Under the Criminal Code a police officer can apply to have you prohibited from owning or possessing firearms, ammunition or explosives for up to 5 years.
This can be applied for independently of any criminal charge or civil incident of spousal abuse. This is usually initiated where the police have received a complaint of imminent danger from a person who fears your potential act against them.
To begin such a hearing a notice is given to you and a date is set. The hearing is a reference and the standard rules of evidence are relaxed. The onus to prove that it is in the interest of public safety that you be prohibited from owning or possessing firearms, explosives and ammunition is upon the crown.
These orders once made or declined can be appealed by you or the crown. In the event a prohibition order is made against you, you will have 30 days to dispose of all firearms, explosives and ammunition. During that 30 days you may file an appeal. Upon filing an appeal the prohibition order is in suspension until the appeal court confirms or overturns the decision of the judge at the hearing.
On the appeal you are restricted to the evidence given at the first hearing. You cannot put in more evidence. You cannot take the stand. If you forgot to place a relevant fact into evidence at the first hearing, you cannot enter it as evidence at the appeal. That fact is excluded. You are expected to put all relevant facts into evidence at the first hearing.
Many persons who face a prohibition order believe they must immediately surrender their firearms, explosives, and ammunition to the police. This is not correct. You may sell or give away the firearms, explosives, and ammunition during the next 30 days after the order is made against you.
If you plan to appeal the order you should not transfer away any firearms, explosives, and ammunition because if you do not have a valid FAC at the time you reverse or quash the prohibition order, you will be prevented from reacquiring your old firearms. If you are going to appeal, hire a specialized lawyer who can get the appeal in within the strict time limits. Remember 30 days is 30 days, including holidays and weekends. This is a general rule of law you must remember. The only exception is that if a final day falls on a day the court is closed for a weekend or holiday, the deadline is extended to the next day the court is open.
It is possible to have conditions and limits placed on a prohibition order so that you can still enjoy hunting and target shooting. This is not easy to work out but it can be done. To do it, strong evidence must be presented at the hearing that such a privilege will not constitute a threat to public safety.