- It is illegal to possess a gun (firearm) in Canada unless authorized to do so by a valid firearms licence.
- In Canada a licence is your authorization to possess and register a firearm and to obtain ammunition.
- In order for your possession of a firearms to be legal your firearms licence must be valid for as long as you possess your firearm(s).
- If your firearms licence expires and you are still in possession of your firearm(s) you may be charged with a criminal offence.
- If you are a Canadian citizen who is over 18 years of age the Possession and Acquisition License (PAL) is available to you to authorize your possession.
- Your PAL must be renewed every 5 years.
- It is required that applicants must have passed the Canadian Forearm Safety Course
For Non-Residents Aged 18 and Older:
• It is possible for non-residents to have authorized possession of a firearms under Canadian law. They must make a non-resident firearms declaration. This declaration must be confirmed by a customs officer and then a temporary licence authorizing the non-resident’s possession for up to 60 days will be issues.
• All non-residents applicants who have passed the Canadian Firearms Safety Course can apply for a five-year PAL.
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• For people 12- 17 years of age a licence will enable young people to borrow a non-restricted rifle or shotgun for approved purposes such as hunting or sport.
- Generally, the minimum age is 12 years, but exceptions may be made for younger people who need to hunt to sustain themselves and their families.
- All minors applying are required to take and pass the Canadian Firearm Safety Course .
- Their license will become void once they turn 18 years old and then they must apply for PAL.
- You may be charged with a criminal offence if you are found to be in unauthorized possession of a firearm.
The Criminal Code of Canada:
Unauthorized possession of firearm
91. (1) Subject to subsection (4), every person commits an offence who possesses a firearm without being the holder of
(a) a licence under which the person may possess it; and
(b) in the case of a prohibited firearm or a restricted firearm, a registration certificate for it.
Unauthorized possession of prohibited weapon or restricted weapon
(2) Subject to subsection (4), every person commits an offence who possesses a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device, other than a replica firearm, or any prohibited ammunition, without being the holder of a licence under which the person may possess it.
(4) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to
(a) a person who possesses a firearm, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device or any prohibited ammunition while the person is under the direct and immediate supervision of a person who may lawfully possess it, for the purpose of using it in a manner in which the supervising person may lawfully use it; or
(b) a person who comes into possession of a firearm, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device or any prohibited ammunition by the operation of law and who, within a reasonable period after acquiring possession of it,
(i) lawfully disposes of it, or
(ii) obtains a licence under which the person may possess it and, in the case of a prohibited firearm or a restricted firearm, a registration certificate for it.
- If you have been charged with a criminal offence contact Kostman and Pyzer, Barristers for a free consultation!