Firearms Licence in Canada

On December 1, 1998 the Canada Firearms Act of 1995 was initiated and all Canadian firearms owners must have a Possession and Acquisition Licenses (PAL). The PAL replaces the old Firearms Acquisition Certificate (FAC) which is no longer in use.

Like a drivers licence, a PAL must be renewed every five (5) years.

PAL Application (1 MB)

PAL Renewal Application (1 MB)

Firearms licences can also be renewed online by visiting:

PAL Renewal Application

Those under 18 years of age are not permitted to bring firearms into Canada or to acquire firearms by any means, even as a gift, but they are allowed to use them under some circumstances.

For information, please click on the link below. Firearms Users Under 18 (178 KB)

Like motor vehicles, ALL Restricted and Prohibited firearms are required to be registered. A registration certificate will be issued for each firearm. Since April 5th, 2012, the long gun registry was abolished and Non-restricted firearms DO NOT have to be registered. Antique firearms do not have to be registered however; a verification certificate must be produced in order to identify them as such.

Everyone who owns a firearm MUST have a VALID Firearms Licence for the particular class of firearm for which they own. The firearm conditions are listed on the reverse side of the person’s firearms licence which should correspond with the firearm in that person’s possession.

If the persons’ firearms licence does not possess the condition for that particular firearm then, the person is in illegal possession of a firearm.

For more information please click on the link below.

Class of Firearms (24 KB)

Storage of a Firearm

It is important to store, transport and display your firearms safely to help prevent accidents and deter loss of theft.

Non-Restricted

  • Firearms must be unloaded and trigger locked or unloaded and locked in a cabinet or container/room which is difficult to break into. Ammunition must be stored separately.

Restricted & /Prohibited

  • Firearms must be unloaded, trigger locked and locked in a cabinet, container or room that is difficult to break into or unloaded, locked in a vault, safe or room that was built or modified specifically to store firearms safely.

    • Ammunition stored separately.

    • Automatic firearms also require the removal of the bolts or bolt carriers and locked in a separate room that is difficult to break into.

Antique Firearms

  • Antique firearms may be stored, displayed or transported an antique firearm only if it is unloaded.

Storage of Ammunition

Ammunition must be stored separately where it is not readily accessible to the firearm for which it is intended.

Ammunition can be stored with the firearm if it is stored in a securely locked container that cannot be easily broken open or in a securely locked safe, vault or room built or adapted for the safe storage of restricted or prohibited firearms.

The best practice rule is to exceed the basic requirements and keep your stored ammunition locked up. Be sure to hide the keys to it so they are not "readily available." The same goes for keys to gun locks and containers.

The Firearms Act regulations do not specifically identify the safe storage of ammunition without a firearm however; common sense takes precedent that ammunition should not be stored in microwave ovens, conventional ovens or any other storage facility or place that is unsafe by nature.

Transporting A Firearm

Non-restricted

  • Unloaded

Restricted and Prohibited Firearms

  • Unloaded and attach a secure locking device to the firearms and
  • Lock the firearms in a sturdy, non-transparent container and
  • Remove the bolt or bolt carrier from any automatic firearms (if removable) and Obtain an Authorization to Transport (call 1 800 731-4000).

Leaving Any Class of Firearm in an Unattended Vehicle

  • Lock non-restricted firearms and locked containers carrying restricted or prohibited firearms in the trunk or in a similar lockable compartment. If the vehicle does not have a trunk or lockable compartment, put firearms and firearm containers out of sight inside the vehicle and lock the vehicle.

For more information, please click on the link below:

Storage and Transport (1 MB)

While the Firearms Act sets out how firearms may be transferred and who may possess them, provincial estate laws determine the role of the executor. In Quebec, the Executor of an Estate is referred to as the Liquidator of the Succession.

While estate law may vary from province to province, an executor generally has the same rights the deceased had to possess firearms, while the estate is being settled. Even if an individual is not personally licensed to possess firearms, they can possess a firearm left in an estate for a reasonable amount of time while the estate is being settled.

For more information, please click on the link below:

Inherited Firearms (209 KB)

To turn over a firearm, contact the Hamilton Police Service at (905)546-4925 and request that an officer attend your residence to pick up the firearm.

Citizens are NOT to attend a police station to turn over a firearm.

Who can I talk with about firearms related questions or concerns?

The Canadian Firearms Program supports and promotes the lawful ownership and use of firearms in Canada by providing firearms information, guidance and service to the public:

i. Toll free: 1-800-731-4000

ii. E-mail: cfc-cafc@cfc-cafc.gc.ca

iii. On line: www.cfc-cafc.gc.ca

Hamilton Police Firearms Office 905-546-4978