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Weapons Charges In Canada

What You Should Know


The Canadian Criminal Code, under the category of Firearms and Other Weapons provides an extensive list of offenses that relate to the use of devices that can be possessed with the intent of inflicting harm on another human being.


Restricted Handguns

This of course includes a list of specific devices that are considered prohibited or restricted, as for example, a handgun which has a barrel equal in length to less than 105 mm or that is adapted to discharge a 25 or 32 cartridge and is thereby prohibited by s. 84. (1) of the Code or any firearm that is adapted from a rifle or shotgun where it has been sawed off, cut or altered in any fashion such that it is less than 660 mm in length and is therefore similarly prohibited.

Handguns can additionally be consider restricted when, for example, the barrel is less than 470 mm in length and it is capable of discharging centre-fire ammunition in a semi-automatic manner.

Additionally, there is a huge body of provisions and regulations that govern the use and possession of other potentially offensive devices. The above are just two small samples that come to mind.

Consideration of the specific provisions of these many sections that relate to various weapons is something that we, Stephen Hebscher and Bruce Karten at The Criminal Law Team pay special attention to when considering possible defenses to charges that include robbery, aggravated assault, attempt murder and many other crimes of violence in addition to the issues that are involved in defending the Weapons Charges themselves.

Over 60 years of criminal court experience in preparing for the defense of our clients in serious crimes of violence helps us to identify the elements in the Prosecution`s case that can best be attacked to assist us in bringing the allegations against them to a successful conclusion and in the shortest possible time.


Common Weapons

But the most common weapons charges that our clients face usually involve articles of every day use, such as a household item, for example a broom stick or in the case of a tavern, a bottle or a glass. The list of possibilities is of course endless.

In the domestic context, the charge of possession of a weapon for a purpose dangerous to the public peace is often accompanied by an additional charge of domestic assault and possibly threaten bodily harm or death.

As we have explained in other sections of this site, police officials have very little discretion in whether or not to lay charges in cases involving husbands and wives or boyfriends and girlfriends and it is therefore imperative that should you find yourself on the wrong end of such an investigation, you give yourself the best chance of avoiding liability by exercising your Charter right to remain silent and call The Criminal Law Team at your very first opportunity.


Any Object Can Become a Weapon

It is also worth understanding that any object can become a weapon depending upon the nature of its use and that even in circumstances where that object is not actually used to inflict bodily harm or injury, the offense can be made out if the purpose for which the object was picked up could be inferred from the context of what was happening at the time.

So for example, if a heated argument ensued between the parties in the kitchen area of a residence, and the “offending” individual picked up a coffee mug and held it in a menacing fashion while gesturing or using language that indicated animosity toward the other party, the charge of possession of a weapon for a purpose dangerous to the public and possibly threatening bodily harm could be made out.

On the other hand, if that same coffee mug was not actually used in a manner that inflicted injury and was in the lawful possession of one of the parties before the argument broke out, it may well be that the article was not initially taken possession of for a dangerous purpose and an accused person would ultimately be found not guilty of the charge as laid.

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Our Goal Is To Have The Charges Withdrawn

In short, context is everything and the members of The Criminal Law Team ( Bruce Karten and Stephen Hebscher ) are thoroughly versed in the principles of law and trial tactics that will serve you best if you find yourself caught up in the entanglements of the criminal justice system.

We understand the serious implications of not only the penalties provided for by law but the hardship that often follows the acquisition of a criminal record for any offense and all the more so for an allegation of the use or possession of a weapon.

Our goal is always to obtain a withdrawal of the charges before trial and when a trial is the preferred way to go, we get the greatest satisfaction from hearing our two favourite words in the world of court procedure……. NOT GUILTY.

Please see our testimonials to understand why our clients have trusted us and valued our services so highly over the years.

For more details regarding specific Canadian Criminal Code regarding weapons offences and the penalties for weapons offences, please see our related article:  Defending Weapons Charges in Canada.

Related Case Reviews

R. v. L.C. ( 2012 ), North York Court – 65 year old man charged with assault with a weapon and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public as a result of a work-place dispute. Defense Counsel, was able to show that the alleged victim in this case, provoked the hostile interaction that led to the charges being laid and uncovered material that suggested this same individual had a history of prior, similar behaviour and had lied about the circumstances involved. The Prosecution withdrew all charges without the need of the allegations proceeding to trial.

