Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

Licensing

Canadian Firearms Program

A licence is your authorization to possess and register a firearm and to obtain ammunition. Your licence must be kept current for as long as you possess firearms in Canada. The types of licences are as follows:

For Canadian Residents 18 and Older:

  • The Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) is the only licence currently available to new applicants. It is renewable every five years. As a general rule, applicants must have passed the Canadian Firearms Safety Course.
  • Firearms Acquisition Certificates (FAC) issued under the former law were considered to be licences. They have all expired and need to be replaced with a PAL.

For Non-Residents Aged 18 and Older:

  • A Non-resident firearms declaration that has been confirmed by a customs officer is deemed to be a temporary licence for up to 60 days.
  • Non-residents who have passed the Canadian Firearms Safety Course can apply for a five-year PAL.

For Individuals aged 12 to 17

  • A Minors' Licence will enable young people to borrow a non-restricted rifle or shotgun for approved purposes such as hunting or target shooting. Generally, the minimum age is 12 years, but exceptions may be made for younger people who need to hunt to sustain themselves and their families. Applicants must have taken the Canadian Firearms Safety Course and passed the test.
  • Once a person turns 18, they are no longer eligible for a minor's licence. Instead, they must apply for a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) and pay the applicable fee. Currently, the fee only applies to the first PAL.

Note

Any of the licences listed above will allow you to possess a firearm and obtain ammunition in Canada. Only the Possession and Acquisition Licence will allow you to acquire or permanently import a firearm.

For Firearms Businesses

A Firearms Business Licence will permit a business to carry on only those firearm-related activities specified on the licence.