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Firearms Businesses (including museums)

This fact sheet provides information about requirements under Canada's Firearms Act and corresponding regulations for firearms businesses, including museums. This information also applies to any private-sector organization that possesses firearms.

Licence Requirements

A business, museum or organization requires a firearms business licence to possess, manufacture or sell ammunition, firearms, restricted or prohibited weapons, or prohibited devices. A separate business licence is required for each location where the business operates.

A business licence is valid only for the activities specified on the licence. A business may possess prohibited items only for one of the specified purposes set out in section 22 of the Firearms Licences Regulations.

To apply for a firearms business licence, form RCMP 5486 must be submitted. This form can be obtained from the Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) of a province or territory by calling 1-800-731-4000.

To be eligible for a firearms business licence, a business must meet the following requirements:

  • All employees who handle firearms for employment purposes must have a valid Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL):
    • If the business possesses non-restricted firearms, but no other class of firearms, then employees are required to hold a licence to acquire non-restricted firearms;
    • Employees must be licensed to acquire restricted firearms if the business possesses restricted or prohibited firearms.
  • Employees do not need a firearms licence if the business has restricted or prohibited weapons, prohibited devices or prohibited ammunition but no firearms. However, they need to be eligible for a firearms licence. In other words, although they do not have to submit a licence application, they must be able to pass a background check and there can be no court orders prohibiting them from possessing firearms or other regulated items.
  • Certain people connected to the business will also need to be eligible for a licence. These include:
    • Owners and partners;
    • Directors and officers of the corporation if the business is a corporation;
    • Persons in a relationship to any of the above if they have a direct influence on the business or could have access to firearms held by the business.

The CFO may attach conditions at his or her discretion.

Registration Requirements

All restricted or prohibited firearms in a business' inventory, including frames and receivers that have not yet been assembled as complete firearms, need to be registered. Restricted or prohibited firearms that are acquired from a Canadian source will be registered to the business during the transfer process (see below). To register newly imported restricted or prohibited firearms or firearms manufactured by the business, form RCMP 5489 must be submitted. This form can be downloaded from the Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) web site or obtained by calling 1-800-731-4000.

There are no registration or transfer fees.

Firearms Verification

Restricted or prohibited firearms must be verified by an approved verifier if:

  • they are being registered for the first time; or
  • they are being transferred to a new owner and have not previously been verified; or
  • they have been modified so that their description has changed; or
  • the Registrar requests that they be verified to confirm their description or classification.

Licensed firearms businesses will need to have an approved verifier on staff for inventory that needs to be verified. A business can arrange to have an employee trained and approved as a verifier by calling 1-800-731-4000.

Transferring Firearms

Whenever a restricted or prohibited firearm changes ownership, the registration records need to be updated and the firearm needs to be registered to the new owner. Both parties need to be involved in the transfer process. Any of the following methods can be used to request the transfer of a restricted or prohibited firearm to or from a business:

  • by using the CFP's online transfer service;
  • by calling 1-800-731-4000;
  • by submitting a paper application (form RCMP 5492 for restricted and prohibited firearms).

The online method is generally the fastest and easiest. Businesses will need to obtain a Business Identification Number (BIN) from their CFO to be able to use the online services.

Safe Storage, Display and Transportation

Businesses must comply with the Storage, Display and Transportation of Firearms and Other Weapons by Businesses Regulations. For more information, please contact your provincial or territorial CFO.

There may also be additional requirements under provincial and municipal laws, regulations and bylaws.

Ammunition Business

As indicated earlier, the Firearms Act requires a business or organization to be licensed to possess, sell or manufacture ammunition. Also, ammunition may be transferred to a business or individual with a valid firearms licence, or to a public agency (for example, a police force or a government department) with a valid Public Agency Identification Number. There may also be licence and storage requirements under the Explosives Act, which is administered by Natural Resources Canada. Licence fees for selling or manufacturing ammunition are waived under the Firearms Act if already paid for under the Explosives Act.


The fee for a firearms business licence depends on the business activities. Businesses involved in more than one activity only have to pay the highest of the applicable fees.

For more information on the current licence fee structure, please contact the CFP.


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.