Restricted Weapons Criminal Code

Preventing the use of firearms in criminal activity

For the purpose of preventing the use of firearms in criminal activity, Canada enacted the Criminal Code in 1985. Anyone who violates section 85 of the legislation is considered to have committed an indictable crime. (, 2017). In this respect, section 85 of the Criminal Code imposes penalties on anyone who commits a crime, attempts to commit a crime, or flees after committing a crime involving an imitation firearm. Detention for at least one year for first-time offenders and three years for repeat offenders constitutes the penalty for the crime. (, 2017). The imprisonment terms for the first and subsequent offenses are to be served consecutively.

Implications of the establishment of Section 85

Establishment of Section 85 implies that the government of Canada takes seriously cases involving the use of firearms to commit offenses. Prior to this law, criminals could make or use replica firearms to commit offenses but there was no clear law to punish them. Section 85 (1) and (2) was then enacted to clarify what is an imitation firearm and punishment for using it to commit a crime. From the government’s point of view, only security officers or those helping them are authorized to use restricted firearms. As such, any unauthorized person using genuine or replica firearm is punishable under Section 85.

The case of Her Majesty the Queen vs. T.M, 2003

The case of Her Majesty the Queen vs. T.M, 2003 provided a scenario of an offense under section 85. In this case, the Queen was accused of robbing a jewelry shop using imitation firearm (Clark, 2003; Jung, Ahn-Redding, & Allison, 2014). The Ontario Superior Court of Justice- Dyson J. held that the accused broke the law under section 85 subsections 2 which states that anyone who uses a replica firearm to commit an indictable offense commits crime hence should be punished (Clark, 2003). Although the accused tried to claim that the court breached section 12 of the country’s Charter of Right and Freedom, the court held that the defendant intended to commit the crime using imitation firearm.

References (2017).Using a firearm in the commission of an offense. Retrieved from

Clark, G. (2003). R. v. M., 2003-Robbery with an imitation firearm, Charter application. Retrieved from

Jung, S., Ahn-Redding, H., & Allison, M. (2014). Crimes and punishment: understanding of the criminal code. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 56(3), 341-366.

Reid, S. T. (2015). Crime and criminology. Wolters Kluwer Law & Business.

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