Firearms and Weapons Offences
The firearms provisions in the Criminal Code are complex and severe.
It is illegal to own or possess a firearm unless you are properly licensed. Firearms may fall into different categories- unrestricted, restricted, and prohibited. Different consequences apply for violations of the law depending on the type of weapon in question.
Long barreled firearms, such as hunting rifles and shotguns are usually unrestricted. Nevertheless, in order to possess even an unrestricted firearm you must first apply for and obtain a Firearms Licence.
Handguns and certain types of semi-automatic firearms are restricted, requiring additional authorizations and the registration of the particular gun.
Fully automatic guns, sawed-off guns, and a many other models of firearms which are set out by Regulation are prohibited. Unless you are on active duty with law-enforcement or the military you are not permitted to own them.
The violation of the firearms laws contained in the Criminal Code can have very serious consequences: a person who is caught with a loaded, unregistered, or illegal handgun is very likely to receive a 3-4 year prison sentence for a first offence. Furthermore, many offences contained in the Criminal Code contain enhanced mandatory sentences where firearms are used. For example, Robbery with Firearm will result in a mandatory 4 year sentence being imposed, in addition to what one will receive for the Robbery offence alone. The same is true of other substantive offences contained in the Criminal Code.