“Ghost guns” are subject to current Canadian criminal weapons laws. A “ghost gun” is a computer machined firearm. Firearm parts can also be computer created. Guns and parts are printed using a 3D printer. They are not serial numbered and thus not tracked with the RCMP.
In Canada, there are three classes of firearms: non-restricted, restricted and prohibited. Different regulations apply to different classifications. To own a restricted gun or pistol, an individual first needs to obtain a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL). As all firearms are subject to the Firearm Act and associated regulations, it is illegal to manufacture or possess 3D printed firearm without the appropriate licence and applicable registration certificate.
Anyone who violates these weapons related laws could face up to 10 years in prison. Currently, there is no legislation prohibiting Canadians, licenced or not, from possessing online downloads of 3D printable files. Charges have been laid in Toronto, Regina, Winnipeg and recently in Picture Butte, Alberta.
Balfour Der has 40 years of criminal law experience and co-author of “The Law of Firearms And Weapons, published by Carswell.