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Selling, Giving or Trading Firearms

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When a restricted or prohibited firearm is sold, given or traded to a new owner, the registration record must be updated to reflect this transfer, and a new registration certificate issued to the new owner.

The Government of Canada amended the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act to eliminate the requirement to register non-restricted firearms as of April 5, 2012

Important Notice

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

Transfers within Canada

What firearms can be transferred

When transferring a non-restricted firearm, the transferor (a seller or giver) may contact the CFP and request confirmation of whether the transferee (a buyer or recipient), at the time of transfer, holds a licence authorizing them to acquire and possess that kind of firearm.

Restricted or prohibited firearms must be verified by an approved verifier if they are being transferred to a new owner and have not been previously verified. A provincial or territorial Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) must approve all transfers of restricted and prohibited firearms. Individuals may contact the CFP for more information on this process or for help to verify a firearm. An Authorization to Transport (ATT) is required to transport restricted and prohibited firearms. Call the CFP or submit form RCMP 5490 to apply. There is no fee for an ATT.

Note: Individuals who possess restricted or prohibited firearms that have not yet been registered, or any restricted or prohibited firearms that were registered under the former law, but not re-registered under the Firearms Act, are in illegal possession of those firearms. To minimize the risk of penalties, immediate steps must be taken to register these firearms or to dispose of them lawfully – for example, by turning them in to a police or firearms officer. Please do not take firearms into your local police detachment for disposal. Police must be contacted first to make suitable arrangements for the firearms to be picked up or delivered.

Who can be a transferee

In Canada, a firearm may only be transferred to one of the following:

  • an adult (18 or older) with a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) that is valid for that class of firearm;
  • a business, museum, or other organization with a Firearms Business Licence; or
  • a public service agency – for example, a police force, a police academy or certain government departments or agencies.

How to transfer a firearm

Online transfers

The online service can be used to transfer restricted or prohibited firearms in the following situations:

  • a business buys from, or sells to, an individual;
  • a business buys from, or sells to, another business or museum; or
  • a business sells to a public service agency.

The business would initiate the transfer, identify either the transferee or transferor, and obtain the required information in order to complete the transfer.

Telephone transfers

Transfers of non-restricted firearms (where both residents are outside Quebec) can be conducted without contacting the CFP, as registration is no longer required for this class of firearm. The transferor is nevertheless required to verify that the transferee has a valid PAL. The transferor can call the CFP toll-free number (1-800-731-4000) to confirm the validity of the transferee's licence before making a sale.

Transfers of restricted firearms by telephone can be carried out by calling the CFP and selecting the transfer option from the menu of services. Callers should have the following information ready when they call:

  • Their full name, address and firearms licence number, if they are an individual transferor;
  • Their business licence and identification number, if they are a business transferor;
  • Their PAL number, name and address, if they are an individual transferee;
  • Their business licence and identification number, if they are a business transferee;
  • The registration certificate number and firearms identification number for the restricted firearm.

The person who initiates the transfer will be given a reference number, which must be transmitted to the other party for them to reference when they call. The CFP must speak with both parties to positively identify them before the transfer can be approved. A business may, however, identify the buyer or seller involved in the transfer.

Transfers of restricted firearms are sent to the CFO for the jurisdiction, who will review the transfer, to ensure that the transferee is acquiring the firearm for one of the permitted purposes set out in section 28 of the Firearms Act. In addition, the transferee will need to obtain an ATT to transport the firearm to its new location.

For telephone transfers of prohibited firearms, please call the CFP.

Both parties will receive a confirmation notice to advise them of the completion of the transfer, and the registration certificate will be mailed to the new owner within a few weeks.

Paper application

Form RCMP 5492 can be used for restricted and prohibited firearms. This is a two-part form. The transferor must complete one part while the new owner must complete the other. Contact the CFP to obtain a form.

Exporting firearms to another country

When a firearm is exported to someone in another country, the laws of the other country as well as the laws of Canada apply. In the United States, the laws may vary from state to state.

An export permit may be required by Canadian law or the laws of the importing country. For more information, and to apply for an export permit if needed, exporters should call the Export Control Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade at 1-800-267-8376.

A firearm cannot be shipped to another country by Canada Post. Instead, a carrier company licensed to transport firearms under the Firearms Act must be used.

For a restricted or prohibited firearm, proof that the firearm has been permanently exported from Canada, such as a copy of a Canadian export permit or an import document from the other country, is required to have the records changed so that the original owner is no longer listed as the registered owner. The name, address and firearms licence number, as well as the firearm's registration certificate number and firearm identification number are also required.

This information can be sent with a covering letter to the following address:

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Canadian Firearms Program
PO Box 1200
Miramichi, New Brunswick E1N 5Z3

Non-residents with restricted firearms registered in Canada are required to notify the Registrar at the above address if they dispose of any of their registered firearms.

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.