While many people in Saskatchewan enjoy their right to bear arms, the use of guns is heavily restricted in our province. In part this is because Saskatchewan has one of the highest rate of fire-arm related violent crimes in Canada.
The Crown takes all firearms charges very seriously, and most firearms crimes carry mandatory minimum sentences. You may also be banned from owning firearms for up to ten years in the future. If you are being charged with a firearms crime you need the immediate help of a skilled criminal defence lawyer.
Our team is willing to help both with crimes enhanced by firearms charges and specific charges like possession, concealed weapons charges, reckless discharge of a firearm, careless use or storage of a firearm, or pointing of a firearm.
Illegal Possession of Firearms
Saskatchewan has a ban on most models of firearms. For the few firearm types that remain legal, citizens are required to acquire a Possession and Acquisition license. This license allows individuals to carry approved weapons for the purposes of hunting, recreation, and competition. Most of these are shotguns and rifles.
Illegal possession of firearms covers:
- Ownership of prohibited firearms, such as automatic weapons.
- Ownership of firearms without the appropriate license.
- Probation violations.
The penalty for illegal possession of firearms is up to ten years in jail.
Concealed Weapons Violations
You can get an Authorization to Carry license for handguns in Saskatchewan, but they’re generally only issued for specific purposes, and they don’t automatically carry the right to conceal the weapon. They are issued to those who need handguns due to their occupation or those who need them in order to protect their lives.
- Armored car guards
- Police officers
Those who can get a license for protection of life generally include people who have been the victim of a verifiable threat in the past. A police file must exist, and the police must verify that they cannot provide adequate protection for that individual.
In addition, most are required to wear their weapon holstered, on a belt, where it can be clearly seen.
If you’re not authorized to carry a handgun or if you conceal one then you can be charged with concealed weapons violations. You can be sentenced with up to six months in prison, and you may be charged a $5,000 fine.
Reckless Discharge of a Firearm
This charge covers instances where a firearm has been intentionally shot into a building, vehicle, or location where it is highly likely that a person might get caught in the line of fire. This is especially true if you knew, or should have known, that people would be found in that location.
This crime carries a mandatory minimum sentence of four years. If the firearm was a banned firearm type, this can be increased to five years. The sentence may also be increased to five years if you discharged it on behalf of any criminal organization.
Improper Storage or Transport of a Firearm
Canada has strict laws governing the transportation of firearms.
To transport firearms legally, you must acquire an Authorization to Transport license. This will allow you to legally move any handgun and most rifles, but you must take specific steps to move them properly.
- You must unload all firearms for transport.
- You must disable all firearms with a trigger lock or cable lock.
- Firearms must be placed in a locked container.
- You must use a “reasonably direct route” to get the firearms from Point A to Point B.
- You must use highways that have been pre-approved for firearms transport.
If you are convicted of improper transport you could face up to two years in prison for a first offense, as well as fines. You can lose your right to own firearms for up to ten years.
Recklessly Pointing a Firearm
You can receive jail time for pointing a firearm at another person, even if it is unloaded and even if you had no intention of firing it. It’s perceived as both a threat and as a reckless thing to do. It is a form of armed assault.
If convicted of this charge, you may be sentenced to up to five years in prison.
How We Defend Firearms Charges
There are several ways we can defend you if you are accused of a firearms charge.
- Factual innocence, which means you did not commit the crime at all.
- Offering proof that you had the right to carry or use the firearm.
- Proving the police violated your rights when searching for the firearms, or when seizing the firearms.
- Helping you defend against the charges the firearm charge is attached to, such as robbery or assault charges.
Our team will explore every available option for helping you fight your firearms charge, and will craft the legal strategy that is most likely to succeed.
In trouble? We Can Help.
If you’ve been arrested on firearms charges then turn to the team at Regina Criminal Defence Lawyers. Our lawyers have decades of experience helping Regina, SK residents protect their rights when accused of these and other crimes.
Our team is responsive, empathetic, and dedicated to keeping you appraised of everything that’s happening with your case.
We also work hard to understand the evidence so that we can explore every avenue for getting your charges dropped, dismissed, or reduced. If your case needs to go to trial, we will explore every option for helping you get acquitted.
The long-term consequences of being convicted of a firearms charge far outstrip the cost of our services. If you’ve been accused of a firearms crime, you can’t afford to do without the best representation you can find.
If you or a loved one needs help, contact Regina Criminal Lawyers to schedule a case review by calling (306) 848-7777. We’re standing by to help you craft the best defence for your firearms case.