The classification of an object as a firearm is determined by the Criminal Code of Canada. A firearm is defined under s. 2 of the Criminal Code, and it includes not only traditional firearms like handguns and rifles but also various components and devices that are designed to discharge projectiles. The determination of whether something is considered a firearm or not is crucial because it affects how it is regulated and treated under Canadian law.
Definition of Firearm: The definition of a firearm in Canadian law is broad and encompasses various types of devices. According to s. 2 of the Criminal Code, a firearm is defined as:
“a barrelled weapon from which any shot, bullet or other projectile can be discharged and that is capable of causing serious bodily injury or death to a person, and includes any frame or receiver of such a barrelled weapon and anything that can be adapted for use as a firearm.”
Examination by Experts: In cases where the nature of the object is not immediately clear, expert witnesses such as forensic analysts, firearms examiners, or law enforcement officers may be called upon to provide their opinion on whether the object meets the legal definition of a firearm.
Physical Characteristics: The object’s physical characteristics, such as its design, components, and mechanisms, will be examined to determine whether it falls within the legal definition of a firearm. This may include assessing whether the object can discharge a projectile and whether it is capable of causing serious bodily injury or death, also known as the “Pig’s eye test”.
Test Firing or Demonstration: In some cases, law enforcement or forensic experts might conduct test firings or demonstrations to show that the object can indeed discharge a projectile and meet the criteria for being classified as a firearm.
Ultimately, the determination of whether an object is a firearm involves a legal interpretation based on the relevant provisions of the Criminal Code, case law, and any relevant regulations.