the Criminal Code of Canada defines a weapon as anything used, designed to be used, or intended for use

(a) In causing death or injury to any person, or

(b) For the purpose of threatening or intimidating any person and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, includes a firearm and, for the purposes of sections 88, 267, and 272, anything used, designed to be used, or intended for use in binding or tying up a person against their will.

What is a Prohibited Firearm?

Section 84(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada defines a prohibited firearm as

(a) a handgun that

  • Has a barrel equal to or less than 105 mm in length, or
  • 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 is for use in international sporting competitions governed by the rules of the International Shooting Union,

(b) A firearm that is adapted from a rifle or shotgun, whether by sawing, cutting or any other alteration, and that, as so adapted,

  • Is less than 660 mm in length, or
  • Is 660 mm or greater in length and has a barrel less than 457 mm in length,

(c) An automatic firearm, whether it has been altered to discharge only one projectile with one pressure of the trigger, or

(d) Any firearm that is prescribed to be a prohibited firearm.

What is an Imitation Firearm?

Section 84(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada defines an Imitation Firearm as anything that imitates a firearm, which includes a replica firearm.

What is a Restricted Firearm?

Section 84(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada defines a restricted firearm as

(a) A handgun that is not a prohibited firearm,

(b) 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,

(c) 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

(d) A firearm of any other kind that is prescribed to be a restricted firearm.

What is a Prohibited Weapon?

Section 84(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada defines a prohibited weapon as

  • 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 
  • Any weapon, other than a firearm, that is prescribed to be a prohibited weapon.  

There is a lot at stake when an individual is charged with firearms offences. Contact GSP Law to put your best defence forward.

Examples of firearm charges in Ontario

Many Canadians are at a disadvantage when it comes to understanding firearm laws.

Some examples of common firearms offences in Ontario include:

Unauthorized possession of a firearm.

Improper storage of firearms

Transporting firearms without authorization.

Gun and gavel of judge on the table

How can you defend a weapons charge?

There are strict laws in place for the protection of the public against the use of firearms. An illegal firearm is one that you do not hold a valid licence to carry under the Firearms Act, or that the weapon is deemed to be illegal regardless of whether a firearms licence is held.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms may provide a defence to those accused of firearm use or possession if their rights were violated in the course of the investigation. This can be challenging in relation to firearm offences because the legal test to have evidence excluded weighs the public interest, and firearms are viewed as a dangerous threat to the public.

The best possible defence to your firearm related charge will depend on many factors, including the nature of the weapon you were using, and the specific circumstances of your criminal case.

Important Professional Disclaimer:

This website does not and cannot contain legal advice. The legal information provided on this page, especially the potential defences cited, is for general information and educational purposes only. No part of it is meant to be used as a substitute for professional advice.

Accordingly, we encourage you to consult with professionals to provide legal advice fit for your case before taking any action based upon such information.

GSP Law cannot be held accountable nor liable for misinterpretation of the cited potential defences for firearms and weapons charges, and they are not legal advice nor guidance given on this website.

GSP Law encourages users of this website to consult with local counsel or contact us for actual legal advice or guidance.

What are the penalties for a firearm conviction in Canada?

The main concern with firearms charges are the perceived risks posed to public safety.

If you do not exercise enough care, or take reasonable precautions for the safety of others while owning, using, storing, or transporting firearms or ammunition, the consequences are serious.

Your case may be treated as a “hybrid offence”, meaning that it can be either a summary charge or an indictable charge, depending on the level of perceived risk to public safety.

Common firearm offences and their penalties include:

Careless storage or handling.

A failure to properly store a firearm or ammunition carries a sentence of between 6 months to 2 years in jail and/or a $5,000 fine and a 5-year maximum penalty for subsequent offences.

Careless use.

A person might be convicted of “using a firearm” even if they did not mean to cause harm to another person. A firearm does not have to be loaded to result in one of these offenses. A conviction can result in 1 to 14 years in prison for a first offense.

Pointing a firearm.

The act of pointing a firearm at another person carries a maximum sentence of 2 years in jail and/or a $5,000 fine, or up to 5 years in prison when tried as an indictable offence.

Carrying a concealed weapon.

A person may be ordered to serve a maximum of 5 years in prison for carrying a concealed weapon when tried as an indictable offence.

Unauthorized possession of a firearm.

Knowingly possessing an illegal firearm or possession of a firearm without proper authorization carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment for the indictable offence.

Possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

If a person possesses a weapon, imitation of a weapon, or an unauthorized weapon with the intention to use it to do harm, they may face up to 10 years in prison.

Trafficking weapons.

Anyone who transfers possession of a firearm, weapon, or ammunition to someone who is not authorized to do so is liable for an indictable offense. The maximum penalty for trafficking is 10 years imprisonment with a mandatory minimum of 3 years for the first offense, whether any money or other consideration was received in exchange for the weapons.

Trafficking weapons.

Anyone who transfers possession of a firearm, weapon, or ammunition to someone who is not authorized to do so is liable for an indictable offense. The maximum penalty for trafficking is 10 years imprisonment with a mandatory minimum of 3 years for the first offense, whether any money or other consideration was received in exchange for the weapons.

Weapons charges are taken very seriously and waiting to contact legal counsel may harm your defence. Having a weapons charge on your record is serious and can hamper travel and employment opportunities. Be sure that you have a competent and dedicated defence lawyer if you ever need to defend a weapons charge.

Contact a lawyer now from GSP Law to avoid being convicted of any firearms and weapons charges!

Gagan Pannu GSP LAW Criminal Lawyer in Orangeville, Brampton, Toronto, GTA

Why Choose GSP Law as your Firearms and Weapons Defence Lawyer in Brampton, ON, Canada

  • Seasoned and Experienced Criminal Defence Lawyer and Firearms defence Lawyer.
  • Conducts a thorough review of criminal charges and pieces of evidence.
  • Dedicated to your specific needs.
  • Professional and Knowledgeable to defend all clients at all court levels.

Reach out today to get proper representation from a highly skilled criminal defence lawyer

FAQs About Firearms and Weapons Charges in Canada

In Canada, the three classes of firearms are non-restricted, restricted, and prohibited. Rifles and shotguns are non-restricted firearms, but there are a few exceptions. Restricted firearms include some handguns, rifles, and shotguns with barrels shorter than 470 mm, and rifles and shotguns that are capable of firing after being reduced in length to less than 660 mm. Some examples of prohibited firearms are full automatics, converted automatics, and rifles and shotguns altered to have a barrel length that is less than 457 mm.

The main difference between the classes is that non-restricted firearms do not have to be registered while restricted and prohibited firearms do, according to the Firearms Act.

A firearms license allows an individual to have a firearm in their possession. To obtain a firearms license; an individual must meet stringent requirements. Registration is only necessary for the ownership of restricted and prohibited firearms. The purpose of registration is to link a certain firearm to its owner for easy tracking, if necessary.

Individuals who own firearms yet and are not registered or licensed can apply for both without penalty. Law officials are willing to work with Canadian citizens to help them comply with the law. However, if peace officers find you in possession of a firearm without a license or registration, you can expect to face penalties. Therefore, it is better to take the initiative.

In Canada, the failure to report a found firearm is considered a criminal offence. Individuals who are convicted of this offence may face up to 5 years in prison. While it is illegal for individuals to be in possession of a gun without registration or licensing; individuals are exempt from being convicted of this offence if they report the firearm or legally dispose of it in a reasonable period.

According to the mandatory 109 Order, individuals who commit crimes involving violence, harassment, and weapon offences shall be prohibited from possessing firearms, restricted weapons, crossbows, explosives, and ammunition for a minimum of 10 years. These individuals will also be prohibited from possessing restricted weapons and firearms for life. In other situations, the 110 Order permits a judge to ban an individual from possessing firearms and weapons in interest of the safety of the public and the accused. Section 110 is discretionary for 5 years.


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Honest. Dedicated. Effective.

We understand how stressful it might be to face a possible DUI conviction or criminal record. To provide superior legal services with professionalism, honesty, and dedication is our mission.

Regardless of your current situation in the criminal justice system, it is vital to acquire a criminal defence lawyer as soon as possible.

At GSP Law, we are devoted to exploiting all accessible paths of defence to obtain the most desirable outcome possible for our customers.

Our experienced and client-centric team of legal experts specializes in criminal law. We are committed to providing effective representation for individuals facing a variety of offences.

Hire the Right Criminal Defence Lawyer to Represent You

When it comes to criminal defence in Brampton, Orangeville, Toronto, Mississauga, Newmarket, and the surrounding GTA area, you need a local criminal defence lawyer with years of experience. Our results-driven, client-focused solicitor and barrister at GSP Law has what it takes to get you the best possible result. Make an appointment for an initial consultation today!

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