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!
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