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Toronto Firearms Lawyer

Firearm Offences

Firearms related charges are treated extremely seriously by our justice system. Many police departments have units dedicated solely to investigating firearm offences. In Ontario, a specialized unit of the Crown Office (called “Guns and Gangs”) prosecutes individuals facing firearm related charges. If convicted of a firearm related offence, the prosecutor will seek a jail sentence, even for a first time offender.

Richard has assisted individuals facing firearm charges since 2001.

If facing a firearms charge, you should look for a lawyer who has expertise in this complex area of the law, understand the licensing framework, and can identify police constitutional violations that may lead to a dismissal of the case.

Winning Strategies & Defences

If the matter goes to trial, Richard has a long history of identifying winning strategies and defences, including:

  • That the Crown failed to prove his client was in possession of the firearm
  • Identifying violations of his client’s constitutional rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, leading to the exclusion of the evidence and a dismissal of the case
  • Failure to prove the item was a firearm as defined by the Criminal Code
  • If the weapon is located inside a residence, establishing that there were no grounds for the search warrant to be issued

Schedule a Meeting

Richard is always available to meet with you one-on-one to review the evidence, answer your questions and identify strategies for a successful result.

Call today to schedule a no charge consultation if you or a family member is charged with a firearm offence.

Richard acts for individuals facing firearm charges in Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Oshawa, Hamilton, Barrie, Newmarket and throughout Southern Ontario.

Firearms Case Successes

Practicing exclusively as defence lawyer since 2001, Richard has a long track record of defending individuals facing firearm related charges:

  • R. v. S.H. (Toronto)
    • Allegations: Police execute search warrant at S.H.’s residence. Locate loaded firearm, in addition to a large quantity of heroin and cocaine.
    • Defence Strategy: Application filed asserting violations of S.H.’s constitutional rights. That search was unlawful because the police misled the issuing justice and that the warrant was issued without reasonable grounds.
    • Result: Application granted. Trial judge agrees with defence counsel that S.H’s Charter rights were violated and all evidence must be excluded. All charges dismissed.
  • R. v. M.K. (Toronto)
    • Allegations: Vehicle involved in high speed pursuit with police that results in crash. Firearm is thrown while driver (who was alleged to be M.K.) and passenger flee the seen. Chase is captured by in-car police camera.
    • Defence Strategy: Establish there is reasonable doubt that the firearm was discarded by the driver. It was equally plausible that the firearm was discarded by the passenger.
    • Result: Judge finds there existed reasonable doubt that M.L. threw the firearm. Not guilty of possessing a firearm.
  • R. v. K.A (Toronto)
    • Allegations: During traffic stop police locate firearm on floor of rear driver side passenger. Also locate cell phone in same area.
    • Defence Strategy: Reasonable doubt that K.A. possessed the firearm. The firearm, along with phone, belonged to individuals who had recent access to the rear seat.
    • Result: Not guilty of possessing a firearm.
  • R. v. C.J. (Toronto)
    • Allegations: C.J. facing charges of attempt murder with firearm. Police alleged that client shot victim on subway platform during afternoon commute.Victim identifies C.J. as the shooter in statement to police and at preliminary hearing.
    • Strategy: Point to lack of evidence identifying client as the shooter. The earlier identification of C.J. was unreliable. Victim had dispute with C.J., which was motive for false identification.
    • Result: Not guilty of all charges.
  • R. v. T.M. (Toronto)
    • Allegations: Client is arrested as part of Guns and Gangs investigation “Project Sizzle”. Police locate loaded semi-automatic handgun inside T.M’s residence.
    • Strategy: Apply to exclude evidence pursuant to s. 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms on basis that no grounds existed for the issuance of the search warrant.
    • Result: Judge agrees that T.M.’s right to be free from unreasonable search violated. Charge of possession of firearm dismissed.
    • Allegations: A.W. faced charges of possession of a loaded prohibited firearm and trafficking in cocaine. Police allege that an undercover officer contacted A.W. to purchase drugs. Firearm and cocaine located within residence after the execution of a search warrant.
    • Strategy: Obtain all information from the Crown attorney, including the police affidavit filed in support of the issuance of the warrant and photos of where items were located within the residence. Mr. Fedorowicz personally attended the residence to conduct his own investigation, which revealed significant inconsistencies between the police version of events and the evidence obtained in the disclosure.
    • Result: All charges withdrawn by Crown prior to commencement of preliminary hearing.

What is a firearm?

A firearm is any device that can be used to discharge projectiles through the use of an explosive force. This includes everything from pistols and rifles to machine guns and grenade launchers. Firearms typically use either a lead bullet or a shotgun pellet as their ammunition and are operated by either a manual mechanism (e.g. a trigger) or an electronic one (e.g. a solenoid).

What is a prohibited firearm?

A prohibited firearm is a type of firearm that is illegal to own, possess or use. 

What is a restricted firearm?

A restricted firearm is any firearm that is regulated by law and requires a license or permits to possess. Restricted firearms typically include handguns, certain semi-automatic firearms, and other weapons that are capable of causing serious harm. In many jurisdictions, restricted firearms must be stored in a locked case and may only be used under specific circumstances.

What is a non-restricted firearm?

A non-restricted firearm is a type of firearm that is not restricted under the National Firearms Act in Canada. Non-restricted firearms include rifles and shotguns.

Who is authorized to possess a firearm?

A Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) is required in order to legally possess a firearm in Canada. Individuals applying for the first time must pass the Canadian Firearms Safety Course, which involves in-class instruction, as well as a written and practical test. If you wish to possess or use restricted firearms, you must pass the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course, which will a allow you to obtain a PAL with restricted firearm privileges.

What is the penalty for unauthorized possession of a firearm?

The offence of possessing  of a restricted or prohibited firearm (s. 95) is hybrid. If prosecuted by indictment, the maximum penalty is 10 years incarceration. If prosecuted by summary conviction, the maximum penalty is 12 months incarceration.

How must my firearms be stored?

Your firearms must be stored in a safe, dry and secure location, such as in a gun safe. Most gun safes come with pre-drilled mounting holes so they can be securely affixed to the floor or wall of your home. If you choose to keep your firearm(s) locked in a case, be sure to use a high-quality lock that cannot be easily picked or bypassed. Never store your guns loaded – always keep them in an unloaded state and store ammunition in a separate, secure location. 

What is the penalty for improper storage of a firearm and/or ammunition?

If you are convicted of storing a firearm or ammunition unsafely, you could be fined up to $5,000 and/or imprisoned for up to 2 years. Additionally, your firearms may be confiscated and your license could be pursuant to a Firearm Forfeiture Application. 

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Richard Fedorowicz is a Criminal Lawyer Serving Toronto, Brampton, Newmarket, Hamilton, and Oshawa