How are firearms regulated in Canada?
In Canada, unlike in the United States, there is no right to bear arms. Here, the use and ownership of firearms is heavily regulated by provincial and federal statutes and regulations, as well as municipal by-laws. If you contravene the laws and regulations that govern the use of firearms in Canada, you can be charged with a criminal offence or a non-criminal regulatory offence.
In accordance with the Criminal Code, a firearm includes any barrelled weapon from which a shot or bullet can be discharged and that is capable of causing serious bodily injury or death to a person.
The rules that apply to you when you are using firearms depend on the type of firearm you have. Section 84 of the Criminal Code sets out three classes of firearms, and the different rules apply to each category:
- Prohibited firearms, or firearms that are illegal to own in Canada. Prohibited firearms include guns like automatic guns, sawed off shotguns, and guns that are less than 105 mm in length.
- Restricted firearms are firearms that you can own if you successfully complete a safety course and obtain a licence to hold restricted firearms under the Firearms Act. Restricted firearms include handguns that are not prohibited, semi-automatic guns, firearms that discharge centre-fire ammunition, and firearms that have a barrel that is less than 470 mm in length.
- Non-restricted firearms generally include the types of guns that are used for hunting, like rifles and shotguns. Non-restricted firearms can be used once someone has obtained a licence in accordance with the requirements set out in the Firearms Act.
In order to lawfully own a firearm, a number of steps must be taken. First, an individual who wants to own a firearm needs to take the Canadian Firearms Safety Course (CFSC). If an individual wants to lawfully own a restricted firearm, the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course (CRFSC) must be taken. Once the course is taken, a safety exam based on the contents of the course must be successfully completed.
Once you have completed the course and the test, you must submit an application to obtain a licence. Even if you have successfully completed the safety course and passed the test, it is still possible that your application to obtain a licence will be rejected if it is found that it is not in the “interests of safety” that you own a firearm. In accordance with the Firearms Act, some of the factors that are considered when determining whether it is in the interests of safety for someone to hold a firearms licence include:
- Whether they have been convicted of a violent offence within the past 5 years;
- Whether they have been confined to a prison or treated with a mental illness associated with violence within the past 5 years; and
- Whether they have shown a pattern of behaviour that includes violence or attempted violence within the past 5 years.
However, it should be noted that these factors are not exhaustive, and under the Firearms Act a licence can still be rejected if there are other grounds that indicate it would be unsafe to provide a person with a firearms licence. Other grounds may be things such as prior criminal offences outside of the five year window, a history of alcohol or substance abuse, or the fact that the person applying for a licence is the subject of a firearms prohibition order following a conviction for a criminal offence.
If you have successfully obtained a licence for restricted firearms and would like to be able to transport a restricted firearm between your home and another place, you will have to file additional paperwork to obtain authorization to transport your gun. An authorization to transport will typically allow you to transport a firearm to a shooting club or a shooting range, from your old residence to your new residence if you are moving, to a place for repair, storage, sale, importation or appraisal, or to a gun show.
About The Author
Ask A Question
We endeavor to respond to questions within 24 hours. If your matter is urgent, please call our office or submit a request for a free consultation.
Michael Oykhman is a very professional lawyer and the first time I spoke to him he asked about my situation and he gave me some very helpful advice and assistance and also told me his odds of winning this case. During the days I was in contact with micheal I could feel the level of professionalism of him and his team, he is able to respond back to you with any questions you have within 24 hours. In the end he was as successful in helping me win my case as he had initially promised me.If you are still struggling to find a lawyer, I highly recommend Michael Oykhman.
Please give yourself a favour and contact Mr. Michael Oykhman if you need any legal advice or if you are in a terrible situation. Even-tough, the odds are not in your favour, still they will go extra miles to help you out in bad situation and get you favourable outcome. Moreover, They will work on your file even after the business hours. I don’t have words to say thanks to Mr. Michael oykhman and Kiran Cheema who had worked on my file and get me out of trouble. I’m very grateful for your assistance and exceptional service. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
I am grateful that Ms. Moira McAvoy was my lawyer, and I remain thankful to her for everything. She made a successful resolution to my case possible. Ms. Moira McAvoy is a professional, trustworthy lawyer, and a compassionate person. She is an excellent listener and knowledgeable of the law. From the start, she was an excellent guide. I did not know anything about the legal system and court, and she outlined everything clearly in advance, so I could understand things. She never rushed me through anything. She spoke clearly, explained everything, considered what I said, and provided options and advice. She kept me up to date on new information, requirements, and deadlines. She was always positive and this helped so much.
Ryan Patmore and his team are simply the best. I was bullied by CPS in 2020 and it landed me with three separate charges, assault, refusal to blow and DUI, which all went down as I was parked at a friends. After some research and a conversation with Michael, he directed me towards Ryan and at the time I didn’t know that would be a game changer in my favour! He is honest, transparent, helpful and a brilliant mind. He successfully appealed my license suspension with ATSB and then proceeded to get the crown to dismiss all my charges before trial. I never had to step foot inside a courtroom. If you are in need of a criminal defence lawyer, don’t think twice, get in touch with this firm and ask for Ryan Patmore! The guy is an absolute saviour.
Joseph Beller, from the very beginning when I first contacted and then retained Joseph as my representative I felt I was in good hands. When I emailed him with a question. I got a prompt response. We communicated often on the phone as needed. Joseph kept me informed as to the process. He made sure I knew all the potential results so I knew and could plan for the different outcomes. I know this his his job. But appreciate his professionalism and also his ability to not make me feel any extra stress. Well done.