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Firearms Forfeited by Prohibition Order

Canadian Firearms Program

Special Bulletin for Police No. 75

November 3, 2008 (Modified* December 2012)
Snapshot
  • Prohibition Orders
  • Forfeiture of Firearms under the Criminal Code
  • Disposition of Firearms Pursuant to the Public Agents Firearms Regulations
Synopsis

Effective October 31, 2008, firearms that are forfeited following a Prohibition Order and are in the custody of the police cannot be released to any individual or business, including the previous owner who is subject to the Order.

According to the Public Agents Firearms Regulations (PAFR), forfeited firearms may only be sold, bartered, given, lent or rented to another public service agency or otherwise disposed of.

Prohibition Orders

Under s. 84(1) of the Criminal Code, “Prohibition order” means an order made under the Code or any other Act of Parliament prohibiting a person from possessing any firearm, cross-bow, prohibited weapon, restricted weapon, prohibited device, ammunition, or explosive substance.  Such orders will normally fall under:

  • s. 109: Mandatory firearms prohibition order
  • s. 110: Discretionary prohibition order
  • s. 491: Forfeiture of weapons and ammunition
  • s. 515: Judicial interim release order with condition prohibiting possession of firearms (no forfeiture)
  • *s. 810: Peace bond with condition prohibiting possession of firearms (*this information was not included in the original version of this bulletin, but was added on 2012-12-04.)
Forfeiture of Firearms under the Criminal Code

Firearms may be ordered forfeited as part of a specific Prohibition Order. If a Prohibition Order is silent on firearm disposition, firearms held in violation of the Order are automatically forfeited pursuant to s. 115 of the Criminal Code.

Exception: Automatic forfeiture does not apply to orders made pursuant to s. 515 of the Code.

Disposition of Firearms Pursuant to the Public Agents Firearms Regulations

Under the Public Agents Firearms Regulations, firearms in custody of the police that have been forfeited as a result of a Prohibition Order under the Criminal Code cannot be released to any individual or business, including the previous owner who is subject to the Prohibition Order.

The police can only sell, barter, give, lend or rent these firearms to another public service agency or dispose of them by offering them to the Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) of the province or to the RCMP Canadian Firearms Program. If such offer is refused by the CFO or RCMP the police may only have them destroyed.

Note: Police Services will still be required to report the firearms in their custody to the Canadian Firearms Program under the Public Agents Firearms Regulations. More information on reporting agency and protected firearms can be found at the RCMP Canadian Firearms Program’s (CFP) web site.

Information and Assistance

Any police service employee can use the CFP Police-Only Information and Referral Line, at 1 800 731-4000, ext. 2064 (E) or 2063 (F) to obtain information on the PAFR.

This bulletin is intended to provide general information only, and may only be copied and distributed within the police community. For legal references, please refer to the Firearms Act and its supporting regulations.

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