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In order to reduce the risk of firearm-related accidents and enhance the safety of Canadian homes and communities, it is important that all applicants for a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) or a Minor's Licence have an adequate knowledge of firearm laws and safe-handling practices.
To be eligible to apply for a PAL, applicants must have passed the written and practical tests for the Canadian Firearms Safety Course (CFSC). The content of this course is controlled by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Canadian Firearms Program (CFP), and is delivered in many locations across Canada. The appropriate provincial or territorial Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) can provide information on courses.
In addition to meeting the requirement set out above, applicants for a PAL to acquire restricted firearms must also have met one of the following requirements:
Individuals who passed the CFSC prior to February 1999 are deemed to have passed the CRFSC as well.
Individuals aged 18 and older may attempt the written and practical tests for the CFSC and CRFSC without taking the courses. Individuals generally need to meet the safety training/knowledge requirements only once.
If a court has prohibited an individual from possessing firearms, the individual must wait until the prohibition order has expired, then take the course and pass the written and practical tests before applying for a PAL, even if the individual had met the safety-training requirements prior to being prohibited.
Generally, minors seeking a licence to possess non-restricted firearms must take the CFSC and pass the tests.
Until further notice, due to ongoing litigation, Quebec residents are required to register non-restricted firearms with the Canadian Firearms Program.
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.