How to Apply for a Canada Firearms License

by Jones David

You can acquire firearms legally in Canada if you get the license. But most people believe that it’s extremely difficult, takes years to complete, and costs a fortune. Thanks to a standardized federal program, the rumors are all wrong. It’s a special course that lasts less than the one for a driver’s license and is quite affordable. Follow the post to find out how to apply and get a Canadian firearms license.

Learn to Handle the Weapon

The most popular firearm category is called non-restricted (most rifles and shotguns with barrel 18.5″ and more). If you want to have the right to buy and possess one of these weapons, you need to apply for Possession and Acquisition License (P.A.L.). But you can’t do it if you don’t take a special Canadian Firearms Safety Course first.

To register for one, find a training facility with a Chief Firearms Officer and sign up for the program. The price depends on the instructor and is about $200-300 CAD. The lessons usually take place in the evenings or at weekends. The whole point of the training is to teach people to be responsible with a gun. You’ll learn a bit of history, safety practices, how to use ammunition, and how to handle a firearm.

Prove Your Knowledge

When your education is over, you need to challenge and pass a CFSC test. It costs around $60-100 CAD and consists of 2 parts:

  • Theory. It’s a multiple-choice test with 50 questions that cover the material of the course. Try a pre-test version to see what you need to brush upon.
  • Practice. You’ll need to demonstrate how you handle the weapon in real life. It includes loading, carrying, etc.

In the end, you’ll get scores. It must be not lower than 80% to pass and get the right to apply for the license. You can’t enroll for the test without completing the course.

Fill in the Application

If you pass successfully, you need to fill in the application form. Ask your instructor for it or download one from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police website. Enter the necessary data and send the application by mail to the address, printed on the form. Don’t forget to include a passport-style photo in the letter. Your application will be processed in 4-6 weeks.

Take Note of Photo Requirements 

Waiting for weeks and getting a rejection due to the wrong photo format can be frustrating. This will happen if your image has the wrong background color, size or if it’s older than 12 months. Study the requirements for a Canadian firearms license photo. You can get the right image one of 2 ways:

  1. Find a professional studio and have everything done there. Photographers know the specifications for your ID type and will take the photo you need. However, it’s expensive and time-consuming.
  2. Use online software. Take a selfie and send it to online editing services. It’ll adjust the image quickly and give you a download link to the ready-made file. There you’ll see the same photo but in the correct format. Attach it to the online application or print it if you’re submitting a paper form.

Who Can’t Get a License

It’s easy to get a license for most people. However, there are certain background things chief firearms officers will check before giving you permission to buy and bear firearms. The first thing they’ll look at is your conduct for the last 5 years. You must not have incidents of harassment or violence. If you have any problems with drugs or gun-running, you can forget about applying for the license. Most importantly, you must not have any severe mental condition.

Age Restrictions

Apart from P.A.L., there is also another type of permission called P.O.L. This document allows people to possess firearms, as well as buy ammunition. But they can’t acquire new weapons. Both licenses are available for citizens aged 18 and older. However, there is one exception. If hunting is vital for youths’ and their family survival, it’s possible to get a Minor’s License. They must be older than 12.

The process of applying for a Canadian firearms license is simple. Just complete the course, pass the test, and fill in the application. It takes no more than 2-3 months to get the necessary documentation and with it the right to buy and bear firearms.

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