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.
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:
The CFO may attach conditions at his or her discretion.
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.
Restricted or prohibited firearms must be verified by an approved verifier if:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.