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Old November 21, 2013, 10:20 AM   #1
EffInAZ
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Shipping/storing question

Hi everyone,

My husband is separating from the military after 10 years and we are headed to Ohio from Arizona.

We own two handguns, a 9mm registered in my name in AZ as an AZ resident, and a .45 ACP registered in his name in TX as a TX resident.

Unfortunately, we are not staying in OH and have no friends or family in OH. We are going to my home in Montreal, Canada for a few months until husband starts his new job.

Itinerary is :

Arizona - Canada by road.
Canada for 45 days.
Canada - Ohio by road.

In comes the issue with firearms. This is what I've learned so far.

A - We cannot ship them as household goods. The transporter forbids it.
B - We cannot bring them with us to Canada. Bringing handguns to Canada is about on par with giving birth in terms of pain level.
C - We cannot ask a friend in AZ to ship the guns to us once we make it to Ohio, as Federal law only allows you to ship a gun to yourself.
D - We cannot store a firearm in a storage facility in Ohio, so while we go through Ohio on our way to Canada, there is nowhere to legally store the weapon (still wondering about that one, do gun stores and ranges offer storage services?).

So... what are we supposed to do?

Thank you.
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Old November 21, 2013, 10:55 AM   #2
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Couple of clarifications - neither TX nor AZ have gun registration, so they aren't really "registered" in those states even though you may have purchased them there.

In the long run, it may be cheaper to sell them before you leave and re-buy similar guns when you get to Ohio. Doing FFL transfers to/from friends at both ends plus shipping is going to cost something like $100 per gun at best.
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Old November 21, 2013, 11:06 AM   #3
EffInAZ
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I understand what you mean. Because we live on a military installation, they are "registered", but I agree that probably means nothing outside of post.

Is there any way a private range of firearms dealer in Ohio would keep them for us for 45 days in exchange for payment? We can drive there ourselves, we just aren't staying.
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Old November 21, 2013, 01:18 PM   #4
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I tried a few "temporary firearm storage" searches but didn't really find anything that looked like an inexpensive sure bet. You might want to talk to a gun retailer or dealer in Ohio and see if they can store them for you, or if they have any ideas.
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Old November 21, 2013, 01:52 PM   #5
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One thing you might consider is contacting some gunsmiths in Ohio and see if they would store the guns for you. I assume it would be legal to leave the guns with them and they generally have some level of secure storage.
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Old November 21, 2013, 02:44 PM   #6
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? Safe deposit box in a bank ?

Heck, I don't know... That's how Jason Bourne does it.
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Old November 21, 2013, 02:46 PM   #7
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Do you have a friend or relative in Ohio that would keep them at their home?
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Old November 21, 2013, 02:47 PM   #8
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Could she take them to a gunsmith in Ohio and have him perform a cleaning and safety check? "Here are our guns we'd like checked and I'll be back to pick them up in 45 days."

Check with the gunsmith ahead of time obviously.

edit: good point jmhyer - a safe deposit box in Ohio.
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Old November 21, 2013, 03:35 PM   #9
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I can not say for sure if it is entirely above board but I had a friend in a similar transfer situation when I was in the Navy. He had a friend where he was going and mailed them to himself at the friend's house and the friend left the package unopened tell he came to pick them up. You would need to do more checking to see if that is legal or not.

Surprised to hear you can not ship in household goods. I was always allowed to but did not because I preferred to move them myself. Also I heard a number of stories where they got "lost" in transit. Insurance covered them but you can not replace the shotgun grandpa gave you.
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Old November 21, 2013, 03:52 PM   #10
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EffinAZ,

I don't believe C is true. There is no good reason that you can't box up your guns to ship them to yourself and get an agent (friend, landlord, whatever) to keep the box and take it to UPS on your behalf. That is how hunting lodges operate.

It is also completely legal to have the mover take it, and many do. You might want to look into a different moving service. Ship them in a locked document safe.

Another way to go is to find a place that you'll be driving through to and from Canada. Rent a locker at a gun range or get a safety deposit box.

Ship the gun to an attorney in Ohio. This is fine as long as they don't open it (hunting lodge rules, again.) I say attorney because it is someone you can trust just because you're paying them.

