Nova Scotia CFO Says He Didn’t Waive ATT Law for Fleeing Gun Owners After His Office Wrongly Claimed It Did — The Chief Firearms Officer of Nova Scotia said today he didn’t waive federal laws requiring a firearm Authorization To Transport, after his office wrongly claimed the authority to exempt gun owners fleeing the province’s wildfires.

The apparent reversal created mass confusion and interest.

  •’s Twitter post on the CFO denying the false claim has more than 66,000 views. (Update June 04: 74,000+ views.)
  • Nova Scotia has 75,000 PAL holders out of 2.3 million in Canada.

CFO Office Claims to Waive ATT Laws

The CFO office had said this week in e-mails to gun owners:

“For individuals and their families affected by the rapidly changing situation involving wildfires and evacuation orders, the NS Chief Firearms Office is waiving the requirement to obtain an ATT to move restricted/prohibited firearms.”

  • Tracey Wilson, an executive with the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights, shared a photo of the notice from her personal Twitter account.

“In your situation, we are waiving the requirement to obtain an ATT.“

  • A Nova Scotia resident received the above in an e-mail from the Nova Scotia CFO office on 29 May 2023. They shared a photo of the e-mail privately with

Nova Scotia CFO Responds to

CFO John Parkin e-mailed the following to today in response to our questions yesterday about the authority for the claimed exemption.

Than[k] you for bringing this to my attention. I can state, unequivocally, that the Nova Scotia CFO did not and has not wa[i]ved the requirement for ATTs.

The message to which you referred was not sent by the CFO, nor seen by the CFO before it was sent.

In exigent or emergency circumstances, such as fleeing life threatening fires, individuals can expedite the ATT process by making application via telephone, as allowed by legislation, and our office will follow-up as necessary. As you may be aware, this was/is precisely what is happening in Nova Scotia.

—Source: Nova Scotia Chief Firearms Officer John Parkin, Response to, 02 June 2023

ATT Is Federal Criminal Law

  • Canada’s federal anti-gun laws in the Criminal Code and Firearms Act make it a crime for any government-licensed gun owner to take any government-registered firearm outside the home without a government-issued ATT for the trip.
  • Government-registered gun owners risk serious criminal charges if they transport any government-registered firearm without an ATT.
  • Provincial government employees don’t have the authority to waive federal criminal law, or to exempt people from it.

Why It Matters

  • The Nova Scotia CFO office wrongly claimed it had exempted gun owners from the ATT requirement. The misleading communication put owners at risk of jail and confiscation.
  • Canada’s anti-gun laws are so complex and convoluted that many firearm owners wouldn’t know the provincial CFO office couldn’t exempt them from requiring ATTs, even if it said it could.
  • Across Canada, some CFOs and their staff regularly abuse their authority and make up rules on a whim.
  • The Nova Scotia incident shows again that ATTs are not only useless, wasteful and costly bureaucratic paperwork, they can also lead to honest citizens being criminalized, and they undermine public safety.

We wish health, speed and safety to everyone fleeing the wildfires.


Correction June 03: Corrects headline, first paragraph and quotation by CFO office to say “Chief Firearms Office” instead of “Chief Firearms Officer.”)