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Firearm Owners and Users Aged 18 and Older

Licence Requirements

It is necessary to have a firearms licence in order to possess or borrow a firearm or to acquire, by any means, a firearm or ammunition.


A licence is not necessary to borrow a firearm if the borrower remains under the direct and immediate supervision of a properly licensed adult aged 18 or older.

A firearms licence must be valid for the class or classes of firearms in ones possession. The three classes are:

  • non-restricted (ordinary rifles and shotguns),
  • restricted, and
  • prohibited.

Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL)

The Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) allows an individual to continue to be in possession of firearms they already own and to acquire more firearms. It is the only licence available to those who do not currently hold a firearms licence. To be eligible, specific safety-training requirements must be met.


Both types of licence allow the licence holder to acquire ammunition.


A valid registration certificate is required for each restricted or prohibited firearm that an individual possesses. A certificate issued under the former firearms legislation (prior to December 1, 1998) is no longer valid.

If a restricted or prohibited firearm is borrowed, the registration certificate must also be borrowed.

If a restricted or prohibited firearm that is registered in Canada is bought or sold, the registration records must be updated to show the transfer of ownership. Records must also be updated when a registered firearm is disposed of – for example, if it is turned in to police or a firearms officer. The local police service should be contacted to make suitable arrangements for the firearms to be picked up or delivered. Firearms should not be taken to police services without making prior arrangements. To transfer and register a restricted or prohibited firearm to a new owner, or to notify the Registrar of the disposal of a registered firearm, please call 1-800-731-4000.

Firearm 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.

Please call 1-800-731-4000 for help in verifying a firearm.


The initial fee for a PAL is $60 for possession of non-restricted firearms only, or $80 for possession of any combination of non-restricted, restricted and prohibited firearms.

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

There are no fees to register or transfer a firearm.

Storing, Displaying, Transporting and Handling Firearms

Firearms must be stored, displayed, transported and handled safely, as set out in the Storage, Display, Transportation and Handling of Firearms by Individuals Regulations.

An Authorization to Transport (ATT) is required to transport restricted and prohibited firearms. Call 1-800-731-4000 or submit form RCMP 5490 to apply. There is no fee for an ATT.


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.