Rent a mailbox at a private mailbox company. (Not the post office.) As long as they can sign for deliveries and your shipment is secure, no problem. You aren't violating any laws by doing this, and UPS cannot mark what is in the box, so the mailbox place won't know what they're holding for you. (I woulnd't use UPS to ship to a USP store - keep the shipper and post box companies separate.)

Finally, see if there is a shooting range near your new home in Ohio. Ranges often store gun for their clients. You may have to get a membership or pay for the storage, but that avoids most of the perceived problems. Make sure they understand that you aren't transferring anything, just shipping the guns to yourself.



Remember - these are YOUR guns, and as long as you are the ultimate recipient it doesn't matter who handles the box on the way to you. As long as the box isn't opened it is no one's business that guns are in them. You can ship them to yourself through other people and be in full compliance with the law.

Also, get all your household goods covered under homeowners or renters insurance. The coverage you get from the moving company is worthless. UPS or FedEx insurance is decent, but won't cover the box once it gets to wherever.
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Old November 21, 2013, 05:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RX-79G
I don't believe C is true. There is no good reason that you can't box up your guns to ship them to yourself and get an agent (friend, landlord, whatever) to keep the box and take it to UPS on your behalf. That is how hunting lodges operate.
The C she described was to have a friend (not herself or her husband) ship the guns to Ohio after they arrive there. The law says that a person may ship a firearm to himself. BATFE guidance has established that this includes shipping to yourself in care of a third party, and that the third party may hold the package without opening it until the owner of the firearm can take possession.

It would seem that there is little functional difference between what the BATFE has said is okay, and having the owner package the firearm(s) and seal the package and then leave the sealed package for a friend to ship 45 days later ... but the devil is in the details. Regardless of who seals the box, if a friend delivers the package to the common carrier, then it is the friend -- not the owner -- who is shipping the firearm(s), and that's not what the law allows.

The problem with shipping to an FFL in Ohio is that upon arrival in Ohio the owners of the guns would have to go through the whole 4473 and background check process in order to reclaim their own firearms. The way around that would be IF an arrangement can be made with an FFL to have the FFL receive the package and NOT open it. I'm not sure how that would square with BATFE regulations that FFLs must enter all acquisitions into their bound book within 24 hours of receipt -- the question would be whether holding a sealed package for a customer does or does not constitute "acquisition" on the part of the FFL.
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Old November 21, 2013, 07:21 PM   #12
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OP........Federal law allows you to ship it directly to someone you know in Ohio, but addressed TO YOU in care of that person. You and ONLY you can open the package. If any other person opens the package it becomes an illegal interstate transfer.

The problem is………neither FedEx or UPS will accept shipments addressed to nonlicensees. USPS only allows nonlicensees to mail rifles and shotguns…..handguns are only mailable by licensed dealers and manufacturers. Failure to notify the common carrier that you are shipping a firearm interstate to a nonlicensee is a Federal crime.

I recommend that the OP contact licensed dealers in the same city in Ohio where they plan to live.

Be sure that dealer will be willing to store the firearms until you actually move to Ohio.
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Old November 21, 2013, 07:31 PM   #13
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A bit sneaky, but how about if you take the guns to Ohio and put them on consignment with an Ohio dealer. Set the price you want pretty high. When you get back in 45 days, either the gun(s) will have been sold, in which case you have the money, or the gun(s) will not have been sold, in which case you take them off consignment.

Jim
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Old November 21, 2013, 07:36 PM   #14
dogtown tom
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STOP giving bad advice!

Quote:
RX-79G EffinAZ,
I don't believe C is true. There is no good reason that you can't box up your guns to ship them to yourself and get an agent (friend, landlord, whatever) to keep the box and take it to UPS on your behalf. That is how hunting lodges operate.
"No good reason"? How about its a violation of Federal law?
Federal law/ATF regs are clear....ONLY the actual owner can ship a firearm interstate, addressed to himself, without violating Federal law. If anyone else does it its an illegal interstate transfer and a Federal crime.




Quote:
Ship the gun to an attorney in Ohio. This is fine as long as they don't open it (hunting lodge rules, again.) I say attorney because it is someone you can trust just because you're paying them.
Actually ANYONE in Ohio would be fine.....as long as the package remains unopened. The problem is finding a carrier that will accept a firearm shipment addressed to a nonlicensee.

