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 are
considered to be licences. They need to be replaced with a PAL
before they expire.
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
- 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.
For Firearms Business
Business Licence will permit a business to carry on only those
firearm-related activities specified on the licence.
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.