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B.C. Reg. 203/98
O.C. 722/98
Deposited June 11, 1998
effective July 1, 1998

Police Act

POLICE FIREARM REGULATION

Contents

  1 Definitions
  2 Application of this regulation
  3 Firearms and ammunition
  4 Maintenance and inspection of firearms
  5 Use of firearms
  6 Discharge of firearm by member
  7 Discharge of firearm by chief constable
  8 Surrender of discharged firearm
  9 Report

Definitions

1 In this regulation:

"Act" means the Police Act;

"ammunition" means a projectile intended for use with a firearm;

"chief constable" means

(a) in relation to a municipal police department, the chief constable and includes an acting chief constable, and

(b) in relation to a designated policing unit, the chief officer of the unit and includes an acting chief officer;

"firearm" means a firearm as defined in section 84 (1) of the Criminal Code (Canada);

"supervisor" means a police officer of the rank of corporal or above.

Application of this regulation

2 (1) This regulation applies only in respect of police forces described in section 1.1 (b) and (c) of the Act.

(2) Sections 5, 6 (1) and (2), 7 (1) and 9 do not apply to the discharge of a firearm in target practice or in ordinary firearm maintenance, done in accordance with the rules of the police force.

Firearms and ammunition

3 (1) Subject to subsection (3), if a chief constable carries a firearm or authorizes a member of his or her police force to carry a firearm, the firearm must be a semi- automatic pistol with the following specifications:

(a) double/single or double action-only trigger mechanism;

(b) single action trigger force of not less than 1.36 kg;

(c) hammer/firing pin block safety mechanism;

(d) barrel of not less than 76 mm and not more than 127 mm in length.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), the ammunition used in a firearm described under subsection (1) must be 0.40 calibre Smith and Wesson factory loaded cartridges with the following specifications:

(a) hollow point bullet design;

(b) bullet weight no less than 9.523 grams (147 grain);

(c) muzzle velocity between 290 m/second to 396 m/second, when fired in a firearm referred to in subsection (1).

(3) The chief constable or a police officer designated in writing by the chief constable may authorize a member of his or her police force to carry, for a special purpose, a firearm and ammunition of a type other than that referred to in this section.

(4) If an authorization is made under subsection (3), the chief constable must, on the request of the director, submit a report on all special firearms and ammunition issued and the reason for issuing them.

(5) Before a firearm or ammunition is issued under this section, the chief constable or a police officer designated by the chief constable must be satisfied that the officer to whom it is issued has received instructions on, and is competent in, its use.

(6) A member of a police force must not carry a firearm or ammunition other than the firearm and ammunition issued by the chief constable or police officer designated by the chief constable.

Maintenance and inspection of firearms

4 (1) A chief constable must ensure that each firearm in the inventory of the chief constable's police force is maintained and in good working order.

(2) Police armorers, certified as qualified by the director, must conduct an inspection of the firearms of each police force every 2 years.

Use of firearms

5 (1) A member of a police force must not draw a firearm in the performance of his or her duty unless the member has reasonable grounds for believing it necessary for

(a) protecting his or her life or the life of another person, or

(b) apprehending or detaining a person whom the member believes to be dangerous.

(2) A member of a police force must not discharge a firearm in the performance of his or her duty unless the member has reasonable grounds for believing it necessary for one or more of the following purposes:

(a) defending his or her life or the life of another person;

(b) effecting the apprehension of a person whom the member has reasonable grounds to believe is dangerous;

(c) destroying a potentially dangerous animal or one that is so badly injured that humanity requires its release from further suffering;

(d) giving an alarm or calling for assistance for an important purpose;

(e) warning a person in order to gain control of a situation that the member reasonably believes may result, if allowed to continue, in death or serious bodily harm to any person when there is no reasonably foreseeable likelihood of injury or death to an innocent person resulting from the warning shot.

(3) Before discharging a firearm, a member of a police force must be satisfied that assistance and a lesser means of force are not readily available or would not gain control over a dangerous situation.

Discharge of firearm by member

6 (1) If a member of a police force other than the chief constable discharges a firearm while on duty, the member must notify his or her immediate supervisor of the incident.

(2) The supervisor notified under subsection (1) must

(a) investigate the reason for the discharging of the firearm, and

(b) submit a full report to the chief constable, including a recommendation for further training on proper firearm safety procedures if the supervisor considers that insufficient training may have contributed to the discharging of the firearm.

(3) If a person is killed or injured as a result of the discharge of a firearm by a member a police force other than the chief constable, the chief constable must promptly initiate an investigation into the incident.

(4) On completion of the investigation under subsection (3), the chief constable must submit a report of that investigation to the chair of the board.

(5) On reviewing the report under subsection (4), the chair may make any further inquiries into the incident that the chair considers necessary.

Discharge of firearm by chief constable

7 (1) If a chief constable discharges a firearm while on duty, the chief constable must submit a full report of the incident to the chair of the board.

(2) If a person is killed or injured as a result of the discharge of a firearm by a chief constable,

(a) the chief constable must promptly notify the chair of the board, and

(b) the chair must promptly initiate an investigation into the incident.

(3) If the chair is of the opinion that an independent investigation into an incident under this section is warranted, the chair may request assistance under section 68 of the Act from another police force, including the provincial police force.

(4) The chair may make any inquiries into an incident under this section that the chair considers necessary.

Surrender of discharged firearm

8 If a person is killed or injured as a result of the discharge of a firearm by a member of a police force, including a chief constable, the member must immediately surrender the firearm for ballistic testing to the member's supervisor or an investigating officer.

Report

9 (1) At the end of each calendar year, a chief constable must submit to the director a statistical report on all discharges of firearms by members of the chief constable's police force.

(2) A report under subsection (1) must include the following information, as applicable:

(a) the respective number of shots fired by revolvers, rifles, shotguns and gas guns;

(b) the number of police officers involved in each incident;

(c) the number of shots fired intentionally;

(d) the number of shots fired unintentionally;

(e) the number of persons injured as a result of shots fired;

(f) the number of persons killed as a result of shots fired;

(g) all damage to property resulting from shots fired.

Note: This regulation repeals B.C. Reg. 602/77, the Police Firearm Regulations.

[Provisions of the Police Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 367, relevant to the enactment of this regulation: section 74]


Copyright © 1998: Queen's Printer, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada