The offence of weapons trafficking is outlined in section 99(1) of the Criminal Code.
A person commits the offence of weapons trafficking when they manufacture, transfer or offer to manufacture or transfer a prohibited firearm, restricted firearm, non-restricted firearm, prohibited weapon, restricted weapon, prohibited device, ammunition, or prohibited ammunition knowing they are not authorized by law to do so. The offence is typically enforced in relation to firearms and ammunition.
Person A gives person B a handgun for free as a birthday gift.
Person C makes a device that meets the Criminal Code definition of a firearm for person D and sells it to them.
R. v. Anderson, 2014 ONSC 3646
In R. v. Anderson, the accused was charged with one count of weapons trafficking after selling a Savage 24C rifle shotgun to another person in front of a pawn shop.
R. v. Ralph, 2011 ONSC 3558
In R. v. Ralph, the accused was charged with one count of weapons trafficking after offering to get an undercover officer a semi-automatic 9-millimetre handgun for $1,800.00.
Offence Specific Defence(s)
Authorized by Law
The Firearms Act authorizes the transfer, manufacture, and lending of firearms under certain conditions by individuals and businesses. Where a person is acting in compliance with the Firearms Act, or any other legislation, they will not have committed the offence of weapons trafficking.
Making an offer to manufacture or traffic requires more than just intention, but also anticipation that the other person will accept or reject the offer. So, where person A tells person B that they will be getting them a handgun, without regard to whether person B wants it or not, person B will not be complicit in the trafficking of that firearm. Where person A jokingly offers to give person B a handgun and is not serious about it, person A has not completed the offence of weapons trafficking.
Definition of Weapon
If the person is in possession of an object that does not fall under the Criminal Code’s definition of a prohibited firearm, restricted firearm, non-restricted firearm, prohibited weapon, restricted weapon, prohibited device, ammunition or prohibited ammunition then they have not committed the offence of weapons trafficking.