Laws and Regulations
- Replica firearms (i.e.: "any device that is designed or intended to exactly resemble, or to resemble with near precision, a firearm, and that itself is not a firearm, but does not include any such device that is designed or intended to exactly resemble, or to resemble with near precision, an antique firearm")
- Suppressors (i.e.: "a device or contrivance designed or intended to muffle or stop the sound or report of a firearm")
- Handgun barrels that are 105 millimetres (4.1 in) and under (excluding barrels of pistols used in international sporting competitions governed by the rules of the International Shooting Union)
- Electrical or mechanical devices designed or adapted to render the trigger mechanism of a semi-automatic firearm to discharge in a fully automatic fashion
- "Any rifle, shotgun or carbine stock of the type known as the “bull-pup” design, being a stock that, when combined with a firearm, reduces the overall length of the firearm such that a substantial part of the reloading action or the magazine-well is located behind the trigger of the firearm when it is held in the normal firing position." (i.e.: only removable stocks are prohibited by this regulation, fixed-stock firearms such as the FN P90 and IMI Tavor are excluded)
- Armour-piercing (AP) ammunition, for example: KTW and THV round, 5.7 × 28 mm (excluding sporting rounds such as SS196SR and SS197SR).
- Incendiary or explosive ammunition designed for use in or in conjunction with a cartridge and does not exceed 15 mm in diameter.
- Flechette rounds
Some magazines are prohibited regardless of the class of firearm to which the magazines are attached. As a general rule, under the Criminal Code of Canada, the maximum magazine capacity is:
- 5 cartridges for most magazines designed for rifles that shoot centre-fire ammunition in a semi-automatic fashion
- 3 rounds for shotguns, tubular magazines that hold more are legal, but MUST be plugged to limit capacity to 3 rounds while hunting.
- 10 cartridges for most handgun magazines
Many common magazines are manufactured to hold more cartridges than law allows in Canada. These magazines must be permanently altered by individuals or businesses so they no longer hold more than the number of cartridges allowed by law. Acceptable ways to alter a magazine are set out in the Criminal Code Regulations.
There is no limit to the magazine capacity for:
- semi-automatic, rim-fire rifles
- manually operated rifles or shotguns (i.e.: lever-action, pump-action or bolt-action)
Additionally, there are a few exclusions on magazine regulations for certain specific firearms.
- Clips designed or manufactured for use in U.S. Rifle M1 (Garand), this includes Springfield Armory, Breda and Beretta M1 Garands
- Magazines designed or manufactured for use in Charlton rifle, Farquhar-Hill rifle and Huot Automatic Rifle that are not reproductions
- Drum-type magazines for .303 Lewis Mk1, Mk2, Mk3, Mk4, Lewis SS and .30 Savage-Lewis; .303 Vickers Mk1, Mk2, Mk3, Mk4, Mk4B, Mk5, Mk6, Mk7, as well as Bren Light MG including Mk1, Mk2, Mk3, Mk4, and any variant or modified versions of them that are not reproductions
- Stripper clips for Hotchkiss Model 1895, 1897, 1900, 1909, 1914, 1917 machine-guns, including Hotchkiss (Enfield) No. 2, Mk1 machine-guns and any variant or modified versions of them that are not reproductions
- Double Drum-type magazines designed or manufactured for use in MG-13, MG-15, MG-17, MG-34, T6-200, T6-220 machine-guns and any variant or modified versions of them that are not reproductions
- Ammunition belts (metallic or fabric) that are "not a reproduction and was originally designed or manufactured for the purpose of feeding cartridges into an automatic firearm of a type that was in existence before 1945."
- Semi-automatic handgun magazines that were manufactured before 1910
- "Snail-drum" type magazines that were originally designed or manufactured for use in the "Parabellum-Pistol or Luger," Borchardt-Luger, Model 1900, 1902, 1904 (Marine), 1904/06 (Marine), 1904/08 (Marine), 1906, 1908, 1908 (Artillery) and any variant or modified version of them
- Magazines that were originally designed or manufactured as an integral part of the Mauser C96, including Model 1895, 1896, 1902, 1905, 1912, 1915, 1930, 1931, M711 and M712 and any variant or modified version of them
- Magazines that were originally designed or manufactured for use in the semi-automatic Webley&Scott, Model 1912 and 1915
Non-restricted firearms must be unloaded and:
- made inoperable with a secure locking device (such as a trigger lock); OR
- have bolt(s) or bolt-carrier(s) removed; OR
- securely locked in a sturdy container, cabinet or room that cannot be easily broken into
- except if: (1) in areas where it is legal to fire a gun, non-restricted firearms needed for predator control can temporarily be left unlocked and operable, but they must be kept unloaded and all ammunition must be stored separately, and (2) in wilderness areas, non-restricted firearms can be left unlocked and/or operable, but must be left unloaded (ammunition may be kept nearby).
