What are Restricted Firearms in Canada?

What are Restricted Firearms in Canada

In Canada, there are three types of firearms. They are restricted, non-restricted, and prohibited firearms. Restricted firearms are subject to more rigid regulations. The list of restricted firearms includes handguns, short-barreled rifles, folding firearms, etc.

So, can you own a restricted firearm in Canada? In Canada, restricted firearms require a license. The applicants must meet the legal and safety requirements. In this article, we have shared the list of restricted firearms in Canada, the Canadian laws, licenses, and so on. Hope you will get an overall idea about the restricted firearms in Canada and make your move according to that.

What is a Restricted Firearm in Canada?

In Canada, a restricted firearm refers to a firearm that has a higher potential for misuse or poses a greater risk to public safety compared to non-restricted firearms. These forearms are subject to stricter regulations and control measures than their less-restricted counterparts.

According to the Firearms Act 1995, some regulations are outlined as restricted firearms. Firearms that include handguns with a barrel length of 105mm or longer are considered restricted firearms. Also, remember that there are restrictions and penalties for illegal gun possession in Canada.

List of Restricted Firearms in Canada

According to the Canadian Firearms Act, a firearm is considered restricted if it falls into any of the following categories:

  • Handguns: A major portion of restricted firearms in Canada are handguns. Handguns are designed to be held and operated with one hand. There are also semi-automatic handguns and revolvers. Example: Smith & Wesson M&P9 and Glock 17 to classic designs such as the Colt 1911.
  • Short-Barreled Rifles: The short-barreled rifles include rifles with lengths less than 470mm. Example: CZ Scorpion EVO 3 and other compact models.
  • Folding or collapsible firearms: Any firearm designed or adapted to be fired when reduced to a length under 660 mm by folding, telescoping, or other means.
  • Specific Semi-Automatic Rifles: The semi-automatic rifles have a barrel length of 470mm. Example: AR-15 platform rifles like the Colt AR-15.

Restricted Firearms in Canada Laws

According to Canadian law, some associated regulations are restricted. There are some key aspects of the laws about restricted firearms:

Firearms Act

The Firearms Act was enacted in 1995. This has brought a legal framework for firearm ownership in Canada. According to this act, there are three types of firearms: restricted, non-restricted, and prohibited.

Storage and Transportation

The restricted firearms must follow strict storage and transportation regulations. The firearms should be stored in a safe place, such as in a locked container or vault. These are done to prevent unauthorized access. When transported to other places, they must be unloaded and safely locked.

Authorization to Transport (ATT)

This is also a significant component of a restricted firearm. The firearms should obtain an Authorization to Transport. The document outlines all the necessary conditions for a restricted firearm owner to transport firearms.

Restricted Firearms Licence in Canada

A Restricted Firearms Licence is designed to ensure ownership and safety. The applicants should be at least 18 to obtain a Restricted Firearms License. Canadian citizens or permanent residents must meet the legal and safety requirements to buy a gun for self-defence.

The license involves training courses covering gun safety, handling, and legal aspects. The applicants also undergo background checks, reference checks, and potential interviews to assess their suitability and knowledge.

How to Get a Prohibited Firearms License in Canada?

In Canada, the prohibited firearms license is strictly regulated with some laws to ensure public safety. The prohibited firearms can also include automatic firearms, converted automatics, and certain types of handguns. Here is the process of getting a prohibited firearms license:

Complete the Canadian Firearms Safety Course

You must complete the Canadian Firearms Safety Course to get a Prohibited Firearms License. This course is required for both non-restricted and restricted firearms licenses. It provides necessary knowledge on firearm safety, handling, and storage.

Obtain a Possession and Acquisition Licence

Obtaining the Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) is a fundamental requirement to acquire the Prohibited Firearms in Canada. The applicants must go through background checks and reference interviews based on factors like their criminal record and mental health history.

Additional Training

Individuals wanting to acquire a license must also undergo additional and specialized training. This training will give them in-depth knowledge of the safe handling, operation, and storage of these restricted weapons.

Demonstrate a Legitimate Purpose

Demonstrating a legitimate purpose is one of the most significant things to obtain a prohibited firearm. The authority will then evaluate the applications to ensure that the individual has a valid reason for seeking access to these highly restricted firearms.

Enhanced Background Checks

The authority will evaluate the applicant’s criminal record, mental health history, and overall commitment to previous firearms laws. The enhanced background check will ensure that the individuals seeking access to prohibited firearms do not threaten public safety.

Chief Firearms Officer Approval

You must have an approval from the Chief Firearms Officer. The Chief Firearms Officer will review each application and consider the need for owning prohibited firearms and the individual’s overall eligibility.

Renewal and Ongoing Compliance

The firearms owner should also renew the Prohibited Firearms License at regular intervals. The owner must follow all relevant laws and regulations and continue to meet the criteria for holding a Prohibited Firearms License.

Courts in Canada take firearm offenses more seriously than offenses involving other weapons, such as knives. If you’re facing trouble, reach out to our Firearms and Weapons Offenses Attorneys for a free consultation immediately.

Do Non-Rrestricted Firearms Need to be Registered in Canada?

According to the Long Gun Registry in 1998, non-restricted firearms do not need to be registered. Currently, only the restricted firearms need to be registered.

The non-restricted firearms are considered less risky than restricted firearms. While the registration of non-restricted firearms is not mandatory, this can be recommended for some reasons in some specific cases:

  • Theft Protection: Registered firearms are easier to track and recover if stolen.
  • Legal evidence: Registration provides documented proof of ownership. It is valuable in legal disputes or insurance claims.
  • Peace of mind: Knowing your firearm is registered contributes to responsible gun ownership and peace of mind.

Final Words

Restricted firearms are more likely to pose a greater risk to public safety. You must obtain a license for restricted firearms to ensure their safety.

If anyone is interested in restricted firearms, they must complete the safety course and follow the procedure. Also, the firearms owner must follow the laws and regulations to obtain the license.


Can you carry a restricted firearm in Canada?

No, the general citizen of Canada is not allowed to carry restricted firearms in public places. The regulations governing the possession and transportation of restricted firearms clearly state that these firearms must be transported in a secure and unloaded manner.

Can you get a restricted firearms license in Canada?

Yes, you can obtain a Restricted Firearms License in Canada. For this, you must complete the Canadian Firearms Safety Course. You must obtain a Possession and Acquisition Licence, complete the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course, submit an application, and wait for the license issuance.

What are the key laws governing restricted firearms in Canada?

The key laws governing restricted firearms in Canada are outlined in the Firearms Act. These laws aim to create a balance between the rights of responsible gun owners and public safety concerns. They cover various aspects, including storage, transportation, and licensing requirements for owners of restricted firearms.

How are restricted firearms regulated in Canada?

The restricted firearms in Canada are primarily governed by the Firearms Act, enacted in 1995. These laws include the legal framework for possessing, transporting, and acquiring restricted firearms.