Originally Posted by The Saint
I really don't understand why you're talking down to us Mcguyver, when your argument isn't how the law works. You're arguing from your own normative possession, we (Brian, Morb, myself) know where you stand but am pointing out how the law actually work.
Essentially, there are two types of weapons in the Criminal Code,
1. Designed as a weapon (guns, swords, knives, etc)
2. Used as a weapon (more about the intent of the user)
Both are equally valid weapons, but some like to argue/believe that only Number 2 should exist. Not the way the law works.
Finally, as far as the Criminal Code is concerned, using a piece of wood whittled to look like a Glock makes that piece of wood a weapon results in the same offence as using an airsoft gun. Using a pellet gun, though, is much more severe.
So, which guns are intended for use againts persons? All of them? Some of them?
I notice that it seems that you need a little refresher in how folks outside urban centers think.
I grew up around guns, every house had them, everyone knew how they worked. It was rare to hear of anyone killed by them, accidentally or otherwise. But it was common they were used as tools, from pest control to husbandry to sustenance. Ask anyone in that environment if they consider a gun a "weapon" as you have printed out the definition. You will not get a consistant answer. Just because the law is written that way does not mean it is an iron-clad definition nor is it uniformly applied.
Is it a weapon if it is designed to kill an animal other than man? Did Cooey design their .22 for people or pests? Some guns are so large an unwieldy, it would be a trial at best to use them against a person who could move. Does that exempt them? I know of several guns that would be difficult to use on yourself, just like it would be difficult to run over yourself with a vehicle, but anything is theoretically possible. If you want to argue about a Glock 22 vs a Parker-Hale .270 as defined as a weapon, you might have a better case.
I'm not talking "down" to you Dave, but you have to realize that I've been a legal gun owner damn near as long as you've been alive, and have dealt with things over the years that contradict and transcend the textbook definiton you have laid out.
So, if I carried my electrician's slitting knife on Yonge Street with the handle sticking out of my pocket, is it a weapon? If I carried it in my tool belt with the handle exposed, is it a weapon or a tool? Same knife, razor sharp, it could sever your head in 1 swipe. It was designed to cut, that is it's sole purpose. Is it a weapon or a tool? Depends on circumstances, not the properties of the item, it is the same item after all.
Is a Glock in the pocket of a gang-banger a weapon, or a tool? Is the shotgun in the farmer's closet a weapon, or a tool? The difference, for the purpose of enforcement and to determine intent when the item is used depends on this hair-splitting. If you intend it as a weapon, it is. If you don't, it isn't. Society at large will also make this distinction to determine the utility of such an item as well. This is why there is debate still raging of C-68 after 14 years.
I didn't make this shit up, but I have to live with it.
To answer the issue of a gun as a weapon applied in reality (in Alberta at least), I'll refer you to the case of Brian Knight, the farmer who shot a thief stealing his quad last winter. His shotgun was loaded with birdshot, a non-lethal (unless you put the muzzle against your eyeball I suppose), and shot the fleeing thief twice, hitting him in the legs and ass. His charges were:
Criminal negligence causing bodily harm (because the crook was actually hit and required minor treatment), pointing a firearm (self explanatory), possession of a weapon dangerous to the public (standard fare that gets levelled even at teens with fake guns at school), discharging a firearm (proximity to a roadway), dangerous driving (he ran the guy off the road with his truck), and possession of an unregistered firearm (self-explanatory).
There was no attempted murder charge, even though a firearm is supposedly a weapon. He loaded the gun with non-lethal birdshot, so it was the intent that was the determining factor. If he had slug or buckshot in that gun, I promise it would have been attempted murder (unless he fired in the air as a warning).
What would have been the charge if he had stabbed the fellow (knives are lethal after all), or if he had clubbed the man with a hockey stick? The intent is what matters here in my opinion, not the tool used, regardless of the textbook definition.
How about the Dennis Galloway case in BC? He used a handgun in his jewellery store to shoot a robber also armed with a gun. The crook was paralyzed, and received a 4-year prison sentence. Galloway was not charged at all, even though he used a "weapon", and shots missed his target and exited his store.
How about those who own restricted firearms? Does everyone compete in target-shooting competitions? That is the only legal reason for ownership that applies to civillians? That is the letter of the law, but I'll tell you that it is not enforced that way. I have never had to submit proof of my competition scores to ensure I meet the conditions set out in law.
Originally Posted by Criminal Code of Canada
"weapon" means any thing used, designed to be used or intended for use
(a) in causing death or injury to any person, or
(b) for the purpose of threatening or intimidating any person
and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, includes a firearm;
The reason that the lower bolded portion was added was to try to establish that all firearms are weapons. However, that is not always viewed as the case. They would not have added it if it wasn't an item that could be (or should be) debated.