Looking to get involved in the world of shooting? Here’s what you need to know on topics involving licensing. More information can be found at www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/information/lic-per-eng.htm
Q. What is the Canadian Firearms Safety Course?
Canadian Firearms Safety Course
The Canadian Firearms Safety Course (CFSC) was developed in partnership with the provinces and territories, national organizations with an ongoing interest in firearms safety, and many firearms and hunter education course instructors from across Canada. The content of this course is controlled and approved by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Canadian Firearms Program and was developed to meet the mandatory requirements of section 7 of the Firearms Act.
To be eligible to apply for a Possession and Acquisition Licence, classroom participation in the full CFSC is mandatory for first-time licence applicants. Once the course is completed, individuals will then have to pass the tests.
Topics covered in the CFSC include:
- the evolution of firearms, major parts, types and actions;
- basic firearms safety practices;
- operating firearm actions;
- safe handling and carry procedures;
- firing techniques and procedures;
- care of non-restricted firearms;
- responsibilities of the firearms owner/user; and,
- safe storage, display, transportation and handling of non-restricted firearms.
Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course
In accordance with the Firearms Act, a firearms safety course focusing on restricted firearms was developed and implemented on February 1, 1999. Individuals wishing to acquire restricted firearms must take the full classroom delivery of the Canadian Firearms Safety Course (CFSC) and the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course (CRFSC), and pass all the tests.
Topics covered in the CRFSC include:
- the evolution of firearms, major parts, types and actions;
- basic firearms safety practices;
- operating handgun actions;
- firing techniques and procedures for handguns;
- care of restricted firearms;
- responsibilities of the firearms owner/user; and
safe storage, display, transportation and handling of restricted firearms.
The Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) is the only licence currently available to new applicants. It is renewable every five years. As a general rule, applicants must have passed the Canadian Firearms Safety Course.
Q. How do I find an instructor?
To find an instructor, please contact the Chief Firearms Office (CFO) office or the service provider in your area as specified below.
CFSC = Canadian Firearm Safety Course
CRFSC = Canadian Restricted Firearm Safety Course
Chief Firearms Officer
Unit 1, 1680 Ellice Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3H 0Z2
Fax: (204) 984-0670
Q. How do I renew my firearms licence?
If you have a valid Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) you will be sent a notice to renew at least 90 days before your licence expires.
The fastest and easiest method is to renew online using Individual Web Services. Your application will be acknowledged immediately upon submission.
You also have the option to print a renewal form (RCMP 5614) from the website and send it through regular mail. If you do not have internet access call 1-800-731-4000 and request a form be sent to you by regular mail.
The application should be completed and returned as quickly as possible to enable it to be processed before your current licence expires.
Q. My licence has expired but I never received a renewal application. Why not?
Renewal notices are sent to the address you provided. If you did not receive an application renewal notice, you should call 1-800-731-4000 to confirm that the Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) has your correct address on file.
Since the Fall of 2003, renewal notices have been sent to every licence holder whose licence was scheduled to expire within the next 90 days.
It is a condition of maintaining your licence that you notify the CFP of any change of address within 30 days. This can be done online or by calling 1-800-731-4000.
Q. What happens if I do not renew my licence?
To be able to possess firearms lawfully, a licence authorizing possession of the firearm is required. A registration certificate is required for any restricted or prohibited firearms.
If the firearms licence expires, registration certificates for restricted or prohibited firearms may be revoked. Therefore, it is very important that the licence be renewed before it expires in order to minimize the risk of penalties under the Criminal Code for illegal possession of a firearm.
For those with prohibited firearms, grandfathering privileges to possess those firearms only apply if they continuously hold a registration certificate for those categories of prohibited firearms. To keep the registration certificates they need to keep and renew their licence.
Q. When I renew my Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL), do I need to resend a copy of my safety training certificates?
There is no requirement to resend safety training information when renewing a PAL with the same acquisition privileges. When applying for a licence with new privileges — for example, someone currently licensed only for non-restricted firearms but wishing also to be licensed for restricted firearms — proof of having met the additional safety training requirements is required.
Q. Can I submit a licence application online?
By logging into the CFP Individual Web Services, you can renew online. Online renewal assist you with filling in the form accurately and avoiding needless delays resulting from correcting your application. It also allows you to directly submit to the CFP at the touch of a button instead of relying on sending a physical form through the mail.
Q. I have a firearms licence. If I apply for a new licence to upgrade my licence privileges, do I need to pay the full licence fee for my new licence?
To determine the current fee structure, applicants should contact the Canadian Firearms Program by calling 1-800-731-4000.
Q. How do I upgrade my PAL so that I can acquire restricted as well as non-restricted firearms?
A new application on form RCMP 5592 and a new photo are required, as well as evidence of meeting the additional safety-training requirements.
Q. How do I replace a lost, stolen or destroyed licence?
To replace a lost, stolen or destroyed licence, individuals should submit a Firearms Documents Replacement Request (form RCMP 5515). The replacement fee is $25 for a Possession and Acquisition Licence, or $10 for a Minor’s Licence.
There is a legal obligation to report the loss of a firearms licence to the police of local jurisdiction and to the Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) of the province or territory where the individual lives.
Q. I do not own firearms but I am storing firearms for someone else. Do I need a licence?
As a general rule, individuals in possession of a firearm need a licence even if they are not the owner and never handle the firearm.
Q. Do I need to carry my licence and registration certificates with me when I take my firearms out hunting?
The Criminal Code states that a firearms licence and a registration certificate for any restricted or prohibited firearms must be produced for the inspection of a peace officer. If these documents are not produced, the peace officer may seize the firearms. If that was the only reason the firearms were seized, and the required documents are produced for inspection within 14 days, the police are required to return the firearms.
Q. If my licence application is turned down or if my licence is revoked, how do I make an appeal?
The matter may be referred to a provincial court judge in the jurisdiction within 30 days of receiving the notice of refusal or revocation (or by any other date allowed by the judge.) The court should be contacted for procedures on how to make a reference.
Q. Do the licensing and registration requirements apply to bows?
Crossbows that can be aimed and fired with one hand and crossbows with an overall length of 500 mm (about 19.68 inches) or less are prohibited. Individuals cannot lawfully possess a prohibited crossbow. Licensed businesses may possess prohibited crossbows for a purpose set out in section 22 of the Firearms Licence Regulations.
Businesses and individuals do not need a licence or registration certificate under the Firearms Act to possess other types of bows, including crossbows that are longer than 500 mm and require the use of two hands.
To use a bow for hunting, a hunting licence may be required and there may be restrictions on the size and type of bow that may be used under provincial hunting regulations. For example, some provinces do not allow crossbows for hunting. For more information, the applicable provincial government should be contacted.
Q. If I have a Minor’s Licence, what do I do when I turn 18?
On turning 18, individuals can apply for a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) by completing and submitting form RCMP 5592. This form can be filled out electronically, then printed and mailed to the Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) with a photo and original signatures. Individuals who cannot download the form from the CFP web site should call 1-800-731-4000 and have one mailed to them.
Since individuals had to pass the Canadian Firearms Safety Course to get their Minors’ Licence, they do not have to pass it again to get a PAL for non-restricted firearms. However, if they want to be licensed for restricted firearms, they will have to pass the tests for the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course before applying.
Once individuals have a PAL, they can acquire firearms of their own. Any restricted or prohibited firearms will be registered during the transfer process.
Q. If I have had a Minor’s Licence, do I need to pay for a Possession and Acquisition Licence?
Yes. Everyone has to pay for their first Possession and Acquisition Licence unless a Chief Firearms Officer has waived the fee because of the person’s need to hunt to sustain themselves or their family.
Q. Can I use a handgun if I am a minor?
The Minor’s Licence is only valid for non-restricted rifles and shotguns, but licensed minors may use a handgun if they are under the direct and immediate supervision of someone licensed to possess that class of firearm.