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Firearm Safety-Training Requirements

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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.

Requirements for PAL Applicants

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.

Exceptions

  • The Attorneys General of Manitoba and Quebec designated some provincial hunter-safety courses as equivalent to the CFSC. Individuals who passed one of those courses before 1995 do not need to pass the CFSC.
  • At his or her discretion, a CFO may offer "alternative certification" to an individual if the CFO is satisfied that the individual's knowledge of firearms laws and safe-handling practices meets the standards set for licensing.

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.

Note

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.

Requirements for a Minor's Licence

Generally, minors seeking a licence to possess non-restricted firearms must take the CFSC and pass the tests.

Important Notice

Until further notice, due to ongoing litigation, Quebec residents are required to register non-restricted firearms with the Canadian Firearms Program.

Information

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.

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