Indigenous peoples

  • must be a member of one of the Indigenous peoples of Canada (Indian, Inuit, or Métis) or a beneficiary under a treaty included in Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982
  • must be a member of an Indigenous community
  • must engage in the traditional hunting practices of a community

Applying for a firearms licence

The Aboriginal Peoples of Canada Adaptations Regulations (Firearms) help Indigenous peoples with problems they may face when obtaining a Possession and Acquisition Licence. If there are language difficulties, you can ask a translator or interpreter to complete the PAL application form. If you are unable to make a written statement on a form, someone else can write an oral statement on your behalf.

Indigenous applicants who are concerned about being refused a licence, or about having conditions placed on their licence, can ask an elder or leader for a recommendation to confirm how important it is for you to engage in traditional hunting practices. The Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) must take these recommendations into consideration.

Alternative safety certification

Before applying for a licence, you must complete the firearms safety training. However, you may be able to ask for alternative safety certification. You may not need to take the firearms safety course or pass the tests if you meet one of the criteria below:

  • Indigenous elder — may ask for alternative certification because of your status as an elder, but you must prove your knowledge of firearms safety and firearms laws to a CFO.
  • Indigenous adult (18+) — may ask for alternative certification if the safety course is not reasonably available or accessible because of time, location, or cost. You will also need a recommendation from an elder or a leader in your community confirming that you have the necessary firearms knowledge.
  • Indigenous minor (under 18) — must provide the CFO with a recommendation from an Indigenous elder, an Indigenous community leader, or an adult who
    • is at least 18 years old,
    • has known the minor for at least six months before the application, and
    • has been safety certified by a CFO.

The recommendation must state the applicant has the necessary knowledge to be certified.

Treaty ammunition

Under the Firearms Act, ammunition can only be transferred to a person who already has a firearms licence. However, there are eight (8) historical treaties between the Government of Canada and some First Nations. These treaties provide those First Nations with certain amounts of ammunition on an ongoing, annual basis. The Firearms Act has been adapted to permit the transfer of ammunition to beneficiaries even if they do not have a firearms licence. This ammunition is often distributed as currency. Beneficiaries must have a valid firearms licence to buy ammunition.

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