Making an Automatic Firearm

Making an Automatic Firearm

The offence of making an automatic firearm is outlined in section 102(1) of the Criminal Code.

A person commits the offence of making an automatic firearm when they create a firearm that can continuously shoot projectiles when the trigger is pressed.

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

Examples

Person A 3D prints a firearm that can continuously shoot plastic bullets when they hold down the trigger.

Person B puts an attachment onto their semi-automatic AK-47 so that instead of only being able to shoot one bullet when the trigger is pressed, it can continuously shoot bullets when the trigger is pressed.

Cases

R. v. Montague, 2014 ONCA 439 (CanLII)

In R v Montague, the two accused, firearms dealers and manufacturers, were charged with making an automatic firearm after 200 firearms and related devices were found in the basement of their home. They knew that they did not have any legal authorization or licences permitting the possession of these items, but wrongly believed that they had a constitutional right to operate their business regardless.

Offence Specific Defence(s)

Did Not Manufacture, Assemble or Alter

Where the person purchases an automatic firearm that can already continuously shoot projectiles when pressing the trigger and they do not alter it in any way, they have not completed the offence of making an automatic firearm.

Not Automatic

Where a person manufactures or assembles a firearm that cannot continuously shoot projectiles when the trigger is pressed or where their alterations to a firearm do not enable it to continuously shoot projectiles when the trigger is pressed, they have not completed the offence of making an automatic firearm.

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 making automatic firearm.