Restricted firearms must be unloaded and:
- made inoperable with a secure locking device (such as a trigger lock) and securely locked in a sturdy container, cabinet or room that cannot be easily broken into; OR
- locked in a vault, safe or room that was built or adapted for storing these types of firearms
- for automatic firearms, the bolt(s) or bolt-carrier(s) must be removed, if removable, and stored in a separate locked room that cannot be easily broken into
- must be kept in a location where it is not available for loading the firearm, unless both the firearm and its ammunition are securely locked up
- Firearms left unattended in a car must be locked in the trunk or in a similar lockable compartment. If the vehicle does not have a trunk or compartment, the firearm must be placed out of sight inside the vehicle and the vehicle must be locked (same rules apply for transport of replica firearms)
- Non-restricted firearms must be: transported unloaded (with the exception of muzzle-loading rifles, which can be transported loaded between hunting sites so long as the firing cap or flint is removed).
- Restricted and prohibited firearms must be: unloaded, made inoperable with a secure locking device, and locked in a sturdy container, bolt(s) or bolt-carrier(s) must be removed, if removable.
Non-restricted firearms must be unloaded and:
- made inoperable with a secure locking device (such as a trigger lock); or
- locked in a sturdy container, cabinet or room that cannot be easily broken into.
Restricted and prohibited firearms must be unloaded and:
- made inoperable with a secure locking device (such as a trigger lock); and
- locked in a sturdy container, cabinet or room that cannot be easily broken into.
- the bolt(s) or bolt-carrier(s) must be removed, if removable, and stored in a separate locked room that cannot be easily broken into
- must not be displayed with a firearm that can discharge it
Public Agents Firearms Regulations
When not in use, agency firearms and other controlled items must be:
- stored in a container, receptacle, vault, safe or room
- that is controlled by the public agency and kept securely locked; or
- in a dwelling place if authorised by the public agency
Other controlled items being stored in a dwelling place must be securely locked in a container or receptacle that cannot be easily broken into, unless the agency has provided other instructions in writing.
By law, a potential customer must be 18 years of age or older to purchase a firearm or legally maintain possession of one. Citizens under the age of 18 but over the age of 12 may procure a minor’s licence which does not allow them to purchase a firearm but allows them to borrow a firearm unsupervised and purchase ammunition. Children under the age of 12 that are found to need a firearm to hunt or trap may also be awarded the minor's licence. This is generally reserved for children in remote locations, primarily aboriginal communities that engage in subsistence hunting.
Long gun registration is no longer required after Bill C-19 was passed and made into law.
the history of the long gun registry: On January 1, 2001, all firearms in Canada did have to be registered with the Canadian Firearms Registry. In early 2006, the Conservative Party of Canada became the largest party in the 39th Canadian Parliament, and the new government announced an amnesty period of one year (later extended by a further year) in which licensed or previously licensed long gun owners would not be punished for not registering their long guns. The legal requirement to register as set forth by law has not been revoked; legislation to revoke the requirement to register long-guns was introduced by the government during the 39th Parliament but was not brought to a vote. It was opposed by the Opposition parties who together had a majority of seats in the House of Commons. Similar legislation was again brought forward in the form of private member's bill C-391 during the 40th Parliament but was narrowly defeated on September 22, 2010. During the 41st Parliament the newly formed Conservative majority government again introduced legislation to repeal the requirement to register non-restricted firearms and to destroy the registry database. Bill C-19 passed both the House and Senate and received royal assent on April 5, 2012. The repeal of the long-gun registry had been a long standing campaign promise of the Conservative Party.
To purchase a handgun or other restricted firearm, a person must have a possession and acquisition licence (PAL) for restricted firearms.
Canada's federal laws severely restrict the ability of civilians to transport restricted or prohibited (grandfathered) firearms in public. Section 17 of the Firearms Act makes it an offence to possess prohibited or restricted firearms other than at a dwelling-house or authorized location, but there are two exceptions to this prohibition found in sections 19 and 20 of the act. Section 19 allows for persons to be issued an authorization to transport, or ATT, authorizing the transport of a firearm outside the home for certain purposes, such as for its transfer to a new owner, going to and from a range, a training course, repair shop or gun show, or when the owner wishes to change the address where the firearm is stored. Such firearms must be transported unloaded, equipped with a trigger lock and stored in secure, locked containers. In rarer cases, section 20 of the act allows individuals to receive an authorization to carry, or ATC, granting permission to carry loaded restricted firearms or (section 12(6)) prohibited handguns on their persons for certain reasons specified in the act. These reasons are as follows: if the person is a licensed trapper and carries the firearm while trapping, if the person is in a remote wilderness area and needs the firearm for protection against wildlife, if the person's work involves guarding or handling money or other items of substantial value, or if the person's life is in danger and police protection is inadequate to protect him or her. It should be noted that the authorities almost never issue an ATC for the last reason, that is to say, because a person's life is threatened and police protection is inadequate. The vast majority of ATC's issued are to employees of armoured car companies to allow carry of a company owned firearm only while working.
Read more about this topic: Gun Politics In Canada
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