Client Testimonials

Dear  Bruce Karten I wanted to send a note to express my family’s gratitude for everything you have done for my brother.  With his mental illness, and the serious charges that were laid against him that included arson and endangering life under the Criminal Code of Canada, we were terrified of what was going to happen to him. These charges could well have resulted in him being sentenced to jail for a period of 10 years or more. I did not know what to expect when I made that first call to you, Bruce, but through the months it took to resolve this, your professionalism, knowledge and patience in explaining what you were planning to do in a way that we were able to understand, made us feel less anxious and more hopeful.   Thanks to you, his charges were substantially reduced and he received a sentence that allowed him to continue to receive the medical help he needs to recover and look to putting his life back together.  Any period of jail would have been devastating to his chances of recovering from this devastating situation. We would recommend you, Bruce Karten, without hesitation, to anyone in need of an excellent criminal defense lawyer. Thank you, Shirley, T., Whitby, Ontario
Dear Mr. Hebscher:  I wish to commend and thank you for your recent handling of my friend’s court case. Your compassionate and thorough scrutiny of the circumstances lead to a withdrawal verdict. Thank you so much. I was most impressed and should I ever be in a similar serious situation you will be the first person I call. Again, you represent all the good side of lawyers. C.M. Toronto, ON
Dear Mr. Hebscher: I would like to take this opportunity to thank you ever so much for your great professionalism and humane service to me at a time of profound confusion and in dire need of legal counsel. From my first introduction via telephone, your voice made me feel comfortable. Dealing with you from the beginning to end kept me reassured I was in good hands. The final outcome of my court case, which was “withdrawn” confirmed that I truly had a good lawyer on my side and it was your advocacy that convinced the crown. I would highly recommend you to anyone in need of an excellent criminal lawyer. Once again, I thank you and God bless. M.J. Toronto

Excellent news!

I am impressed especially after our meeting on Monday – I was resigned that something bad would befall me, so I am very blessed to have this outcome.  I thank you for the hard work that you have put into this case, and the dedication on getting me this fantastic outcome! I am so glad that we retained you as my lawyer!  You have done an outstanding job and allowed me to now rebuild my life.  Thank you, Bruce Karten.

Dave B.  (Ajax, Ontario)

We were referred to Stephen Hebscher when our child was in need of legal representation.  He was charged with sexual assault.  As parents, we were quite frightened for our child but Mr. Hebscher was the calm voice of reason.  We are very grateful to Mr. Hebscher for the excellent results he got for our child, as the charges were dropped.

J.N. (Toronto, Ontario)

Mr. Hebscher is a very professional lawyer who takes pride in his work and because of this the end result was the judge ruling me not guilty and I got my innocence and life back. My family and I would like to thank you again Stephen Hebscher for doing a wonderful job and also being a very supportive man.

Chris T. (Scarborough, Ontario)

I am happy to report that Bruce’s superior negotiation strategy and ability to present facts effectively helped convince the Crown to reduce his position. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bruce for getting my charge withdrawn and keep my criminal record clean.

J.S (Toronto, Ontario)

I looked and found Barrister Stephen Hebscher I introduced myself and my case and after listening to all details he was able to ensure me that my case would go well. All charges against me have be thrown out and my life is back to normal.

Blair H. (North York)

Bruce ...The care and concern you showed us during our dealings certainly helped to reduce the stress we were under. I would recommend you without a second thought. Your winning record is a bonus as well. My husband and myself can't thank you enough for all you've done for our family.

Debi T. (Mississauga, Ontario)

Dear Mr. Hebscher...There are not enough words to express my appreciation for me your undivided attention at all times, work in my case with your heart and soul, that makes you "ONE OF A KIND" lawyer.

Ahmed A. (Brampton, Ontario)

Mr. Bruce Karten was able to help to extricate me from a very serious criminal case containing severe charges, including weapons –threat to use weapons, death threat, harassment,etc. He succeeded in winning my case.   I was discharged; was able to keep my career, and no criminal record. This was a tremendous accomplishment, and I am very appreciative of that.

Nickolai V.  (Toronto, Ontario)

Again,  from the depth of our hearts we sincerely thank you very much for being my Counsel on this case. We now can say you are the BEST and we will surely recommend you to our friends and anybody here we know who needs the best Lawyer in Ontario. You have done an extremely good job and we are very happy with the outcome this morning.

Roman A. (Markham, Ontario)

Mr. Hebscher was the only lawyer who gave me hope and made me feel like I had a real fighting chance. I am extremely satisfied with the quick results that he delivered, and I am happy to say that he was able to convince the court to drop the charges against me and clear my name.

Tina M. (Toronto, Ontario)

Click here to view more of our Client Testimonials

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Weapons Charges In Canada


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