I’ve been charged with Careless Use or Storage of a Firearm. What do I need to know?
Question & AnswerI’ve been charged with Careless Use or Storage of a Firearm. What do I need to know?
You commit the crime of Careless Use or Storage of a Firearm if you:
- Put a gun, weapon, or ammunition in an unsafe place, even for a very short amount of time. For example, leaving a gun on the kitchen table, or on your passenger seat while driving.
- Use a gun, weapon, or ammunition in an unsafe way. For example, waiving a gun around in your yard for your neighbours to see, even if you don't shoot it.
Even if you don't do one of these things on purpose, you might still be guilty if you're not taking the precautions that a reasonable person would take. For example, if your gun accidentally goes off when you put it down on the table, you might be guilty if you didn't engage the safety switch before putting it down.
The maximum for Careless Use or Storage of a Firearm is:
- 2 years in jail if the Crown proceeds
- If the Crown proceeds by
- 2 years in jail if this is your first offence
- 5 years in prison if this is not your first
Other similar gun crimes
Pointing a gun at someone is also a crime even if the gun is unloaded.
There are also very detailed regulations that you must follow when dealing with a gun, weapon, or ammunition. You can read those regulations on the federal government’s website. If you don't follow these regulations, you can be charged with a crime.
Some examples of the regulations include:
- non-restricted firearms must be
- stored with a trigger or cable lock to prevent firing, or locked in a cabinet, container or room
- unloaded during transportation
- restricted and prohibited firearms must be
- stored with a secure locking device to prevent firing, and must be locked in a cabinet, container or room
- unloaded, have a secure locking device to prevent firing, and must be locked in a sturdy, non-transparent container during transportation