This section describes how the Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) uses Program information and how this information is made accessible.
The RCMP holds records pertaining to firearms licensing and registration. However, in the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, where firearms licensing is administered by a provincially appointed Chief Firearms Officer, there may be additional information held by the Chief Firearms Officer for the province. In these provinces, access requests should also be made under the relevant provincial legislation to the Chief Firearms Officer.
Information held by the CFP is made available under the Access to Information Act or the Privacy Act. Related policy guidelines are available on the Treasury Board web site.
The Access to Information Act allows Canadian citizens, permanent residents and any person or corporation that resides in Canada the right to access information under the control of the Government of Canada. This right of access is in accordance with the principles that government information should be available to the public, that necessary exemptions to the right of access should be limited, and that decisions on the disclosure of government information should be reviewed independently of government.
The Privacy Act provides individuals with the right to access their personal information held by the Government of Canada and protection of that information against unauthorized use and disclosure. The requestor must either be present in Canada, be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident.
Information shared with the CFP online is protected while in transit to ensure confidentiality through state-of-the-art technology. Further protection is available for individuals when they select a personal information number (PIN) and for business clients that use a business information number (BIN) when accessing their data.
The CFP tracks online activities to determine how visitors use the website and to help improve navigation and user satisfaction. Tracking occurs through the application of "session cookies", an IT tool developed for service monitoring and improvement purposes. You have the option of refusing to accept this tracking process, but you will be unable to complete your transaction online. Other methods of transaction are available by contacting us at 1 800 731-4000.
Processes are in place to detect attempts at hacking into CFP computers and prevent access to personal information. The RCMP continually monitors network traffic on the CFP website for any possible attempts at unauthorized access. In addition, security procedures have been added to the website to enhance an already secure service.
Safety-training information collected by the CFP and federal and provincial Chief Firearms Officers (CFO) pursuant to the Firearms Act is used exclusively to determine licence eligibility.
Information provided when applying for a firearms licence or certain authorizations (e.g. to transfer non-restricted firearms to new owners, to carry or transport restricted or prohibited firearms) is used exclusively by a CFO to determine eligibility for the privilege or activity in question.
Information provided to register a firearm is used to determine firearms classification or to issue a firearms certificate. Before a registration certificate is issued, refused or revoked, the Registrar will confirm that the associated licencee is eligible to possess the specified class of firearm.
This information is stored in the Canadian Firearms Information System (CFIS), a database controlled by the CFP. The CFP ensures strict procedures that allow only those employees with a need consistent with their duties to view personal information. For example, only a CFO or delegated firearms officer has authority to collect personal information during the course of an investigation in determining licence eligibility. Also, police officers verify firearms information to determine licence status before responding to a call. However, at no time are they able to view names of references, spouses or medical information.
Necessary measures have been taken to protect the confidentiality of the personal information you provide. For more information about your rights, see InfoSource, a Government of Canada publication available online, in major libraries, at government Access to Information and Privacy offices and from constituency offices of federal Members of Parliament. Personal Information Banks related to the Canadian Firearms Program include: RCMP PPU 007, PPU 037, PPU 100, and PPU 101.