Buying and selling (transferring) firearms
In Canada, a firearm may only be transferred to
- 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
- a public service agency (e.g., a police force, a police academy or certain government departments or agencies)
Businesses, including auctioneers that sell firearms, need to have a firearms licence for businesses valid for all types of firearms (non-restricted, restricted, or prohibited) they sell.
If you are an executor of an estate with firearms, or an heir of a firearm, please see the Executors and heirs page.
Three ways to transfer a firearm
You do not need to register non-restricted firearms. That means you can transfer a non-restricted firearm without contacting the Canadian Firearms Program (CFP). However, the transferor (seller, giver) must make sure that the transferee (buyer, recipient) has a valid PAL. Call the CFP at 1-800-731-4000 to confirm the validity of the transferee's licence before you transfer the firearm.
- Restricted and Prohibited
The CFP must speak with both the transferor and the transferee for restricted and prohibited firearms. However, both parties do not need to be available at the same time. Follow the steps below.
- Make sure the firearm is verified.
- Call the CFP with the following information:
- If you are an individual transferor you will need to provide your full name, address and firearms licence number, and the transferee's full name and PAL number
- If you are a business transferor you will need to provide your business licence and identification number, and the transferee's full name, address and PAL number
- If you are an individual transferee you will need to provide your PAL number, full name and address, and the transferor's full name and firearms licence number
- If you are a business transferee you will need to provide your business licence and identification number, and the transferor's full name, address and firearms licence number
- If you initiate the transfer you will need to provide the registration certificate number and confirm the firearm information (make, model, serial number, firearms identification number (FIN), etc.)
- When you call the CFP, you will get a reference number. Make sure both the transferor and the transferee have that reference number.
- The CFO for the jurisdiction receives the request and will review the transfer to make sure that the transferee is acquiring the restricted firearm or prohibited handgun for one of the permitted purposes (Firearms Act, Section 28).
- The transferee will need to get an Authorization to Transport (ATT) to transport the restricted firearm to its new location. There is no fee for an ATT. Call the CFP at 1-800-731-4000 or submit form RCMP 5490.
- Both the transferor and the transferee will receive a confirmation notice to let them know the transfer is complete. After a transfer is approved the new registration certificate will be mailed to the new owner within a few weeks.
- Online (business transfers only)
The business initiates the transfer, identifies either the transferee or transferor, and obtains the required information in order to complete the transfer.
A business can use this service to transfer restricted or prohibited firearms if:
- a business buys from, or sells to, an adult who is 18 or older who has a valid PAL for that class of firearm
- a business buys from, or sells to, another business or museum
- a business sells to a public service agency
Use form RCMP 5492 for restricted and prohibited firearms. Both the transferor and the transferee must complete the form. Call the CFP at 1-800-731-4000 to get a form.
If you have the following types of firearms, you have them illegally:
- restricted or prohibited firearms that have not yet been registered
- any restricted or prohibited firearms that were registered under the former law, but not re-registered under the Firearms Act
To reduce the risk of penalties, please register these firearms immediately or dispose of them lawfully.
Do not take firearms into your local police detachment for disposal. Contact your local police department or detachment to arrange for pick up or delivery of any firearms.
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