As set out in section 2 of the Criminal Code, “firearm” means:

  • a barrelled weapon from which any shot, bullet or other projectile can be discharged and that is capable of causing serious bodily injury or death to a person, and includes
  • any frame or receiver of such a barrelled weapon, as well as
  • anything that can be adapted for use as a firearm.

Following are some weapons and devices that meet the definition of a firearm but that are deemed not to be firearms for purposes of the Firearms Act and related offences in the Criminal Code. Some of these items are exempted from the definition only if they were designed exclusively for a specific purpose and are intended to be used exclusively for that purpose by the person who possesses it. However, all of the items listed below are considered to be firearms if used in a criminal or negligent manner.

  • Antique firearms;
  • Devices designed exclusively for signalling, for notifying of distress, for firing blank cartridges or for firing stud cartridges, explosive-driven rivets or other industrial projectiles;
  • Shooting devices designed exclusively for slaughtering domestic animals, tranquilizing animals, or discharging projectiles with lines attached to them;
  • Air guns and other barreled weapons designed to have:
    • A muzzle velocity of 152.4 meters per second or less and/or
    • A muzzle energy of 5.7 joules or less.