Careless Storage of Firearms and Possession of Stolen Property

Several decades ago, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) disposed of spent bazooka tubes at a scrap yard. Our client legally collected firearms and militaria, so he purchased some of the scrap with the intent of refurbishing it for display in his home. A few years later, he posted the scrap for sale in an online forum. Someone in Alberta reported this sale to an Ontario-based CAF base, believing that our client was illegally selling CAF property. A CAF Military Police officer obtained a search warrant for our client’s home on the basis that the scrap must have been stolen. When the police executed the search warrant, they recovered the scrap and allegedly found our client to be storing his legally-owned firearms in a careless manner.

Our client was charged with careless storage of over twenty firearms and possession of stolen property. Defence counsel attacked the admissibility of the evidence on the basis that the search warrant was improperly granted. The trial judge found that the authorities failed to properly investigate how the scrap could have been legally obtained and had therefore overstated their case in order to obtain the warrant. Accordingly, the trial judge concluded that the warrant should never have been issued and excluded all the evidence, including the twenty firearms.

RESULT: Our client was found not guilty of all charges.