There are currently three types of firearms licences for individuals in Canada: the Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL), the Possession Only Licence (POL) and the Minor's Licence. Only the PAL and Minor's Licence are available for new applicants.
All businesses and organizations that produce, sell, possess, handle, display or store firearms or ammunition are required to have a valid firearms business licence.
|Province/Territory||Possession Licence||Possession and Acquisition Licence||Minor Licence||Total|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||22,916||50,002||305||73,223|
|Prince Edward Island||2,612||3,560||22||6,194|
|Province/Territory||Licences per 100,000 PopulationFootnote 1|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||14,231|
|Prince Edward Island||4,418|
Footnote 1 Licences per 100,000 population are calculated using Provincial/Territorial populations from 2011 Census
|Type of Licences Issued||Number|
|Possession and Acquisition Licence||78,018|
|Total Issued to Individuals||105,451|
|Total issued to Businesses||438|
Firearms safety training is a fundamental element of the Canadian Firearms Program. To obtain a PAL or a Minor's Licence an applicant must have satisfied the requirements of the Canadian Firearms Safety Course (CFSC). It is also possible in some cases for a PAL applicant to receive alternative certification. To own or acquire restricted firearms, an individual must satisfy the requirements of the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course (CRFSC) or have been alternatively certified, in addition to having satisfied the requirements of the CFSC. These courses help ensure that those who possess and use firearms are fully aware of their responsibility for the safe handling, transport and storage of firearms.
|Year||No. of Alternative Certifications||No. of CFSCs||No. of CFSC Students||No. of CRFSC||No. of CRFSC Students|
NOTE: These totals do not include the number of individuals who have taken the above courses in Quebec.
Licensing of an individual to possess firearms requires a variety of background checks. Applicants are screened to detect potential public safety risks based on information provided with a firearms licence application. Continuous eligibility screening is conducted over the term of the licence to identify any public safety risks that may arise over time. A licence may also be revoked following a court order or a Chief Firearm Officer's investigation resulting from a call to the CFP's public safety line (1-800-731-4000).
The Registrar of Firearms is notified of all licence revocations, is responsible for revoking all associated registration certificates, and works to ensure proper disposal of the firearms. For more information on refusals and revocations, please consult the Firearms Act.
NOTE: Reasons for licence refusals or revocations include: a history of violence, mental illness, potential risk to oneself or others, unsafe firearm use and storage, drug offences, and providing false information.
Up to June 30, 2014
Up to June 30, 2014
The registration of restricted and prohibited firearms links these firearms and their licensed owners, thereby enhancing owners' accountability for safe storage and use of these firearms. A centralized, on-line, secure database of firearms information helps police and other public safety officials carry out investigations efficiently and effectively, enabling them to quickly trace a restricted or prohibited firearm to its last lawful owner.
|Province/Territory||Restricted firearms||Prohibited firearms||Total Firearms|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||5,738||1,508||7,246|
|Prince Edward Island||2,149||742||2,891|
|Province/Territory||Restricted and prohibited firearms per 100,000 PopulationFootnote 3|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||1,408|
|Prince Edward Island||2,062|
Footnote 2 Restricted and prohibited firearms per 100,000 population are calculated using Provincial/Territorial populations from 2011 Census.
Footnote 3 Firearms per 100,000 population are calculated using Provincial/Territorial populations from 2011 Census
A restricted or prohibited firearm must be legally transferred whenever it is sold, traded or given to someone else. The registration information must be updated to indicate the new owner, if he or she lives in Canada. This process is referred to as a "transfer" under the Firearms Act.
|2011 Q 3||76,002||142,516||218,518|
|2011 Q 4||73,516||142,417||215,933|
|2012 Q 1||61,422||126,202||187,626|
|2012 Q 2||27,261||49,631||76,894|
|2012 Q 3||27,246||37,953||65,199|
|2012 Q 4||29,135||33,355||62,492|
|2013 Q 1||27,437||37,549||64,986|
|2013 Q 2||28,440||40,692||69,132|
|2013 Q 3||27,317||43,434||70,751|
|2013 Q 4||27,396||38,802||66,198|
|2014 Q 1||25,521||41,588||67,109|
|2014 Q 2||28,681||45,600||74,281|
The statistics listed for 2012 Q2 (April – June) and thereafter do not include transfers of non-restricted firearms outside Quebec after April 5, 2012.
|Quarter||Percentage within Standard|
|2011 Q 3||99.5%|
|2011 Q 4||99.2%|
|2012 Q 1||99.2%|
|2012 Q 2||98.1%|
|2012 Q 3||99.0%|
|2012 Q 4||98.7%|
|2013 Q 1||98.2%|
|2013 Q 2||98.1%|
|2013 Q 3||98.9%|
|2013 Q 4||99.1%|
|2014 Q 1||99.2%|
|2014 Q 2||99.4%|
The Canadian Firearms Registry On-line (CFRO) is a subset of the Canadian Firearms Information System (CFIS). The CFRO is available to Canadian police agencies via the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) system to assist them when responding to calls and conducting investigations. As a searchable application, police officers may query the name, address and firearms licence number of an individual, or information related to restricted or prohibited firearms, such as the serial number or registration certificate number. CFRO provides police with real-time access to the information they require in their investigative and operational activities.
|Quarter||All Query Types|
|2011 Q 3||1,781,783|
|2011 Q 4||1,594,214|
|2012 Q 1||1,601,550|
|2012 Q 2||1,705,988|
|2012 Q 3||1,774,833|
|2012 Q 4||1,572,709|
|2013 Q 1||1,589,065|
|2013 Q 2||1,757,736|
|2013 Q 3||1,675,271|
|2013 Q 4||1,331,578|
|2014 Q 1||1,279,721|
|2014 Q 2||1,506,901|
|Province/Territory||Query Count for 2014 Q2||Queries per 100,000 PopulationFootnote 4|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||25,334||4,924|
|Prince Edward Island||1,742||1,242|
Footnote 4 Queries per 100,000 population are calculated using Provincial/Territorial populations from 2011 Census
The Canadian Firearms Program operates a national call centre. This centre answers calls from the general public and licence holders relating to firearms licensing and registration.
|Year||Average Wait Time (seconds)|
Up to June 30, 2014