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Old February 17, 2012, 11:34 AM   #5
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Join Date: October 20, 2007
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 7,527
They're only going to delete the information for non-restricted firearms, whatever that means...
In a nutshell, Canada lumps firearms into 4 categories- Antique, Non-Restricted, Restricted, and Prohibited.

Antique is very similar to its definition in the US, basically 1898 and earlier, and black powder muzzleloaders. The major difference is that handguns are not included (more below).

Non-Restricted includes most traditionally styled (i.e. non-EBR) long guns. Non-Restricted semi-automatics must have a minimum barrel length of 470mm (~18.5"). Magazine capacity is generally limited to 5 rounds for centerfire guns, except that M1 Garand factory clips (8rd) and Lee-Enfield factory magazines (10rd) are specifically exempted.

Some long guns that would otherwise fit in the Antique or Non-Restricted categories have been specially classified as Restricted or Prohibited.

Restricted includes most handguns with a minimum barrel length of 105mm (~4.1") in calibers other than .25 and .32. (Now you know why so many newer full-size handguns have 4.2" rather than 4" barrels; it's to make them legal for Canadian sale without the production of a special Canadian version!) This class also includes a substantial list of long guns, most of which are similar to "post-ban" semi-auto EBRs under the American AWB, although many other guns are also randomly lumped in there for whatever reason. Magazine capacity is generally limited to 10rds.

One has to get permission to own a Restricted firearm, but permission is reasonably easy to obtain in many areas if one has a clean criminal record. It's comparable to obtaining a CHL in an American "may-issue" state, although it's firearm-specific, and it doesn't allow one to carry concealed. (CCW is verboten in Canada- period.)

Prohibited includes shorter-barreled handguns, .25 and .32-caliber handguns (why?), most fully-featured hi-capacity semi-auto EBRs and pistols, pretty much everything that would be considered an NFA machine gun or AOW in the USA, and a random grab bag of other non-firearm weapons including switchblades and Tasers. It also includes "sawed-off" long guns, but curiously, there's no direct equivalent of an NFA SBR or SBS in Canada; some guns that would be an SBR or SBS are Restricted or even Non-Restricted provided that the barrel is the original factory length.

Contrary to what the name implies, Prohibited weapons are not in fact totally prohibited; their ownership is tightly regulated, kind of like NFA weapons in the States, except that ownership is restricted to people who already own Prohibited weapons of a similar class under a grandfather clause. (What happened to that famous Canadian sense of fairness? )

More here:

All Restricted and Prohibited weapons are required to be registered and the abolition of the long gun registry does nothing to change this. The newly-abolished long gun registry covered Non-Restricted long guns.

Despite the restrictive laws on many guns that are commonly owned in the USA, rural areas in Canada are awash in Non-Restricted shotguns and rifles, just like similar areas in the USA. (Much of my family is Canadian, so I know of which I speak. ) Many rural Canadians sensed that the long-gun registry was the first step to eventually imposing "Restricted"-type ownership restrictions on these guns, and rightly so IMHO.

[EDIT TO ADD FOOTNOTE] This post is not meant to be a comprehensive summary of all Canadian firearms restrictions and exemptions, some of which are very Byzantine and arbitrary. It's a nutshell summary for Americans who know nothing about the topic. One should carefully consult Canadian laws and ask detailed questions before making any assumptions about what one may own in Canada, or bring along when visiting Canada. Thank you for your time.
"Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules... MARK IT ZERO!!" - Walter Sobchak

Last edited by carguychris; February 17, 2012 at 11:53 AM.
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