Discharging Firearm with Intent

Discharging Firearm with Intent

The offence of discharging a firearm with intent is outlined at section 244(1) of the Criminal Code.

A person commits the offence of discharging a firearm with intent when they fire a firearm at a person intending to wound, maim, disfigure, or endanger the life of any person, or intending to prevent an arrest or detention.

Examples

Person A fires a .22 Calibre handgun at person B, a police officer who just saw person C commit a crime, so that person C will not be arrested by person B.

Person D fires a shotgun at person E intending to hurt person E because person E did not pay a drug debt.

Person F intends to kill person H by firing a rifle at them but misses and hits the side of a car parked behind person H.

Cases

R. v. Osman, 2022 ONSC 648

In R. v. Osman, the accused was convicted on one count of discharging a firearm with intent after firing a gun at a man who was running away after stabbing the accused’s friend.

R. v. Stojanovski, 2020 ONCA 285

In R. v. Stojanovski, the two accused were convicted on one count of discharging a firearm with intent for shooting at a man whose car they had just stolen while the man was running away from the car.

Offence Specific Defence(s)

No Intention

Where the person does not intend to wound, main, disfigure, or endanger the life of any person, or where the person does not intend to prevent an arrest or detention, they may not have completed the offence of discharging a firearm with intent.

For example, where person A is hunting deer and fires their rifle intending to kill the deer, they may not have completed the offence of discharging a firearm with intent.

Not a Firearm

Where a person uses a weapon or object that does not meet the Criminal Code definition of a firearm, will not have completed the offence of discharging a firearm with intent.

Not Fired

Where a person simply points a firearm at another, but does not fire it, they may not have completed the offence of discharging a firearm with intent even if they intend to harm, wound, main, disfigure or endanger anyone’s life or to prevent someone from being arrested or detained.

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