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Is it legal to carry a weapon, gun, mace or pepper spray?

Region: Ontario Answer # 996

Unlike some jurisdictions, such as the United States, and portrayals in the popular media, Canadian citizens are generally prohibited from carrying mace, pepper spray, handguns and most other weapons. A licensed private investigator can help with investigations of these types of cases.

In fact, the Criminal Code regulations provide an extensive list of firearms and weapons that are illegal in Canada, including:

  • automatic firearms
  • sawed-off rifles and shotguns
  • silencers
  • large capacity ammunition cartridges
  • knives that open by spring action, gravity or centrifugal force
  • any weapons declared by Order in Council to be a prohibited weapon

The Code was amended so that the definition of a prohibited weapon could be much broader than trying to list all of them individually. The Code specifically states that a prohibited weapon is:

Any device designed to be used for the purpose of injuring, immobilizing or otherwise incapacitating any person by the discharge therefrom of

  • tear gas, mace or other gas, or
  • any liquid, spray, powder or other substance that is capable of injuring, immobilizing or otherwise incapacitating any person.

In addition, the term “weapon” has been defined to include anything designed, intended or used to cause death or injury to another person or to threaten or intimidate.

For example, the Code makes carrying or possessing any weapon, imitation of a weapon, prohibited device or even its ammunition for a purpose dangerous to the public peace or for committing an offence punishable by imprisonment for up-to 10 years. Carrying a weapon into a public meeting or carrying a concealed weapon without proper licensing are also offences.


Firearms, depending on type, fall under the category of restricted or prohibited weapons. As discussed above, if the firearm is prohibited, possession of it is illegal. If the firearm is classified as restricted, the Code generally prohibits the possession or transport of it unless the person is licensed to carry the weapon, and then only for certain purposes such as hunting or sharp-shooting. It is even an offence to simply point a firearm, whether loaded or not, at an individual.

For legal advice and assistance, you should consult a lawyer.

To have someone conduct a background check and for other investigation services, contact our preferred Investigators, Smith Investigation Agency .

Smith Investigation Ontario Private Inv. Topic 996Smith Investigation Ontario Private Inv. Topic 996


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