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Old December 25, 2009, 10:51 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: December 23, 2009
Location: Ontario
Posts: 9
Laws north of the border

I'm a new member of the forum and I thought I'd share some information on our guns laws in Canada.

First off, I'm not trying to say one way of doing things is better than the other. We share may values and are allies in the war on terrorism. However our societies are different and in the case of gun ownership, are very different.

Lastly, I own handguns and long guns and enjoy making holes in targets.

If you want to purchase or acquire any firearm in Canada you must apply for a Possesion and Acqusition Licence (PAL). Our firearms laws are federal so we don't have a different set of laws from province to province or territory

A test is required (theory and practical) after which you can ask for the PAL. The form asks many questions including marital/civil status. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) can ask the spouse/partner if they are aware of the request. I suppose the request could be denied if the partner were to raise legitimate concerns. The RCMP also conducts CPIC (criminal background) checks before approving the issuance of the PAL.

BTW: You can't even touch a firearm or purchase ammunition without a PAL.

After about two to three months you get your PAL. You can then purchase a long gun and take it away with you. A handgun is a whole other matter. You put 100% down and then submit a request to the Chief Firearms Officer of the province to register the handgun. If it's your first request this process could take six months. You also have to have a reason to buy the handgun. Being a member of a shooting club helps. What you call CCW is virtually unheard of in Canada. At any one time there may be 10 CCWs issued in the whole country.

If your request is approved you are granted an Authority To Transport (ATT) which allows you to transport the handgun from the store to your residence. The gun must be locked with a trigger lock, be in a locked carrier and in a location in the vehicle that's inaccessible to the driver or passenger.

Once home, the gun must be locked in a secure cabinet with ammunition stored in either another locked location or in the same cabinet but locked up.

If you shoot you then have to request another ATT which is endorsed by your (approved|) gun club and is good for three years. The ATT allows the transport to and from the gun club using the most direct route. In addition, you have to sign in and out of the gun club showing the time you arrived and time you left the club.

Police officers must follow the same process if they wish to purchase a firearm, even if they carry a service weapon every day!

Lastly. If you're planning to come to Canada (or transit going to Alaska) with a firearm best check our laws first. If you don't declare the firearm to Canada Customs it will be seized and may not be returned. If you don't, and especially for a handgun, you WILL be arrested. This also applies to police officers, even when on duty. Apparently we have nice jails, but it's better not to find out the hard way.

Sometimes this whole process is a right PITA for honest gun owners but that's the way it is.

Cheers from the frozen north.
lakeside is offline  
Old December 25, 2009, 11:00 AM   #2
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Join Date: October 31, 2007
Location: Western Florida panhandle
Posts: 11,069
Yeah, That is a real bummer right there...

I do enjoy the anonymity here. I may, at any time, have several guns in my ride and they may be loaded and accessible. I may drive all willy-nilly with no set route as well.

As for guns in the home, NO ONE WILL TELL ME HOW TO STORE THEM!!!!

I do feel for those in the more totalitarian places.
Merry Christmas to all!
hogdogs is offline  
Old December 25, 2009, 05:48 PM   #3
Join Date: December 25, 2009
Posts: 25
Wow Lakeside, sounds like a lot of work. Down here, I can go to the store, show my ID, fill out a form, they call in a background check, I pass, and leave with my new gun. Takes about 10 to 15 mins.

I usually have a gun in my car, never had any problems with the police, if I get pulled over, I keep my hands visible, notify them I have a gun, and ask them what they would like me to do.

In my home, my guns are stored loaded, and ready for use. I am new here as well, seems to be a great site.
Fred_G is offline  
Old December 26, 2009, 10:28 AM   #4
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Join Date: February 20, 2005
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 2,072
Hi brother from the north,

I have taken the Canadian firearms safety course and believe it is a very good course. I got one wrong on the test and it took that poor instructor a good 10 min. to clarify the question. I was only taking the course for background as I am a Minnesota instructor.
A question to you,
Are your fellow gun owners still keeping their owners/registration certificates up to date?
Have there been many citizens prosecuted for unregistered firearms?

The local Conservation officer was stationed in Lake of the Woods county and covered the N W Angle. He could not carry his duty weapon on him even going across the water to US Minnesota land (aboot 15 miles).
For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, But to us who are being saved, It Is The Power Of God. 1Corinthians 1-18
Gbro is offline  
Old December 27, 2009, 07:43 AM   #5
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Join Date: December 23, 2009
Location: Ontario
Posts: 9

The current Conservative government is trying to kill the long gun registry which instead of costing $2 million rose to $2 billion!! The bill is, as far as I know received first reading in the House of Commons (approval in principle) and is now in comittee for review. In the mean time, long gun reregistration is on hold and those of us who haven't redregistered our long guns aren't being bothered by the law.

There's a split between rural Members of Pailiament and those from urban areas. Rural ridings (equivalent to your districts) see the long gun registry as a boondogle and urban voters, over their caffee lattes of course, see the registry as the best thing since sliced bread. There's even a type of lobby industry against firearms. Although some hold honest beliefs, there are some for whom this is simply a (well) paid job.

The real problems, as I see it, are twofold.

First, some legitimate gun owners aren't properly locking up their firearms. Instead of prosecuting the very small minority, more laws are brought in.

Second, the flow of illegal guns brought across the border from the US. About half of all the handguns seized in Canada were smuggled in from the US. Now, we aren't lily white here either as one of our biggest exports to the US is "BC Bud".

Our handguns have been restricted since 1932 and except for an outright ban, our laws are probably among the most restrictive in the world. Without going off on a rant, we also have no property rights enshrined in our Constitution. As an example, we had an amnesty back in '78. I brought in an AK-47, AKM and an M16, all legally purchased. All were seized and I lost the AKM without compensation. The Aussies also seized firearms after the Tasmania shootings but I heard they gave fair market value.

Sorry about the long winded answer.
lakeside is offline  

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