Ontario CFO Office Says No Change on ‘Restricted’ PALs Amid Speculation of New Policy

TheGunBlog.ca — The Ontario Chief Firearms Office said it hasn’t changed how it issues the “Restricted” firearm Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL), amid speculation from across Canada that new measures are in place.

Following are comments by Chantal Trahan, deputy director in the Ontario CFO office in Orillia, about 150 km north of Toronto. She replied to our questions by e-mail today. The bold text was in her reply.

Why It Matters

  • Ontario is home to more of Canada’s 2.3 million government-licensed gun owners than any other province or territory.

The Ottawa-based Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which oversees individual firearm licensing through the Canadian Firearms Program, said it will also respond to TheGunBlog.ca.

Ontario CFO Office Responds to TheGunBlog.ca

Q: Is there any change in policy or guidance on “Restricted” PALs? I’ve heard three anecdotes this week of RPALs not being issued to people who got their “Non-Restricted” PAL, of RPAL courses being canceled, and of CRFSC instructor certifications being canceled.

Trahan: Not that I am aware of.

I can confirm in Ontario, if you are applying for a RPAL, regardless of whether you have restricted firearms registered to you or not, we will issue you a RPAL so long as you have passed the CRFSC, paid the associated fee and have meant the eligibility requirements for a RPAL.

There are all kinds of a reasons why someone may want a RPAL even if one cannot legally acquire restricted handguns. One can lawfully acquire restricted firearms (restricted shotguns and rifles) for target shooting or collection, for employment with the armed security industry, to name two examples.

In Ontario, CRFSC instructors continue to deliver the CRFSC.

Having said that, some instructors are not getting the demand for the CRFSC and as such are not offering any as they want to make it worth their while to teach. Some instructors, due to a lack of demand, are still offering courses but with less frequency, while other instructors have chosen not to offer any CRFSC for the time being.

To be clear, neither the CFO nor the Firearms Safety Education Services of Ontario – FSESO, has/is instructing designated CRFSC instructors not to teach the CRFSC.

Note, even with the handgun ban, some instructors cannot keep up with the demand for the CRFSC, especially in the GTA [Greater Toronto Area]. I believe what is driving the supply of the CRFSC is the demand depending on where you reside in Ontario.

On reports that CRFSC instructor certifications are being canceled:

Trahan: No, they are not. The FSESO is set up to provide the CRFSC train-the-trainer in the fall of 2023.