This month, the RCMP made it possible for first-time applicants to apply for their Canadian firearm possession and acquisition licence, or PAL, online.
Canada’s national police force, which is responsible for administration of the Canadian Firearms Program, launched the MyCFP portal on their website to allow prospective gun licencees to apply for their licence by completing the application, uploading their photographs, and proof of safety course completion, without the need to download, print and mail any paper application forms.
Previously, only existing PAL holders could apply to renew their licences online using a simplified form and photo upload feature.
The MyCFP portal uses secure MyKey government sign-in credentials, or a partner financial institution’s sign-in credentials, in order to access their system.
The move to online applications should reduce human error, streamline the application process, and shorten wait times, although all PAL licence applications are still subject to the mandatory 28 day waiting period before issuance.
In practice, especially during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, this wait time was much, much longer as paper applications sat untouched during periods of office staffing reductions at federal work places.
Not everyone is eligible to use the new service. Applicants who don’t reside in Canada must still submit a paper application for their PAL. In addition, some First Nations persons applying under the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada Adaptation Regulations (Firearms), minors, and those eligible for a fee or photo waiver cannot use the online portal.
For more information, see the RCMP’s page on Applying for a firearm licence online.