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Criminal - Sentencing - Firearms

. R. v. Smith

In R. v. Smith (Ont CA, 2023) the Court of Appeal considers sentencing for (loaded) firearms offence:
[7] The possession of a loaded handgun is a very serious offence. It is acknowledged that such conduct will normally attract a penitentiary term of imprisonment: R. v. Morris, 2021 ONCA 680, 159 O.R. (3d) 641 at para. 151. If a penitentiary term of imprisonment cannot be excluded, then a conditional sentence should not be imposed: R. v. Proulx, 2000 SCC 5, [2000] 1 S.C.R. 61, at para. 58.
. R. v. Showbeg

In R. v. Showbeg (Ont CA, 2023) the Court of Appeal considered sentencing for repeated firearms prohibitions violations:
[5] Regarding the issue of concurrent sentences, the sentencing judge did not explain why he was departing from the general rule that separate violations of prohibition orders require consecutive sentences to ensure firearm prohibition orders do not go unpunished. As stated by this court in R. v. Claros, 2019 ONCA 626, at para. 53:
More importantly, the fact that two offences relating to the breach of a prohibition order occur in close succession, or even at the same time, is not a basis for imposing concurrent sentences. The principle that such offences should be served consecutively is intended to ensure that disregard of firearm prohibition orders, imposed in the interest of public safety, does not go unpunished. This principle also recognizes the fact that the breach of a prohibition order is different behaviour than the associate offences, engaging different social interests.
[6] As an alternative to consecutive sentences, jurisprudence from this court has suggested that breaches of firearm prohibitions can be taken into account as a significant aggravating factor when fixing the appropriate sentence on a firearm charge. In these circumstances, a concurrent sentence on a charge of breach of a prohibition order may be imposed: R. v. McCue, 2021 ONCA 273, at para. 22. ....


[9] In the result, leave to appeal sentence is granted. The sentence appeal is allowed in part. A lifetime firearm prohibition pursuant to s. 109(1)(b) of the Criminal Code is imposed. ...


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Last modified: 25-09-23
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