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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 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.

What weapons and firearms are illegal?

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.

Firearms

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.

Newly prohibited weapons

Canada’s RCMP provides information on recently added prohibitions on certain firearms and devices. Visit Public Safety Canada or the RCMP website for more information.

Offences under the Criminal Code

There are a number of offences relating to possession of illegal weapons and firearms in Part III of the Criminal Code. Here are the most common:

Possession of weapon for dangerous purpose

88 (1) Every person commits an offence who carries or possesses a weapon, an imitation of a weapon, a prohibited device or any ammunition or prohibited ammunition for a purpose dangerous to the public peace or for the purpose of committing an offence.

Punishment

(2) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1)

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or

(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Carrying weapon while attending public meeting

89 (1) Every person commits an offence who, without lawful excuse, carries a weapon, a prohibited device or any ammunition or prohibited ammunition while the person is attending or is on the way to attend a public meeting.

Punishment

(2) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Carrying concealed weapon

90 (1) Every person commits an offence who carries a weapon, a prohibited device or any prohibited ammunition concealed, unless the person is authorized under the Firearms Act to carry it concealed.

Punishment

(2) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1)

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or

(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Unauthorized possession of firearm

91 (1) Subject to subsection (4), every person commits an offence who possesses a prohibited firearm, a restricted firearm or a non-restricted firearm without being the holder of

(a) a licence under which the person may possess it; and

(b) in the case of a prohibited firearm or a restricted firearm, a registration certificate for it.

Unauthorized possession of prohibited weapon or restricted weapon

(2) Subject to subsection (4), every person commits an offence who possesses a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device, other than a replica firearm, or any prohibited ammunition, without being the holder of a licence under which the person may possess it.

Punishment

(3) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) or (2)

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or

(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

 

Get help

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

MADPI GLOBAL


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