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Questions and Answers: two additional provisions of the Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act that came into force on September 2, 2015

Table of contents

Elimination of POLs and conversion of all valid POLs to PALs

Q1: I have a POL. What do I do?

A1: If you have a validFootnote * POL, you will be allowed to acquire firearms for the classes of firearms you had on your POL. A PAL will be issued to you when you renew your POL.

Footnote * A valid POL is one that is not expired.

Q2: I want to acquire firearms. What is the process to be issued a new PAL before it expires?

A2: Your POL card will provide you with the ability to acquire firearms immediately. You will receive a PAL card upon the renewal of your licence.

Q3: Is there a safety training requirement for converting my POL into a PAL?

A3: No. You are not required to take classroom safety training when your POL is converted to a PAL.

Q4: If my POL has expired, will I automatically receive a PAL?

A4: No. Your POL must be valid to qualify for the POL to PAL conversion.

Q5: If my POL expired, how do I get a PAL?

A5: If you have not already passed the Canadian Firearms Safety Course (CFSC), to be eligible to apply for a PAL, classroom participation in the CFSC is mandatory. Once the course is completed, you will then have to pass the tests.

To apply for a PAL, individuals aged 18 and over are required to submit form RCMP 5592 / CAFC 921E.

Q6: The Government of Canada extended a regulatory compliance incentive allowing eligible holders of an expired POL to apply for a new POL until May 16, 2017. Can I still qualify?

A6: No. As of September 2, 2015, you can no longer apply for a new POL. Furthermore, the conversion of existing POLs to PALs happened automatically with no action required by holders of valid POLs.

Q7: I submitted a new POL application before legislative changes converting all POLs to PALs came into force on September 2, 2015. Will my application be processed?

A7: Yes. Applications for a new POL or a POL renewal that were submitted before legislative changes converting all POLs to PALs came into force on September 2, 2015 will be processed.

Q8: Why do I have to pay $80 to renew my PAL with restricted privileges when I only paid $60 to renew my POL?

A8: Firearms licensing fees did not change; however, legislative changes have converted all existing POLs to PALs. The fee payable for the issuance or renewal of a PAL is $80 if you have privileges that include restricted and prohibited firearms.

Q9: If I have a PAL and want to apply for a Restricted Possession and Acquisition Licence (RPAL), can I challenge the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course (CRFSC)?

A9: No. Challenges are no longer accepted. If you wish to obtain a RPAL, you must take the CRFSC and pass the tests.

Q10: Recently, based on CFP instructions, I took and paid for the CFSC to upgrade my POL to a PAL. Since all existing POLs will be converted to PALs, will I receive a refund for the course I took?

A10: No. The legislative changes do not include compensation if you previously upgraded from a POL to a PAL and paid for the CFSC.

Q11: When will my new PAL expire?

A11: Existing POLs are still valid and are treated as PALs for the classes of firearms you are licensed to possess. Existing licence expiration dates will not be affected and you will receive a new PAL card upon the renewal of your licence.

Q12: I do not want to acquire firearms. Can I keep my POL?

A12: No. The POL is no longer available.

ATTs become a condition of a licence for certain routine and lawful activities.

Q13: What do the changes to ATTs mean?

A13: As of September 2, 2015, individuals with restricted or prohibited firearms may be eligible to have conditions attached to a firearms licence for certain routine and lawful transportation purposes.

Q14: I have a valid ATT to transport a firearm to and from a shooting club or range for the purpose of target practice. Will ATT conditions be attached to my firearms licence automatically?

A14: Yes. As of September 2, 2015, if you are licenced and possess a valid ATT to transport a firearm to and from a shooting club or range for the purposes of target practice, you will obtain, as a condition of your licence, the activities listed below.

These licence conditions authorize the transport of restricted and/or prohibited firearms registered to the licence holder within their province of residence by a route that, in all circumstances, is reasonably direct for the specific indicated purposes.

  1. Transportation of restricted firearms and/or prohibited handguns (12(6.1) of the Firearms Act) possessed for the purpose of target practice to and from all shooting clubs and ranges approved under section 29 of the Firearms Act.
  2. Transportation of restricted firearms and/or prohibited firearms to and from any place a peace officer, firearms officer of Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) is located for verification, registration or disposal in accordance with the Firearms Act or Part III of the Criminal Code.
  3. Transportation of restricted firearms and/or prohibited firearms to and from a business that holds a licence authorizing it to repair or appraise prohibited or restricted firearms.
  4. Transportation of restricted firearms and/or prohibited firearms to and from a gun show.
  5. Transportation of restricted firearms and/or prohibited firearms to a port of exit, in order to take them outside Canada and from a port of entry.
  6. Transportation of newly acquired restricted firearms and/or prohibited firearms from the place of acquisition to the licence holder's dwelling house or other place authorized by the CFO.
Q15: I do not have a valid ATT to transport a firearm to and from a shooting club or range for the purpose of target practice. Will ATT conditions be attached to my firearms licence automatically?

A15: No. If you do not possess a valid ATT to transport a firearm to and from a shooting club or range for the purposes of target practice as of September 2, 2015, you will not get the transportation purposes added as a condition to your firearms licence.

See next question for additional information.

Q16: When will the conditions be added to my licence, since I don't have a valid ATT for transport to and from a shooting club or range for the purpose of target practice?

A16: If you do not possess a valid ATT to transport a firearm to and from a shooting club or range for the purposes of target practice, you will get the relevant transportation purposes added as a condition to your firearms licence when you:

  • acquire your first restricted firearm;
  • acquire additional restricted or prohibited firearms;
  • request a new ATT during valid period of licence;
  • request a replacement ATT during valid period of licence; or,
  • renew your firearms licence with restricted and/or prohibited privileges.

Once the conditions have been added to the firearms licence, you are no longer required to request additional ATTs unless it is for a purpose other than those that have been added as a condition to the licence.

Depending on the purpose for which you acquire firearms, you either get all six conditions added to your licence as a condition (if you have acquired your firearms for target shooting) or you get just five conditions, excluding transport to and from an approved range (if you have acquired your firearms for collection purposes).

Q17: I have a paper ATT. Is it still valid?

A17: Yes. Existing paper ATTs are still valid.

Q18: Since ATTs will be a condition on a licence, and I currently have a valid paper ATT, will I receive a new licence card to reflect these changes?

A18: No. Existing paper ATTs remain valid until expiry. In addition, as of September 2, 2015, if you are a licensed client possessing a valid ATT to transport a firearm to and from a shooting club or range for the purposes of target practice, you have, as a condition on your licence, the six transportation conditions.

Q19: I don't have an ATT and would like to acquire one. What do I do?

A19: Call the CFP toll-free information line at 1-800-731-4000 to request an ATT.

Q20: Can an ATT that is "attached to" a firearms licence be revoked?

A20: Yes. CFOs still have the authority to revoke an ATT.

Q21: If I buy a restricted firearm for the first time after this change comes into force, will I be issued a new PAL card with the ATT conditions attached?

A21: Yes. Upon acquisition of your first restricted firearm, once a CFO confirms the acquisition purpose of the firearm, the CFP will issue you a new licence card indicating that special conditions are attached.

Q22: Once the ATT as a condition on the licence comes into force, will I receive all the conditions for transporting firearms on a piece of paper, as well as those same conditions being placed on my licence?

A22: If a licence card is reprinted as a result of the conditions being placed on the licence, you will receive a new licence card. On the card carrier (for the licence card) the normal standard conditions (i.e. that you must inform the CFO when you move or change your name) will be listed. The ATT conditions will also be listed on the card carrier under Special Conditions.