Canada’s Gun Laws

Newest Update of This Page: 20 October 2022


  • Canadian law is designed to suppress gun users and gun owners.
  • Gun users and owners are regulated by federal criminal law, as well as provincial and municipal restrictions.
  • Lawful gun use is recognized in federal criminal law with severe restrictions.

Anti-Gun Regime

  • The laws and regulations are designed to make it easy to criminalize gun users and confiscate their firearms, and to make it difficult to get and use firearms legally
  • The anti-gun policy regime violates fundamental principles of justice relating to process, privacy and personal protection.
  • Although policies specifically targeting gun users depend in theory on the Constitution, including the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, in reality they often negate Constitutional rights and freedoms.
  • The governing Liberal Party, in office since late 2015, is working to further suppress government-licensed gun users and eliminate lawful gun ownership. (See: Liberal Gun Bans)
  • Despite all of the above, more than 2 million adults have a firearm Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) allowing them to buy and own guns.

Why It Matters

  • Complex: The laws are so complex, convoluted and confusing that they overwhelm many lawyers, judges and private firearm users.
  • Costly: Developing, adopting and enforcing all the rules costs hundreds of millions of dollars every year, with little or no evidence of benefit. asked the Department of Justice and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for any evaluations or audits of the legislative and policy framework. None were provided.
  • Criminalizing: Millions of safe and responsible hunters, farmers, ranchers, plinkers, competitors, gun collectors and business owners live under the constant threat of criminal charges or jail for the slightest misstep, such as missing a document or missing a document-renewal deadline.

Enabling Legislation

  1. Criminal Code
  2. Firearms Act

Regulations Made Under the Criminal Code


  1. Antique Firearms, Regulations Prescribing (SOR/98-464)
  2. Designated Areas Firearms Order (C.R.C., c. 430)
  3. Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and Other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited, Restricted or Non-Restricted (SOR/98-462)
  4. Regulations Prescribing Exclusions from Certain Definitions of the Criminal Code (International Sporting Competition Handguns) (SOR/98-465) ( added this item to the list on 29 April 2021.)
  5. Regulations Amending the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and Other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited, Restricted or Non-Restricted(SOR/2020-96) [ added this item to the list on 23 February 2022.]

Regulations Made Under the Firearms Act


  1. Aboriginal Peoples of Canada Adaptations Regulations (Firearms) (SOR/98-205)
  2. Authorizations to Carry Restricted Firearms and Certain Handguns Regulations (SOR/98-207)
  3. Authorizations to Transport Restricted Firearms and Prohibited Firearms Regulations (SOR/98-206)
  4. Conditions of Transferring Firearms and Other Weapons Regulations (SOR/98-202)
  5. Firearms Fees Regulations (SOR/98-204)
  6. Firearms Information Regulations (Non-restricted Firearms) (SOR/2012-138)
  7. Firearms Licences Regulations (SOR/98-199)
  8. Firearms Marking Regulations [Not in force] (SOR/2004-275)
  9. Firearms Records Regulations (SOR/98-213)
  10. Firearms Records Regulations (Classification) (SOR/2014-198)
  11. Firearms Registration Certificates Regulations (SOR/98-201)
  12. Importation and Exportation of Firearms Regulations (Businesses) [Not in force] (SOR/98-214)
  13. Importation and Exportation of Firearms Regulations (Individuals) (SOR/98-215)
  14. Public Agents Firearms Regulations (SOR/98-203)
  15. Shooting Clubs and Shooting Ranges Regulations (SOR/98-212)
  16. Special Authority to Possess Regulations (Firearms Act) (SOR/98-208)
  17. Storage, Display and Transportation of Firearms and Other Weapons by Businesses Regulations (SOR/98-210)
  18. Storage, Display, Transportation and Handling of Firearms by Individuals Regulations (SOR/98-209)

Regulations Made Under the Export and Import Permits Act

  1. Automatic Firearms Country Control List (SOR/91-575)

More Resources