In Canada there are a complex series of laws governing the acquisition, possession, use, and transport of firearms, ammunition, and firearms components. Failure to adhere to these laws will result in criminal charges, seizure of your firearms, prohibitions against ownership, and penalties ranging from fines to jail time. If you find yourself charged with a firearms offence, contact Mickelson & Whysall and speak to one of our firearms lawyers.
Careless storage is one of the more common charges faced by firearms owners.
Careless storage occurs when a firearm is stored in a manner that does not take reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of others. Careless storage will exhibit a marked departure from the standard of care of a reasonable person in the same circumstances.
Due Diligence and Reasonable Care are defences to charges of careless storage. If an owner can be established that the storage of the firearm did not constitute a marked departure from the standard of care or that reasonable precautions were taken to adhere to the duty of care, then the accused cannot be found guilty of the offence.
Careless storage can also occur when a firearm is not stored in a manner that complies with the storage Regulations. Due Diligence is an available defence to storing a firearm in a manner contrary to the storage Regulations. If the accused can raise a reasonable doubt with respect to Due Diligence in efforts to comply with the storage Regulations, the accused will be able to avoid a conviction.
If you are a firearms owner it is important to know that you can be prohibited from owning firearms and have your firearms seized even in situations where you have not committed a criminal offence. If the police have reason to believe that your possession of firearms is a risk to you or the public, they may apply to seize your firearms and apply to prohibit you from firearms ownership. If this happens you will have to appear before a judge, who will then decide whether or not you will be able to keep your firearms licence or get your firearms back.
In order to satisfy a judge or justice that your firearms should be disposed of and/or you should be prohibited from firearms ownership, the prosecution must establish that there is a substantial possibility that the safety of the gun owner or another will be at risk if the gun owner is allowed to have firearms.
A firearms owner can undermine the prosecution’s submissions by leading evidence that the firearms owner is responsible or leading evidence rebutting the prosecution’s evidence.
If you receive Notice of an Application to take your firearms and/or prohibit you for owning and using firearms, you will need to speak to a lawyer who knows Canadian firearms law.
For further information, or to set up a free consultation, please contact our Vancouver law office and speak to one of our firearms lawyers.