Possession of a Weapon for Dangerous Purpose

Possession of a Weapon for Dangerous Purpose

The offence of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose is outlined in section 88(1) of the Criminal Code.

A person commits the offence of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose when they carry or possess a weapon, an imitation of a weapon, a prohibited device, ammunition, or prohibited ammunition for a purpose dangerous to the public peace or for the purpose of committing an offence.

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

Example

Person A and person B are having a heated argument and Person A takes out a knife to intimidate person B into submission.

Person D owes person C money, so person C brings a handgun to person D’s house intending to confront person D about this by threatening them with the handgun if they do not pay them back immediately.

Person E walks into a bank with an imitation gun, shows it to the bank teller and demands money.

Cases

R. v. Kheder, 2019 ONSC 5562

In R v Kheder, the accused was convicted on one charge of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose after aggressively flashing a knife at a concerned witness who noticed the accused fighting with his girlfriend.

R. v. Wint, 2006 CanLII 31209 (ON SC)

In R v Wint, the accused was convicted of one count of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose after carrying a concealed handgun on him while at two separate houses and on the street while travelling between them despite there being no immediate danger or threat to his life in any of these situations.

Offence Specific Defence(s)

Legitimate Purpose

Where a person is carrying a weapon for a legitimate purpose, namely, to meet an immediate threat to their life, they may not be found to be carrying it for a purpose dangerous to the public or for the purpose of committing an offence.

Definition of Weapon

If the person is in possession of an object that does not fall under the Criminal Code’s definition of a weapon, an imitation of a weapon, a prohibited device, ammunition, or prohibited ammunition then they have not committed the offence of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.