Weapons and Firearms Offences Lawyer Ottawa
Here at Edelson Law, we offer dedicated legal defence for weapons and firearms offences throughout Ottawa and the greater Eastern Ontario region. If you’ve been charged with firearms or weapons offences — we can help.
We certainly defend people charged with using weapons or firearms while allegedly committing criminal offences. However, Canada’s detailed and complex gun regulations mean that gun owners can also face criminal charges related to improper possession, storage, or transportation of their firearms. At Edelson Law Barristers, our experienced lawyers defend all types of weapons and firearms charges.
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The Consequences of Weapons and Firearms Offences
The consequences of a conviction for even a more “minor” firearms or weapons related offence can be severe; it can include a criminal record, confiscated firearms, fines, probationary terms or short jail sentences, and also prohibitions on possessing firearms in the future. For more “serious” firearms related offences, convictions can carry significant prison terms including mandatory minimums for standalone firearms offences or where a firearm is used in the commission of another offence. For “use” based firearms offences, penitentiary sentences (2 years of jail or more) are the norm, not the exception.
As mentioned above, gun ownership is tightly regulated in Canada. Because the regulations related to firearms are highly technical, even well-intentioned gun owners can fall into legal trouble.
Given the gravity of firearms-related charges and the complexity in this area of the law, it is important to retain experienced counsel, like the lawyers at Edelson Law Barristers.
Understanding Firearm Laws in Canada
The day to day regulation of firearms is governed largely by the Firearms Act (1995). The Firearms Act covers firearms, prohibited weapons and devices, restricted weapons, ammunition, and even crossbows. While the Firearms Act is distinct from the Criminal Code, violations of the Firearms Act still carry criminal penalties including imprisonment.
The Criminal Code and Firearms Act also work in tandem for some offences, including careless storage of a firearm, and unauthorized possession of a firearm. For unauthorized possession of a firearm charge, for example, some cases require proof that the person charged did not have a valid PAL issued under the Firearms Act.
The following are some commonly encountered firearms offences:
- Unauthorized Possession (s. 91 of the Criminal Code)
Possessing a firearm without a valid PAL or, in the case of restricted or prohibited firearms, a registration certificate.
- Careless use or storage etc. (s. 86 of the Criminal Code)
This offence covers improper use, handling, carrying, shipping, transporting and storage of firearms, prohibited weapons, restricted weapons, prohibited devices or any ammunition or prohibited ammunition where that activity is done carelessly or without reasonable precautions for the protection of other persons. This section also criminalizes failures to handle, store, transport, etc. firearms and restricted weapons in accordance with regulations made under the Firearms Act.
- Possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose (s. 88 of the Criminal Code)
Sometimes referred to as “weapons dangerous,” this offence covers possession of firearms or any other weapons where the person possesses the weapon for purpose dangerous to the public peace.
More serious firearms or weapons offences tend to track behaviour that either directly impacts on public safety such as pointing a firearm (s. 87), discharging a firearm (s. 244), or using a firearm during commission of an offence; or behaviour that is associated with other serious criminal activity, for example trafficking firearms (s. 99) or possession of a firearm obtained by a criminal offence (s. 96).
Regardless of the charges you’re facing, the lawyers at Edelson Law understand the complexities of firearm laws and will carefully analyze the evidence and legal issues relevant to your case to give you a thorough defence.
Dedicated Defence Against Weapons & Firearms Charges
If you or someone you know is facing weapons or firearms charges in Ottawa or Eastern Ontario, contact us today.
Feel free to contact our office by calling (613) 237-2290 or email us today to speak with one of our dedicated legal professionals. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and we believe that you deserve committed and comprehensive legal representation. We’ll guide you through the complexities of weapons and firearms-related charges. We’ll protect your legal rights.