There is no such thing as "hunting lodge rules"..........they have the same restrictions as everyone else.




Quote:
Rent a mailbox at a private mailbox company. (Not the post office.) As long as they can sign for deliveries and your shipment is secure, no problem. You aren't violating any laws by doing this, and UPS cannot mark what is in the box, so the mailbox place won't know what they're holding for you. (I woulnd't use UPS to ship to a USP store - keep the shipper and post box companies separate.)
Except neither UPS or FedEx will accept a firearm shipment addressed to a nonlicensee. OP cannot mail a handgun via USPS either.




Quote:
Finally, see if there is a shooting range near your new home in Ohio. Ranges often store gun for their clients. You may have to get a membership or pay for the storage, but that avoids most of the perceived problems. Make sure they understand that you aren't transferring anything, just shipping the guns to yourself.
Again, how? Neither UPS, FedEx or USPS will accept a handgun for shipment to a nonlicensee. Failure to notify the carrier that you are shipping a handgun interstate to a nonlicensee is a Federal crime.



Quote:
Remember - these are YOUR guns, and as long as you are the ultimate recipient it doesn't matter who handles the box on the way to you.....
Totally, completely and wholly wrong.




Quote:
As long as the box isn't opened it is no one's business that guns are in them.
Again, you haven't a clue.




Quote:
You can ship them to yourself through other people and be in full compliance with the law.
You are seriously mistaken and have not read a single paragraph of Federal law or ATF regs.
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Old November 21, 2013, 08:10 PM   #15
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Unless it violates state law in Ohio (I have no idea), keeping them in a safety deposit box, as jmhyer suggested, may be your answer. I've done it for years in certain situations. About as safe and hassle free as it gets. The bank doesn't know or care what you put in the box and you put your items in the box in a private room.
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Old November 21, 2013, 10:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burrhead
Unless it violates state law in Ohio (I have no idea), keeping them in a safety deposit box, as jmhyer suggested, may be your answer. I've done it for years in certain situations. About as safe and hassle free as it gets. The bank doesn't know or care what you put in the box and you put your items in the box in a private room.
And how are the guns supposed to get into the safe deposit box in Ohio? Did you read the OP's post?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EffInAZ
Itinerary is :

Arizona - Canada by road.
Canada for 45 days.
Canada - Ohio by road.
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Old November 22, 2013, 01:25 AM   #17
RX-79G
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Dogtown,

I wasn't aware that UPS and FEDEX had changed their rules to where you can't ship to yourself any more. It is legal.

And having someone else hold your boxed, addressed gun until the shipper gets it doesn't mean that they are "shipping it". You box it, you address it, you pay for it, you shipped it. This isn't a chain of custody issue, or you wouldn't be able to legally ship to yourself at someone else's address.

There are enough restrictions on gun owners without coming up with more through creative interpretation.

As it doesn't sound like the OP is going through Ohio, so her best options are shipping to an FFL in Ohio, shipping from an AZ FFL who'll hold it, or find a US stopover town to stow them in.
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Old November 22, 2013, 09:05 AM   #18
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Quote:
Safe deposit box in a bank ?
Works like a charm and a lot cheaper as well
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Old November 22, 2013, 09:38 AM   #19
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Of course, having access to a safe deposit box is dependent on one being available in a convenient location.
Some banks only rent them out to their regular customers.
Not a problem if you have an account with a bank in your new home town in Ohio.
Or they may have more customers than boxes.
No telling until you get there.
Are you heading to Montreal by way of Ohio, anyway?
If you're going there via NY state, that's about as bad as Canada.
So, the guns will have to be dropped off in Ohio, either way.
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Old November 22, 2013, 09:57 AM   #20
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Quote:
OP said: Is there any way a private range of firearms dealer in Ohio would keep them for us for 45 days in exchange for payment? We can drive there ourselves, we just aren't staying.
It looks like the OP is/can go through Ohio on the way to Montreal. They are driving and Ohio is not out of the way to Canada. So, it appears to me that the best option is to find a place in the town you are going to live in in Ohio, drive there and drop off the guns in a safety deposit box or find a gunsmith that will service them and be willing to hold them until you get back. Problem solved. That way you don't have to worry about all the legalities of shipping but do keep in mind the storage requirements of the states you will be driving through on the way.
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Old November 22, 2013, 11:15 AM   #21
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Quote:
RX-79G ......And having someone else hold your boxed, addressed gun until the shipper gets it doesn't mean that they are "shipping it". You box it, you address it, you pay for it, you shipped it. This isn't a chain of custody issue, or you wouldn't be able to legally ship to yourself at someone else's address.
You are wholly and completely wrong.......and note your last sentence.

