section 111(1)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

Police can apply to a judge to prohibit a person from possessing firearms or other dangerous weapons if they believe it is not in the interest of public safety.

SECTION WORDING

111. (1) A peace officer, firearms officer or chief firearms officer may apply to a provincial court judge for an order prohibiting a person from possessing any firearm, cross-bow, prohibited weapon, restricted weapon, prohibited device, ammunition, prohibited ammunition or explosive substance, or all such things, where the peace officer, firearms officer or chief firearms officer believes on reasonable grounds that it is not desirable in the interests of the safety of the person against whom the order is sought or of any other person that the person against whom the order is sought should possess any such thing.

EXPLANATION

Section 111(1) of the Criminal Code confers the power upon peace officers, firearms officers, and chief firearms officers to seek an order from a provincial court judge prohibiting a person from possessing firearms, cross-bows, prohibited weapons, restricted weapons, prohibited devices, ammunition, prohibited ammunition, and explosive substances or all of those things. Such orders can be obtained where the officer believes on reasonable grounds that the individual's possession of the aforementioned items is not desirable in the interest of their own safety or the safety of others. The section is aimed at addressing situations where a person with access to firearms or other dangerous items may pose a threat to themselves or others. The focus of the provision is on prevention of harm before it occurs, rather than on punishing individuals after an incident has happened. The section therefore operates in tandem with other provisions such as those relating to criminal negligence, and the criminal use of firearms. The power given to peace officers, firearms officers and chief firearms officers under Section 111(1) is considerable. It allows them to seek a court order that binds an individual and denies them access to firearms, explosives, or other weapons. However, it is important to note that Section 111(1) does not permit the confiscation of firearms or other items without a court order, nor does it endow officers with the power to enter and search private property without a warrant, except in exigent circumstances. Overall, Section 111(1) is a tool that helps prevent harm before it occurs by allowing peace officers, firearms officers and chief firearms officers to request an order preventing individuals from possessing firearms, crossbows, prohibited weapons, restricted weapons, prohibited devices, ammunition, prohibited ammunition, and explosive substances. The provision is an example of proactive policing and is in line with the Canadian Government's commitment to reducing gun violence and ensuring public safety.

COMMENTARY

Section 111(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with the process of obtaining an order prohibiting a person from possessing certain items, including firearms, ammunition, and explosives. It provides a mechanism for police officers and firearms officers to seek an order from a provincial court judge if they believe on reasonable grounds that it is not in the interests of public safety for a person to possess such items. The purpose of this section is clear: to prevent individuals who are deemed a risk to public safety from owning firearms or other dangerous items. This is an important measure in Canada, where the safety of citizens is of utmost concern. Firearms and other dangerous items can cause significant harm and can be used in criminal activities. Therefore, it is important to have measures in place to prevent individuals who pose a risk from obtaining them. The provision of this section is based on the principle of public safety. It recognizes the potential danger that some individuals may pose to themselves or others if they were allowed to possess firearms or other dangerous items. It is a proactive measure aimed at preventing tragedies before they occur. It is also a measure that is consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which acknowledges the importance of freedom and liberty, but also recognizes the need for safety and security. The section provides the lawful process for obtaining the order, which must be sought by a police officer, firearms officer, or chief firearms officer. The application must be made to the provincial court judge, who will determine whether there are reasonable grounds for the order to be made. The judge will consider all relevant factors, including the person's history, their mental health, and any other relevant information. The judge will also consider the interests of public safety and determine whether it is in the best interests of the person and the community for the order to be made. This section, however, is not without controversy. Critics argue that it can be used arbitrarily, resulting in individuals being denied their rights without due process. The section does not require a criminal charge or conviction before an order can be made. In addition, there is no requirement for the person to be notified of the application or to have an opportunity to respond. This has led some to argue that the provision can be abused and used to target individuals who may not pose a risk to public safety. Despite these concerns, however, it is important to note that the order is not a permanent prohibition. It lasts only for a specified period of time and can be reviewed and set aside by the court upon application. The provision also provides for an appeal process, and the person subject to the order has the right to challenge it. In conclusion, Section 111(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important provision aimed at protecting public safety by preventing individuals who pose a risk from possessing firearms, other dangerous weapons, and explosives. While there are concerns about the potential for abuse, the provision is consistent with the principles of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and it provides a lawful and effective means of preventing tragedies before they occur. Ultimately, the provision strikes a balance between individual freedom and the need for public safety, and it remains an important tool for law enforcement agencies across the country.

STRATEGY

When dealing with section 111(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada, there are several strategic considerations that need to be taken into account. The first consideration is to gather all available evidence to support the application for the order. This evidence should establish reasonable grounds that the person poses a danger to themselves or others if they are allowed to possess any firearm, cross-bow, prohibited weapon, restricted weapon, prohibited device, ammunition, prohibited ammunition or explosive substance. This evidence can include witness statements, previous criminal records, mental health reports, and other relevant information. The second strategic consideration is to ensure that the application is made in a timely manner. If there is any delay in making the application, it could cause the situation to escalate, leading to harm or loss of life. Therefore, it is important to act quickly and obtain an order as soon as it becomes necessary. The third strategic consideration is to ensure that all legal requirements are met. The application must be made by a peace officer, firearms officer or chief firearms officer, and it must be made to a provincial court judge. The order must also be specific as to what things the person is prohibited from possessing. Failure to meet any of these requirements could result in the order being denied or overturned. One strategy that could be employed is to involve mental health professionals to assess the person's mental state. If the person has a history of mental illness or has displayed erratic behavior, a mental health assessment can provide valuable evidence to support the application for the order. Another strategy is to involve community members who may have concerns about the person's behavior. Community input can provide additional evidence and may also help to establish a pattern of behavior that supports the need for the order. A third strategy is to monitor the person's compliance with the order. If the person violates the order, it is important to act quickly to prevent harm to themselves or others. Compliance monitoring can also provide evidence to support the renewal or extension of the order. Overall, when dealing with section 111(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada, it is important to act quickly, gather all available evidence, ensure all legal requirements are met, and involve mental health professionals and community members in the process. The goal should be to prevent harm to the person and others in the community while ensuring that due process is followed.