As a Canadian gun owner, you are entitled to self-defence and can use weapons against assailants. In contrast, the right to self-defence does not supersede the necessity to register a firearm.

In the instance of an unregistered firearm used in self-defence, seek legal counsel from experienced attorneys at N.J. Preovolos Law Corporation.

What happens if an unregistered weapon causes a fatality?

Court proceedings cannot be predicted. It would depend on the circumstances, such as whether or not life was in danger, whether or not there were witnesses, and whether or not the death was the only alternative. Even if used in self-defence, the Crown is unlikely to be sympathetic to mortality caused by an unlicensed, restricted, or outlawed firearm.

Get to know Canada’s gun laws.

Guns can be categorized into three types: non-restricted, restricted, and prohibited.

1. Non-restricted guns. The state does not restrict rifles and shotguns for personal defence.

2. Prohibited guns. Licensed owners can still possess prohibited guns if they acquired them before the current laws came into effect. There are several prohibited firearms, including:

  •   Weapons with automatic fire, such as sawed-off shotguns
  •   A handgun that is under a certain length 
  •   Pistols that shoot bullets of 25- and 32-caliber. 

3. Restricted guns. A licensed gun owner or the weapon must be registered to possess or acquire restricted firearms and ammunition. Included in this category are:

  • All non-prohibited handguns
  • Folding guns that are capable of firing when lowered below a certain length
  • Short barreled semiautomatic firearms that can fire centerfire ammunition.

To obtain a complete Possession and Acquisition Licence for restricted firearms, you must be 18 years old. However, it is permissible if you are under the “direct and immediate supervision” of an adult with a license.

When carrying prohibited firearms, you must have a firearm license and registration certificate. If a peace officer stops you, you must be able to show them your identification, or your gun will be taken away.

A license is required for both ownership and possession. Therefore, even if you don’t own a restricted firearm, you must have a permit if you do possess one.

Qualifications for Restricted Gun Licences 

To become eligible for a restricted gun license, you must complete the Canadian Restricted Gun Safety Course. In the course, you will gain knowledge about the safe handling, storage, and transportation of restricted weapons. Successful completion of the course requires passing numerous tests.

In addition to personal references and background checks, the RCMP conducts in-depth investigations regularly. 

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