When YOU ship YOUR firearm interstate, addressed to YOURSELF, YOU never relinquish possession. Leaving it with someone else to deliver it to the carrier DOES BREAK the chain of possession. As would someone other than yourself opening the package at its destination.

Federal law doesn't give a rats hiney who the owner is, but who is in POSSESSION. If you disagree you need to find the ATF regulation that supports that.

Here's the FAQ from ATF:
Quote:
Q: May a nonlicensee ship firearms interstate for his or her use in hunting or other lawful activity?http://www.atf.gov/content/firearms-...rms-additional

Yes. A person may ship a firearm to himself or herself in care of another person in the State where he or she intends to hunt or engage in any other lawful activity. The package should be addressed to the owner. Persons other than the owner should not open the package and take possession of the firearm.
Note the word "possession", and note that it does not say someone other than yourself can ship it to you. Doing so becomes an illegal interstate transfer.



Quote:
There are enough restrictions on gun owners without coming up with more through creative interpretation.
I agree, but unlike you I have posted information that supports my claims.....now its your turn.
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Old November 22, 2013, 01:22 PM   #22
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You just made my point. The law says that someone else holding a box with your gun in it is NOT possession.

It is only your special interpretation that the period when someone holds your boxed firearm can only be after shipment. It doesn't say that. It does say that possession occurs when the box is opened.

UPS is not an FFL or government entity. If handling a gun in a box is possession, then shipping it would be impossible because every employee would be in possession. Same thing with a moving company. Magically, they are not.

Asking a friend to pass a sealed box to FEDEX is no different than one FEDEX employee handing it to another. All of those people are just serving as couriers, not taking possession.

The whole system is only possible because it does not demand an individual chain of custody.

Next time you go to a gun shop and an employee whose name isn't on the FFL hands you a gun to look at, think about what your ideas about "possession" imply just happened. Did you just take possession? Did you just get loaned a gun for sporting purposes?

The intent of the law is to prevent illegal interstate transfers, not create felons. No one is going to be investigated, arrested or prosecuted for handing off a box.
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Old November 22, 2013, 03:26 PM   #23
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Quote:
RX-79G You just made my point. The law says that someone else holding a box with your gun in it is NOT possession.
No, it doesn't say that at all.
What it DOES say is that if YOU ship a firearm interstate addressed to you, the recepient does not violate the law unless they open the box. You are completely ignoring or ignorant of the /federal laws regarding interstate commerce in firearms.




Quote:
It is only your special interpretation that the period when someone holds your boxed firearm can only be after shipment. It doesn't say that. It does say that possession occurs when the box is opened.
Please quote the ATF regs that say otherwise. You make a lot of claims and back them up with nothing.





Quote:
UPS is not an FFL or government entity. If handling a gun in a box is possession, then shipping it would be impossible because every employee would be in possession. Same thing with a moving company. Magically, they are not.
If you would spend a few minutes actually READING ATF regulations you would understand why a common carrier CAN LEGALLY possess a firearm while being shipped. You are digging your hole of ignorance deeper and deeper.




Quote:
Asking a friend to pass a sealed box to FEDEX is no different than one FEDEX employee handing it to another. All of those people are just serving as couriers, not taking possession.
Horsehockey. FedEx employees are acting as "common carriers".
Using your brilliant theory anyone could ship firearms interstate to each other, claiming "but, but, but I'm just a courier!".





Quote:
The whole system is only possible because it does not demand an individual chain of custody.
You keep using the term "chain of custody".........which has nothing to do with Federal laws regarding the interstate shipment of firearms.




