Pointing a Firearm

The offence of pointing a firearm is outlined in section 87(1) of the Criminal Code.

A person commits the offence of pointing a firearm when they point a loaded or unloaded firearm at another person.

For the purposes of the Criminal Code, the definition of ‘firearm’ includes items other than a pistol, handgun, or rifle. For more information about the legal definition of a firearm please click here or visit our definitions page.


Person A is out hunting with person B and aims his rifle at person B’s head so that person A can watch person B walk through the field through the gun’s scope.

Person C is examining their unloaded .22 calibre handgun and aims it at person D to see what it would look like to point the gun at someone.


R. v. Hashimi, 2019 ONSC 812

In R. v. Hashimi¸ the accused was convicted on one count of pointing a firearm for pointing his handgun at a small group of men that had exited a nearby vehicle to attack the accused. When the men saw he had a gun, they returned to their vehicle, and the accused continued to point the gun at their car as they drove away.

R. v. Treleaven, 2018 ONSC 1707

In R. v. Treleaven, the accused was charged with one count of pointing a firearm for putting his handgun in the victim’s mouth before asking him to hand over his cash and his sneakers.

Offence Specific Defence(s)

Unintentional or Accidental

The offence of pointing a firearm requires that a person purposefully or recklessly points a firearm at another person. If they point their firearm at someone accidentally or without realizing what they are doing, they will not have completed the offence of pointing a firearm. For example, where person A is aiming their gun at a target and person B unexpectedly runs in front of the target, person A will not be charged with pointing a firearm at person B.

Not Pointing at Anyone

The offence of pointing a firearm requires that the firearm be pointed at a person or group of people. Where a person is pointing a firearm in the air or at an object, they have not completed the offence of pointing a 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 pointing a firearm.

More Legal Information

Law Newbie™ is a free legal assistant developed by our criminal lawyers to help you understand the law.


In criminal cases, there are very strict rules governing what evidence can be used and how it can be used.

The rights enjoyed of all those within Canada are contained in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Criminal procedure is the process by which an accused person is arrested and brought through the justice system.

Sentencing refers to the punishment that is ordered when an individual is found guilty of a criminal offence.

Firearm Smoke

Offences in Canada are listed in the Criminal Code. They include crimes related to people, vehicles and weapons.

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