Firearms and Weapons Amnesty Program

This program is designed to increase education as to what responsibilities there are as a firearms owner, what are prohibited weapons in Canada and the opportunity to properly dispose of the items should one no longer want them, with limited potential for criminal consequences. The Criminal Code of Canada does not specifically speak about an Amnesty or a similar process.   The Criminal Code of Canada does allow for police officer discretion when it comes to the laying of a charge. 

Firearm amnesties have been undertaken in several Canadian communities with great success in a reduction of firearms that may be illegally owned or no longer wanted.  This is not an "attack" on the lawful hunter, sport shooter, or firearm enthusiast.  It is geared towards people that have acquired firearms in a variety of ways, and are no longer interested in taking the steps necessary to become lawful owners. Examples of this may be through a death in the family, or someone letting their licencing lapse, or a person being asked to keep something for another person that they know is illegal. It is logical to assume that many people may be unfamiliar with gun laws and concerned about guns they have in their possession and afraid to call the police to turn them in because of possible charges that may result. 

Surrendering a Firearm or Weapon
To surrender a firearm or weapon simply call us at 519-570-9777. We will take down your basic information and coordinate an officer to visit you to pick it up. Please do not bring the item into a police station or police headquarters. 
 Goals of the Program
  • To increase community safety by reducing the amount of unwanted or illegally owned firearms and weapons in our community  
  • Reduce the likelihood that unwanted firearms would fall into the hands of criminals from break-in's and thefts
  • Reduce the amount of prohibited weapons by increasing awareness as to what are prohibited and the opportunity to dispose of the items safely
  • Education regarding firearm laws, permits, storage and disposal

Limited Potential for Criminal Consequences

Participants are required to provide basic personal information (name, date of birth, address, phone number etc) to the police and sign a waiver.  The purpose of the waiver is to give the police permission to dispose of the item under the authority of the owner, or person in authority, to give it to the police. From a liability standpoint, police must be reasonably satisfied that the people relinquishing the items are lawfully doing so.  A spouse who simply does not like firearms and calls the police to come remove them from their law abiding partner would be an example of an unlawful removal. 

The Amnesty is not designed to be an investigative tool to gather information on people, but an opportunity for people to turn guns or prohibited weapons over to the police without fear of being charged with possession related offences.  There is a large distinction between possession and use offences.     

It is not anticipated that a vast number of firearms used in the commission of a criminal offence will be turned in as a result of the Amnesty.  Police will, however, investigate any firearm that may appear to have been previously used in a criminal offence, including but not limited to; a homicide, a shooting, or an armed robbery.  In the event that a firearm has been used in the commission of a criminal offence police will investigate the matter more thoroughly and possible criminal charges may result.

Other Weapons, Ammunition and Ordnance
This Amnesty will accept all weapons or ammunition that people (individuals not businesses) would like to have disposed of.  This includes air pistols, prohibited knives, mace and pepper spray, nunchaku (aka nunchuks), ammunition, dynamite, military ordnance and more. A large number of police calls for service relate to imitation firearms, replicas, air-soft, pellet guns and the like.  Should the owner of these types of items wish to have them safely disposed of, the WRPS will take these items as well. Similarly, in some cases community members may be in possession of old ammunition, or old military ordnance such as mortars and shells.  Citizens should be aware that some explosives degrade and become unstable over time and are very dangerous. The WRPS Explosive Disposal Unit is trained in rendering safe all manner of dangerous explosives. 
More Resources

Criminal Code

Government of Canada Prohibited Weapons

RCMP Canadian Firearms Program

RCMP Safe Storage Display and Transportation

RCMP Transferring Inheriated Firearms 

Ontario Hunting Regulations

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