Quote:
Next time you go to a gun shop and an employee whose name isn't on the FFL hands you a gun to look at, think about what your ideas about "possession" imply just happened. Did you just take possession? Did you just get loaned a gun for sporting purposes?
Dude..........I AM AN FFL.......I know exactly what is possession, I know exactly what is a loan for sporting purposes.......I'm knee deep in these regs everyday. Quite obviously you are not.



Quote:
The intent of the law is to prevent illegal interstate transfers, not create felons. No one is going to be investigated, arrested or prosecuted for handing off a box.
Exactly.....its the law. And Federal law is damn clear: When a firearm is shipped interstate it must be addressed to a licensee with only a couple of narrow exceptions:
1. The return of a firearm from a licensee to a nonlicensee that was sent for repair or replacement.
2. When a person ships a firearm addressed to themselves in another state.

Federal law/ATF regs do not give an exemption for a friend to hand it to the post office or to drop it off at FedEx/UPS on your behalf.
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Old November 22, 2013, 05:04 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RX-79G
And having someone else hold your boxed, addressed gun until the shipper gets it doesn't mean that they are "shipping it". You box it, you address it, you pay for it, you shipped it. This isn't a chain of custody issue, or you wouldn't be able to legally ship to yourself at someone else's address.

There are enough restrictions on gun owners without coming up with more through creative interpretation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RX-79G
It is only your special interpretation that the period when someone holds your boxed firearm can only be after shipment. It doesn't say that. It does say that possession occurs when the box is opened.
It is you who is coming up with the creative interpretation. Under any commonly-accepted definition of "shipper," the person who carries a package into the post office or shipping terminal, who fills out the paperwork and hands it to the clerk, and who hands the money to the clerk is going to be considered the "shipper."

The law and the BATFE guidance are very clear -- an individual may ship a firearm to him/herself in care of another person. The law and the BATFE guidance do NOT say that another person may hold your firearm and then ship it to you on a pre-established date. As I tried to explain in a previous post, objectively it would appear that the two actions are functionally equivalent, but legally they are NOT equivalent.

You really need to review the law and the BATFE guideline with an eye for understanding what they actually say, as opposed to what you wish they said.
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Old November 22, 2013, 05:53 PM   #25
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Back to the original question...

Allow me to discuss something else that nobody is arguing about yet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by EffInAZ
We are going to my home in Montreal, Canada for a few months until husband starts his new job....

In comes the issue with firearms. This is what I've learned so far....

B - We cannot bring them with us to Canada. Bringing handguns to Canada is about on par with giving birth in terms of pain level.
(emphasis mine)

Are you a Canadian citizen? Although I doubt this will help you in time for your move, may I suggest looking into applying for a Possession & Acquisition Licence (PAL) while you are in Canada, so you can legally possess firearms in the country on a long-term basis.

I'm not an expert on the subject and I don't have a PAL myself. However, I understand that this requires some paperwork and a background check, and you have to take a class called the Canadian Firearms Safety Course (CFSC).

In addition, all handguns in Canada fall into either the Restricted or Prohibited legal categories. (Civilian ownership of "Prohibited" firearms is actually not entirely prohibited, but is restricted to people who already own one under a grandfather clause, hence they will be off-limits to you; I won't discuss it further.) Possession of Restricted firearms requires an endorsement on your PAL, which requires a second class known as the Restricted Canadian Firearms Safety Course (RCFSC), and generally also requires membership in a gun club. Furthermore, transportation of a Restricted firearm requires a specific Authorization To Transport (ATT). (Please note that neither an ATT or a PAL is an authorization to carry; civilian carry of handguns is almost always verboten in Canada unless it's required for your JOB.)

That said, it is my understanding that bringing a handgun to Canada is NOT that difficult if you already have a Restricted PAL and an appropriate ATT. This might give you something to do during those 45 days.

There are, however, a few important caveats: handguns with barrels shorter than 105mm (4.14") and .25 or .32-caliber handguns fall in the Prohibited category, as do magazines with >10rd capacity. The 105mm limit excludes many older American service pistols and most newer compact handguns; however, many newer so-called "4-inch" handguns are deliberately made with barrels ~4.2" long so the gunmaker doesn't have to produce a special version for the Canadian commercial market.

More info here:

http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/i...ic-per-eng.htm
http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/fs-fd/restr-eng.htm
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