Canadian Gun Law Summary

Firearms in Canada are mainly regulated at the federal level, through the Firearms Act and the Criminal Code. They generally apply throughout all of Canada.

Possession ·         Individuals holding a valid licence (“PAL”)

·         Non-resident individuals with a valid 60-day Non-Resident Confirmation

Registration ·         “Restricted” firearms (most handguns, certain rifles/shotguns)

·         “Prohibited” firearms

·         (In Quebec only) “Non-restricted” firearms (most rifles/shotguns)

Licencing ·         18 years and older for a possession and acquisition type licence

·         Minors aged 12-17 (“Non-restricted” firearms, possession only)

Transport ·         Non-restricted:

o   Unloaded

o   If left unattended, out of view and vehicle locked

·         Restricted:

o   Unloaded

o   Disabled with secure locking device

o   Locked in an opaque container

o   Must have valid authorization

o   If left unattended, out of view and vehicle locked

Ammunition ·         Flechettes, explosive/incendiary ammunition, and handgun ammunition designed to penetrate body armour is prohibited

·         Magazine capacity is limited to 10 rounds for all handguns, and 5 rounds for semi-automatic, centre-fire rifles and shotguns

Firearms classification ·         Non-restricted – Most rifles and shotguns

·         Restricted – Most handguns, certain rifles and shotguns

·         Prohibited – Certain calibre handguns, some barrel lengths, and certain rifles and shotguns

Open Carry ·         Non-restricted firearms only, except:

o   Cannot carry any weapon while attending a public meeting, or while begging

o   Firearms may not be loaded except in a place where lawful to discharge

·         NO open carry of restricted or prohibited firearms outside of an approved range, unless the holder of an authorization

Concealed Carry ·         NO concealed carry for any firearm or weapon in Canada except for law enforcement, or with a specific authorization (“May issue” but in practice almost never issued).

Some provinces have additional firearms laws, normally relating to hunting regulations. However, one province (Quebec) maintains a registry for “long guns” (most non-restricted rifles and shotguns). Use of firearms in Canada is also limited by municipal by-laws. Some municipalities prohibit discharging any firearms, while others permit it during certain times of day, locations, or seasons, generally to coincide with approved shooting ranges or hunting areas in their jurisdiction.

See the clickable map below for a summary of other important provincial firearms-related laws.