A POL is valid for five years and allows firearm owners to possess firearms, including borrowed firearms, of any class their licence allows. Restricted or prohibited firearms must be registered. The POL does not allow for the acquisition of more firearms.
A new policy initiative, which encourages holders of expired POLs to return to compliance with the Firearms Act and firearms licensing regulations, was launched in 2008 and will continue to be in effect until May 16, 2013. Firearm owners whose POL expired on or after January 1, 2004, may be eligible to apply for a new POL, if they meet all of the following criteria:
There is no fee for the new POL.
Eligible individuals should call the Canadian Firearms Program (CFP)’s toll-free number: 1-800-731-4000
Previous POL holders with a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) application still in process may apply for a new POL under this initiative. Individuals who have had a POL refused or revoked are not eligible to apply for the new POL.
Grandfathering privileges for prohibited firearms are permanently lost when a POL expires. They cannot be reinstated after obtaining a new POL. In these situations, prohibited firearms must be lawfully disposed of. Guidance on how to lawfully dispose of a firearm can be obtained through one of the contact options listed at the end of this fact sheet.
A fee waiver, applicable to licences with non-restricted firearm privileges only, is in effect until May 16, 2013. This waiver applies to:
This fee waiver does not apply to:
A fee waiver for renewals of POLs or PALs with restricted or prohibited firearm privileges is in effect until September 17, 2012.
Individuals who renew their restricted or prohibited class POL or PAL on or after September 18, 2012, will be required to pay the renewal fee. Individuals who are adding restricted and/or prohibited privileges to their licence on or after that date will also be required to pay the fee.
For more information, contact the CFP.
This fact sheet is intended to provide general information only. For legal references, please refer to the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act and their corresponding regulations. Provincial, territorial and municipal laws, regulations and policies may also apply.