Weapons Offences (Sentencing)

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General Principles

Firearms

Possession of a loaded firearm is inherently dangerous. Death and serious injury are only a "impulse and trigger pull away".[1]

Offences involving handguns is a “serious and growing societal danger”.[2]

There is a strong emphasis on the need to denounce and deter the use of firearms in public places.[3] This is necessary in order to maintain confidence in the administration of justice.[4]

Ontario has set a range of 7 to 11 years for "serious firearm offences".[5]

There has been judicial notice that as of 2007 there has been a national increase in gun violence and gun-related offences.[6]

  1. R v Chin, 2009 ABCA 226 (CanLII), [2009] A.J. No. 711 (C.A.)
    see also R v Elliston, 2010 ONSC 6492 (CanLII)
    Foster v Prince, 2012 ONSC 205 (CanLII), [2012] O.J. No. 89 (O.S.C.), at para 18
  2. R v Clayton 2005 CaLII 16569 (ONCA) at 41
  3. R v Danvers [2005] OJ 3532, 2005 CanLII 30044 at para 77
    R v Bellamy, 2008 CanLII 26259 (ON SC), [2008] 175 C.R.R. (2d) 241, at para 76
    R v Brown, 2006 CanLII 39311 (ON SC), [2006] O.J. No. 4681 (Ont. S.C.J.) at para 9
    R v Gomes, 2015 ONCA 763 (CanLII) at para 4 ("...possession of deadly prohibited firearms requires a denunciatory sentence.")
  4. R v Whervin, [2006] O.J. No. 443 (S.C.J.)(*no link) at para 14
    R v David, [2006] O.J. No. 3833 (S.C.J.)(*no link)
  5. R v Bellissimo, 2009 ONCA 49 (CanLII), at para 3
  6. R v Clayton 2007 SCC 32 (CanLII) at para 110

Notice of Increased Penalties

See also: Notice of Increased Penalty

Section 84(5) and (6) state:

84.
...
Subsequent offences
(5) In determining, for the purpose of subsection 85(3), 95(2), 99(2), 100(2) or 103(2), whether a convicted person has committed a second or subsequent offence, if the person was earlier convicted of any of the following offences, that offence is to be considered as an earlier offence:

(a) an offence under section 85, 95, 96, 98, 98.1, 99, 100, 102 or 103 or subsection 117.01(1);
(b) an offence under section 244 or 244.2; or
(c) an offence under section 220, 236, 239, 272 or 273, subsection 279(1) or section 279.1, 344 or 346 if a firearm was used in the commission of the offence.

However, an earlier offence shall not be taken into account if 10 years have elapsed between the day on which the person was convicted of the earlier offence and the day on which the person was convicted of the offence for which sentence is being imposed, not taking into account any time in custody.

Sequence of convictions only
(6) For the purposes of subsection (5), the only question to be considered is the sequence of convictions and no consideration shall be given to the sequence of commission of offences or whether any offence occurred before or after any conviction.
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 84; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), ss. 185(F), 186; 1991, c. 40, s. 2; 1995, c. 39, s. 139; 1998, c. 30, s. 16; 2003, c. 8, s. 2; 2008, c. 6, s. 2; 2009, c. 22, s. 2; 2015, c. 3, s. 45.


CCC

Ranges

Where an offender "is an outlaw who carries a loaded firearm as a tool of his or her trade, a penitentiary sentence of 3 or more years is generally appropriate"[1]

  1. R v Shomonov, 2016 ONSC 4015 (CanLII) at para 12
    R v Nur 2015 SCC 15 (CanLII), [2015] 1 S.C.R. 773, para 82