Will a Careless Discharge of A Firearm Conviction Result In Loss or Suspension of My Hunting or Firearms Licence?

A Careless Discharge of A Firearm Offence Is A Very Serious Offence Which Upon Conviction Will Lead To Mandatory Suspension of Your Hunting Licence, Completion of Hunter Safety Education As Well As Suspension of Your Firearms Licence and Possible Seizure of Firearms.

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carefully. responsibly. prudently. safely. cautiously.


Understanding Careless Discharge of A Firearm  Per Section 16 of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act

Deer in field.

Defence Against Charges

The Law

The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, per Section 16, provides that a person shall use a firearm without due care and attention or reasonable consideration for persons or property, lSpecifically, the charge states:

Careless discharge of a firearm

Careless use

16 (1) A person who is in possession of a firearm for the purpose of hunting, trapping or fishing shall not discharge or handle the firearm, or cause it to be discharged or handled, without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for people or property. 1997, c. 41, s. 16 (1); 2017, c. 2, Sched. 14, s. 6 (1).

Report of injuries

(2) A person shall notify a conservation officer as soon as practicable if an injury requiring treatment by a physician is caused by the discharge of a firearm while the person is in possession of the firearm for the purpose of hunting, trapping or fishing. 1997, c. 41, s. 16 (2). 2017, c. 2, Sched. 14, s. 6 (2).

As shown, section 16(1) addresses the careless discharge of a firearm while section 16(2) provides a requirement to report any injury requiring treatment by a physician.  Offences contrary to this section are treated very seriously due to the inherent safety concerns associated with the careless discharge of a firearm. Monetary penalties for these tyes of offences oftern range from $7,000 to $10,000 within most jurisdictions

Possible Penalties

As above, the possible penalties, as potential punishments, upon conviction of a careless discharge of a firearm offence will be determined on a case by case basis by the Crown and the Court. The maximum penalty applicable for an offence committed under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act may be found at section 102.  Specifically, the penalty section states:

Penalty

102 (1) A person convicted of an offence under this Act is liable to a fine of not more than $25,000, to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or to both.

Careless use of firearm

(2) Despite subsection (1), a person convicted of an offence under section 16 is liable to a fine of not more than $25,000, to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years, or to both.

Commercial offences

(3) Despite subsections (1) and (2), a person convicted of an offence under this Act is liable to a fine of not more than $100,000, to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years, or to both, if,

(a) the offence was committed under section 11, 48 or 51 or subsection 55 (3) or 58 (2); or
(b) the offence was committed for commercial purposes. 1997, c. 41, s. 102.

Cancellation of licence and other court orders

104 (1) If a person is convicted of an offence under subsection 16 (1), the court shall order that,

(a) any licence to hunt issued to the person shall be cancelled;

(b) the person shall not possess, apply for or obtain a licence to hunt, and shall not hunt, during a period specified in the order; and

(c) before applying for a licence to hunt, the person shall successfully,

(i) complete any hunter education course and any other educational requirement that are prescribed by the regulations for the licence, and

ii) pass any examination that the regulations require for the licence. 1997, c. 41, s. 104 (1); 2017, c. 2, Sched. 14, s. 13.

Discretionary order

(2) If a person is convicted of an offence under this Act, the Fisheries Act (Canada) or the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 (Canada), other than an offence under subsection 16 (1) of this Act, the court may order that, during a period specified in the order,

(a) the person shall not possess, apply for or obtain a licence of a kind specified by the court that is related to the offence; and

(b) the person shall not engage in any activity for which the person would be required to hold a licence of the kind specified under clause (a). 1997, c. 41, s. 104 (2).

Same

(3) If a court makes an order under subsection (2) in respect of a kind of licence that the person holds at the time the order is made, the court shall order that the licence be cancelled. 1997, c. 41, s. 104 (3).

No stay on appeal

(4) An appeal of the conviction does not stay the effect of an order under subsection (1), (2) or (3). 1997, c. 41, s. 104 (4).

Surrender of licence

(5) A person whose licence is cancelled under this section shall promptly surrender the licence to the Minister. 1997, c. 41, s. 104 (5).

Compliance with order

(6) A person shall comply with an order made under this section. 1997, c. 41, s. 104 (6).

Suspension of licence if fine in default

105 If the payment of a fine imposed for an offence under this Act or the Fisheries Act (Canada) is in default, an order may be made under section 69 of the Provincial Offences Act directing that any licence under this Act that is related to the offence be suspended, and that any licence of that kind not be renewed, validated or issued, until the fine is paid. 1997, c. 41, s. 105.

Summary Comment

If you have been charged with Careless Discharge of a Firearm, or a related Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act offence, then you need effective legal advocacy. DefendCharges.ca will help you to review your various options and determine a prudent defence strategy.


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