Licensing

A firearms licence shows that the licence holder can possess and use firearms.

A registration certificate identifies a firearm and links the firearm to its owner. You need a registration certificated for restricted and prohibited firearms.

Usually if you are in possession of a firearm, you need a licence even if you are not the owner and never handle the firearm.

If a peace officer finds that you have a firearm without a valid licence, you risk penalties. To reduce that risk, you should apply for a licence as quickly as possible. You need a firearms licence to be able to register any restricted or prohibited firearms. If you already have a licence, please register any restricted and prohibited firearms.

The Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) is the only licence currently available to new applicants. It is renewable every five years. As a general rule, applicants must have passed the Canadian Firearms Safety Course.

The Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) service standard to process a properly completed individual licence application is 45 days.

When renewing a PAL with the same privileges, you do not need to resend your training information. But if you want a licence with new or different privileges, you must prove that you have successfully completed the proper training for that type of licence.

Do licensing and registration requirements apply to crossbows?

Crossbows that you can aim and fire with one hand, and those with an overall length of 500 mm (about 19.68 inches) or less, are prohibited. You cannot lawfully have a prohibited crossbow. Under the Firearms Act, you do not need a licence or registration certificate to have other types of bows. This includes crossbows that are longer than 500 mm that need two hands to use.

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