Possession of a Prohibited or Restricted Firearm with Ammunition

Possession of a Prohibited or Restricted Firearm with Ammunition

The offence of possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition is outlined in section 95(1) of the Criminal Code.

A person commits the offence of possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition when they possess either a loaded prohibited or restricted firearm or an unloaded prohibited or restricted firearm with readily accessible ammunition for it, without having authorization or a licence allowing them to have the firearm in that specific place and without having the registration certificate for the firearm.

For the purposes of the Criminal Code, the definition of firearm includes items other than a pistol, handgun, or rifle.

Examples

Person A keeps a loaded pistol in the bottom dresser drawer next to their bed.

Person B walks around the downtown area of their city with a loaded .22 calibre handgun in their purse.

Cases

R. v. Gobire, 2013 ONSC 3073

In R. v. Gobire, the accused was charged with one count of possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition after police found a loaded silver semi-automatic handgun on him as he was leaving his apartment to go downtown.

R. v. Sampogna, 2020 ONSC 1024

In R. v. Sampogna, the accused was charged with three counts of possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition after police found several firearms in his home including a loaded Browning 9mm pistol, a loaded Ruger .22 pistol, and a loaded a sawed-off Cooey .22 rifle.

R. v. White, 2019 ONCJ 190

In R. v. White, the accused was charged with one count of possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition after police found a loaded Ruger semi-automatic .22 calibre pistol in a shared kitchen in a readily accessible kitchen cabinet.

Offence Specific Defence(s)

Not a Prohibited or Restricted Firearm

The offence of possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition only applies to prohibited and restricted firearms. Where the firearm is not prohibited or restricted, or the object in question does not meet the Criminal Code definition of a firearm, the person with that item will not have committed the offence of possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition.

Not Loaded

The offence of possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition only applies to loaded firearms or firearms where the ammunition is readily available nearby. Where the person has a firearm, but it is not loaded and there is no ammunition for it readily accessible to them, they have not committed the offence of possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition.

Authorization and Registration

Where the person has authorization or a licence allowing them to have the firearm in that specific place, as well as the registration certificate for it, they will not have committed the offence of possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition.

Definition of Firearm

If the person is in possession of an object that does not fall under the Criminal Code’s definition of a “firearm” then they have not committed the offence of possession of prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition.