section 91(3)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

Section 91(3) states that a person who commits an offence under subsection (1) or (2) can be punished with imprisonment for a term of up to five years or a summary conviction.

SECTION WORDING

91(3) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) or (2) (a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or (b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

EXPLANATION

Section 91(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada defines the consequences of committing an offence under subsection (1) or (2). Subsection (1) refers to the possession or acquisition of any firearm, prohibited weapon, restricted weapon, ammunition, prohibited device, or explosive substance, whereas subsection (2) refers to the trafficking, importing, exporting, or possession for the purpose of trafficking any of the aforementioned items. The section states that any person who commits an offence under either of these subsections is guilty of an indictable offence, which means that the case will be brought to trial by the Crown and the accused will be subjected to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years. Alternatively, they can be charged with a less serious criminal offence that's punishable upon summary conviction. This misdemeanour doesn't require a jury and the sentence can be served in a provincial or territorial prison instead of a federal penitentiary. Section 91(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada serves as a deterrent, highlighting that firearms, ammunition, weapons, prohibited devices, and explosive substances are dangerous to society, and their possession or trafficking is a serious offence. The legislation aims to establish a safe environment for all Canadians, without fear of danger or harm from illegal sources. Any violations of these laws are met with strict punishments, from imprisonment to fines, depending on the severity of the offence. It serves as a warning to people who choose to engage in criminal activities with these prohibited items.

COMMENTARY

Section 91(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada defines the punishment for individuals who commit an offence under subsection (1) or (2). This section is significant as it provides the framework for punishment for offences that fall under these subsections. Subsection (1) pertains to the illegal possession, sale, and exportation of firearms. It also includes the trafficking of firearms. Subsection (2) covers offences related to the possession and use of weapons and includes the possession of prohibited weapons, unauthorized possession of a firearm, and careless storage of a firearm. Individuals who commit an offence under these subsections will be charged with an indictable offence and subjected to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years. This punishment is significant, not only because it gives the guilty party a clear understanding of the potential consequences of their actions but also because it serves as a warning to other individuals who may consider engaging in similar criminal activities. The punishment for offences committed under subsections (1) and (2) can also vary depending on the specific nature of the crime. For example, trafficking firearms is generally considered a more serious offence than illegal possession, and as such, the punishment for this offence may be higher. Furthermore, section 91(3) also allows for the punishment of individuals who commit an offence under these subsections through summary conviction. Summary conviction is a less severe form of punishment, and it is usually given for lesser offences. The choice between indictable and summary conviction will depend on the nature of the crime committed and its severity. This ensures that the punishment is proportionate to the offence committed. Another significant aspect of section 91(3) is that it provides a clear indication that Canada takes the possession, use, and trafficking of firearms and weapons seriously. This section reflects the government's commitment to ensuring public safety and reducing the incidents of gun-related crimes across the nation. Moreover, the punishment given under this section also highlights the need for preventive measures to be put in place. This can include increased background checks on individuals seeking to purchase a firearm, stricter regulations on the possession and use of weapons, and increased community awareness and education on firearms and their consequences. In conclusion, section 91(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada plays a significant role in the administration of justice system in Canada. It provides clear guidelines on the punishment for individuals who commit offences under subsections (1) and (2) related to firearms and weapons. The severity of the punishment and the flexibility of the imprisonment term, determined by the specific nature of the crime, reflect the government's commitment to protecting the public and reducing gun violence.

STRATEGY

Section 91(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada contains the penalties for illegal possession of firearms and other weapons. Any person who commits an offense under subsection (1) or (2) is guilty of an indictable offense and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years. Alternatively, they can be found guilty of an offense punishable on summary conviction. In dealing with this section, there are several strategic considerations that one must keep in mind. Given the nature of the offense, the penalties can be quite severe. If convicted, the individual faces jail time of up to five years. Therefore, it is essential to approach the case with a robust legal strategy that seeks the best possible outcome for the accused. One strategy that could be employed is to challenge the legality of the search that led to the discovery of the weapons. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects individuals against unreasonable searches and seizures. If the accused can demonstrate that the search was unlawful, any evidence obtained as a result of the search may be deemed inadmissible in court. This could significantly weaken the Crown's case and increase the chances of a favorable outcome for the accused. Another strategy that could be employed is to negotiate a plea agreement with the Crown. This involves pleading guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a lighter sentence. This approach may be appropriate in cases where there is strong evidence against the accused, and the likelihood of a conviction is high. By accepting responsibility for the offense, the accused can demonstrate their willingness to cooperate and take steps to mitigate the harm caused by their actions. In some cases, a defense lawyer may argue that the accused was acting in self-defense or in defense of others. This defense would only be valid if the accused reasonably believed that they or others were in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm. The lawyer may also argue that the accused had no intention of using the weapon unlawfully and that he or she was not aware that they were violating the law. In such cases, the defense strategy may focus on demonstrating that the accused lacked the necessary intent to commit the offense. In conclusion, the penalties for illegal possession of firearms and other weapons under Section 91(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada are severe, and the accused must approach the case with a strong legal strategy. The defense may challenge the legality of the search, negotiate a plea agreement, or argue a defense based on self-defense. The key to a successful defense strategy is to carefully review the evidence and determine the best course of action that will help minimize possible consequences for the accused.