section 117.04(1)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section allows for a warrant to be issued for the seizure of weapons, ammunition, or explosives from a person if there are reasonable grounds to believe it is not safe for them to possess such items.

SECTION WORDING

117.04(1) Where, pursuant to an application made by a peace officer with respect to any person, a justice is satisfied by information on oath that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person possesses a weapon, a prohibited device, ammunition, prohibited ammunition or an explosive substance in a building, receptacle or place and that it is not desirable in the interests of the safety of the person, or of any other person, for the person to possess the weapon, prohibited device, ammunition, prohibited ammunition or explosive substance, the justice may issue a warrant authorizing a peace officer to search the building, receptacle or place and seize any such thing, and any authorization, licence or registration certificate relating to any such thing, that is held by or in the possession of the person.

EXPLANATION

Section 117.04(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada empowers a peace officer to request a search warrant from a justice to search and seize a weapon, prohibited device, ammunition, prohibited ammunition or explosive substance that a person is believed to possess. The search and seizure can be authorized if the justice is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person has the weapon or explosive substance, and it is not desirable in the interests of the safety of the person or others that the person possesses the weapon or explosive substance. This provision is an essential tool for law enforcement agencies to take proactive measures aimed at preventing harm or potential risk that could arise from the illegal possession of deadly weapons or explosive substances. This provision empowers the peace officer to conduct a search and seizure operation as part of their investigation, while providing a legal safeguard that ensures that the person's rights are not breached. The section is applicable in a variety of scenarios, including instances where the person is in breach of a court order prohibiting the possession of weapons or where the person is deemed unfit to possess a weapon. This provision empowers the justice system to take prompt action to prevent potential harm, leaving the onus on the person to prove their innocence or explain their lawful possession of the weapon in case the search reveals the possession of a weapon. Overall, Section 117.04(1) is a critical provision in the Criminal Code of Canada, and it provides peace officers and the justice system with a robust tool to prevent harm that could arise from the illegal possession of deadly weapons or explosive substances.

COMMENTARY

Section 117.04(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides a legal mechanism for the search and seizure of weapons, prohibited devices, ammunition, prohibited ammunition, or explosive substances, held in a building, receptacle, or place, where there exist reasonable grounds, based on information sworn by a peace officer, to believe that the possession of such things by the person is not desirable in the interest of safety, either for the person or any other person. The provision represents an essential tool for law enforcement in their efforts to combat violent crime, terrorism, and other forms of dangerous activities that may involve the use of weapons or explosive substances. By allowing a peace officer to apply for a warrant to search the premises of an individual in possession of such things, the police can prevent a potential risk to public safety. The section ensures that individuals who are confirmed to be in possession of dangerous weapons and other prohibited devices, which could, in turn, be utilized in criminal activities, can be disarmed safely and at an appropriately controlled time. By doing so, much loss of life and property can be averted. The primary objective of the section 117.04(1) is to protect Canadians from the misuse and harmful effects of weapons, prohibited devices, and other volatile substances that are illegal to possess. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the peace officer to present before the court, reasonable and sufficient grounds, based on factual evidence, to support the application for the warrant. Once the Court established that there are reasonable grounds that the person(s) is in possession of weapons or exploded substances, and it could be dangerous to society, the peace officer will get a warrant to search and seize these items. Additionally, the warrant may also enable the peace officer to take any authorization, licence, or registration certificate related to these weapons from the person(s) In possession of them. The section 117.04(1) respects Canadians' Charter Rights, primarily the Right to Life, Liberty, and Security, as stipulated in sections 7 and 8 of the Charter. It regulates, protects and makes sure that Canadian citizens' Charter Rights are not violated and perverted. However, the section still raises a few concerns. Critics have argued that the section is too broad and open to abuse. They suggest that the provision may facilitate law enforcement's discriminatory search and seizure of private property and, in effect, infringe on an individual's Charter Rights. Critics also argue that the law could be abused in specific cases, such as cases of racial or religious profiling, which could result in an unwarranted search of a socially or ethnically marginalized individual. In conclusion, section 117.04(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a critical provision that allows peace officers to exercise their mandate in maintaining public safety and combatting criminal activities. However, as with any other provision, care must be taken to ensure that officers do not overstep their bounds or infringe on individuals' rights while carrying out their duties.

STRATEGY

When dealing with Section 117.04(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada, there are several strategic considerations that should be taken into account. These include understanding the legal requirements for obtaining a warrant, ensuring that the warrant is executed properly, and developing strategies to challenge the warrant and any evidence obtained through it. One of the key considerations when dealing with Section 117.04(1) is the need to obtain a warrant before conducting a search. In order for a warrant to be issued, a peace officer must demonstrate to a justice that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person in question possesses a weapon, prohibited device, ammunition, prohibited ammunition or explosive substance, and that it is not desirable for them to possess it. This requires a high degree of evidence, which may include surveillance, witness statements, or other forms of intelligence gathering. Once a warrant has been issued, it is important to ensure that it is executed properly. This means following all of the legal requirements associated with the search and seizure of evidence, including proper identification and documentation of any items seized, ensuring that the warrant is executed within a reasonable timeframe, and ensuring that all individuals involved in the search are properly trained and qualified to do so. Strategies that may be employed when dealing with Section 117.04(1) include developing a strong legal defense, challenging the validity of the warrant, and minimizing the exposure of any evidence obtained through the search. This may involve working closely with an experienced criminal defense attorney, conducting an independent investigation, and gathering evidence that can contradict the claims made by the peace officer in the warrant application. Other strategies that may be employed to minimize the risks associated with Section 117.04(1) include maintaining a low profile, staying out of areas that are known to be high-risk, and avoiding any activities that may raise suspicion or draw unwanted attention. Additionally, it may be helpful to establish strong relationships with law enforcement officials, community leaders, and other relevant stakeholders, in order to gain support and assistance should a problem arise. Overall, those dealing with Section 117.04(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada must be aware of the legal requirements and risks associated with obtaining and executing search warrants, and develop effective strategies for minimizing those risks. With the proper preparation and foresight, it is possible to navigate this area of the law successfully and avoid unnecessary legal entanglements.