An Ottawa man who was acquitted of firearms charges after a judge found the pellet gun he was allegedly carrying did not meet the definition of a “weapon” will face a new trial, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled on September 4th.  Previously, a pellet gun was not considered a “weapon” unless someone carried it for the purpose of hurting or threatening someone.

The ruling means that many pellet guns that are powered by CO2 cartridges now meet the definition of a “firearm” in the Criminal Code. Brett McGarry commented on the possible implications of this ruling for pellet gun owners in the Ottawa Citizen:

“As a result, they may be subject to criminal charges for careless storage, carrying a concealed weapon,” McGarry said.”

“It worries me in the sense that firearms are very closely regulated in Canada with complex regulations, and there’s a lot of people who aren’t going to understand that they may be subject to those regulations simply by owning an air-powered pellet gun,” McGarry said.

Read the story: “Man ordered back to trial in pellet gun case”, Ottawa Citizen, Sept. 4, 2013, by Andrew Seymour and Shaamini Yogaretnam

Read the Court of Appeal decision: R. v. Dunn, 2013 ONCA 539