Canada Gun Licences Rise to New Record in 2021

TheGunBlog.ca — The number of Canadians with a government-issued gun licence rose 1.8% in 2021 to a year-end record, as firearm ownership for protection, sport, collecting and other activities continues to gain in popularity.


Adults with a federal firearm Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) authorized by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at 31 December:

  • 2021: 2,236,983
  • 2020: 2,198,275
    • Source: RCMP, Response to TheGunBlog.ca, 10 March 2022
  • Previous Record: 2,216,509 in 2019

Why It Matters

  • Increasing PAL holders suggests rising gun ownership and an expanding market for shooting goods and services, even as the federal government acts to suppress firearm users.
  • Since 2001, you need a PAL to buy, sell or own guns on the government-controlled firearm market. (No paperwork needed for the free market.)
  • Although estimates suggest most gun owners don’t have a licence, the number of PAL holders has risen in 9 of the past 10 years.
    • The number of PAL holders fell in 2020 amid shutdowns and delays related to the Covid-19 virus.

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