Government Comments on New Restrictions on Propellant Powder, Black Powder, Tannerite — The Canadian government responds to our questions about its new restrictions coming into force tomorrow targeting buyers and sellers of propellant powder, black powder, and reactive targets such as Tannerite and Thundershot.


We asked the department of Natural Resources on May 13 for background on its plan to change the Explosives Regulations of 2013, after many gun users showed interest and said they were surprised by the measures.

  • Our post on the X platform announcing the restrictions got more than 16,000 views.

Shireen Ali, a spokeswoman for Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) e-mailed the following response to on May 17.

Natural Resources Canada Responds to

Q1. Which organizations related to firearms, target shooting and hunting were consulted, including industry groups and end-user groups? (The groups mentioned in the Canada Gazette RIAS [Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement] under the heading “Policy consultation (spring 2021)” seem to exclude shooting, hunting and firearm organizations.)

NRCan reached out to the Canadian Shooting Sports Association and the National Firearms Association to consult on the regulatory amendments. We also reached out to stores that sell firearms, such as Canadian Tire and Cabelas / BassPro, as well as the Retail Council of Canada. Stakeholders have also had the opportunity since 2022 to respond to a notice about the update process for amendments that was posted on the NRCan website.

Q2. How have you notified retailers and individual buyers of the pending regulatory change?

In addition to the engagement noted in the response to Q1, NRCan has reached out to individual retailers to notify them of changes to requirements impacting the sale of propellant powder. For example, we circulated a fact sheet of notable amendments to the regulations.

Q3. How will the new regulations be enforced, such as the requirement to show a PAL before purchasing certain goods?

The amended Regulations will be enforced through NRCan’s existing risk-based inspection regime. This includes inspections of licensees (such as retailers) to ensure the Regulations are being followed. These inspections involve verifying that retailers are keeping records of the sale of propellant powder, including buyers’ names, identification (i.e., their PAL licence), the date of sale, and the amount of propellant powder sold. Inspections would also include outreach to ensure both retailers and buyers are aware of new requirements.

Q4. Any other relevant details or context?

For the amendments regarding reactive targets (e.g. Tannerite), most of the changes formalize or clarify existing requirements. For example, sellers who sell reactive targets were already required by NRCan to verify that buyers have a PAL issued under the Firearms Act. The changes to the Regulations do not change that requirement, they only make it more transparent.

New Restrictions Factsheet

Source: Natural Resources Canada