Billy was being driven around by his step-father on a Tuesday. He went to a doctor’s appointment, filled a prescription, then drove to meet a mechanic friend at his garage in Barrhaven. Once there, Billy picked up his Beretta-style pellet gun from his friend, had a brief friendly exchange with him and then as he was walking away, pointed the pellet gun in the general direction of the friend. Billy got into his car and drove home.
What Billy was unaware of was that he was under surveillance by WSIB private investigators who captured this exchange on video. After a few hours, the investigators chose to report the incident to the police.
The Tactical Unit of the Ottawa Police Service (equivalent to SWAT in the U.S.) was dispatched to Billy’s house. They arrested him at gunpoint and Billy cooperated throughout. After he was placed under arrest, the police searched Billy’s property looking for evidence without a warrant. They found the pellet gun and seized it.
Billy was charged with pointing a firearm, possession of weapon dangerous to public peace among other counts.
The mechanic friend later stated to police that Billy had never pointed the gun at him and he was in no way threatened, nor did he feel afraid of Billy in any way.
Result – Billy brought a motion to exclude the pellet gun because of a violation of his Charter rights. Further, Billy’s defence was that the pellet gun was not a “firearm” as contemplated in the Criminal Code and was also not a weapon because it was not used offensively.
Billy was acquitted at trial of all counts. This case is currently under appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal.