The Peel Regional Police reported that in 2021, they seized a total of 380 firearms in Brampton and surrounding areas. In 2022, the number rose to 493, a result of a 29.7% increase. As weapons, firearms are created with the intent to kill or wound and has less legitimate purposes for their use or possession. Firearms offences are taken very seriously in Canada, often resulting in penalties in the higher single-digit lower double-digit range. They are often closely linked with organized crime, drugs, and violence in Brampton and throughout Ontario.
What are “Trafficking” Offences in Brampton?
Trafficking offences are offences related to the transport, export, import, sale, or movement of firearm. Section 99 enumerates weapons trafficking itself, section 100 describes possession for the purposes of weapons trafficking, and section 103 describes importing or exporting firearms with the knowledge that it is unauthorized. These offences are straight indictable, which means they may be liable to longer prison sentences. Those convicted of such offences are likely to face prison time. They will also face consequences after being released from prison including having difficulty traveling to other countries.
Section 101, the transfer of a firearm without authority is also considered trafficking offence. It is a hybrid offence, which means the Crown may choose to proceed with summary election or an indictment. Summary election offences have sentencing ranges that are generally lower, while an indictment is treated more severely.
What are “Assembling” Offences?
Automatic firearms are outlawed in Canada, and the making of such a firearm is illegal pursuant to section 102 of the Criminal Code. The firearm does not have to be a pistol, handgun, or rifle; just as long as it can shoot projectiles continuously when the trigger is pressed. For example, an individual may 3D-print parts to assemble an automatic weapon; or they may modify an existing firearm to be able to shoot bullets continuously.
There are a few defences specific to the offence of assembling an automatic firearm. The defence counsel may submit that the person did not manufacture, assemble, or alter the firearm, and was only in possession of it. The defence may argue that the firearm does not strictly fall into the definition of “automatic,” though the accused may be subject to other firearm offences depending on if the resulting firearm is restricted or prohibited. Finally, the defence can submit that the object does not strictly meet the definition of a “firearm.”