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Alberta criminal defense: Is a fake firearm cause for alarm?

Anyone who thinks pointing a fake gun at someone as a joke or just for a bit of fun might want to think again before taking aim. Alberta residents who do might find themselves in need of criminal defense. If the person at whom the gun was aimed doesn't get the joke, charges could be forthcoming. Pointing that fake firearm could lead to various charges in certain circumstances.

If the fake piece was used to threaten someone, even if no harm was meant or if it was in fact used in committing a crime, the one brandishing the weapon could face criminal charges. There are, in fact, some replicas that are prohibited by law. They include those that closely resemble the real deal. These fakes are also known in the Criminal Code of Canada as "imitation guns." It is also against the law to sell or give someone a replica firearm, and that includes airsoft guns.

Exceptions to the law include antique firearms or those made before 1898, as well as those that are incapable of discharging. If someone carries a fake firearm when committing or trying to commit a crime, he or she will face criminal charges. If someone points a toy gun at someone who takes it as a threat, criminal assault charges could also ensue.

Alberta residents facing criminal charges have the right to mount a strong criminal defense. Those charged would do well to seek the assistance of a Alberta lawyer experienced in crimes and misdemeanors law. It is incumbent upon the Crown to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A lawyer will study all the evidence in a case and advise his or her clients accordingly on how to proceed.

Source:, "Can I be criminally charged for pointing a fake gun at a person?", Miriam Yosowichcould, Accessed on Oct. 1, 2017

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