Firearms Act (S.C. 1995, c. 39)

Act current to 2016-05-12 and last amended on 2015-09-02. Previous Versions

Her Majesty

Marginal note:Binding on Her Majesty
  •  (1) This Act is binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province.

  • Marginal note:Canadian Forces

    (2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), this Act does not apply in respect of the Canadian Forces.

Purpose

Marginal note:Purpose

 The purpose of this Act is

  • (a) to provide, notably by sections 5 to 16 and 54 to 73, for the issuance of

    • (i) licences for firearms and authorizations and registration certificates for prohibited firearms or restricted firearms, under which persons may possess firearms in circumstances that would otherwise constitute an offence under subsection 91(1), 92(1), 93(1) or 95(1) of the Criminal Code,

    • (ii) licences and authorizations under which persons may possess prohibited weapons, restricted weapons, prohibited devices and prohibited ammunition in circumstances that would otherwise constitute an offence under subsection 91(2), 92(2) or 93(1) of the Criminal Code, and

    • (iii) licences under which persons may sell, barter or give cross-bows in circumstances that would otherwise constitute an offence under subsection 97(1) of the Criminal Code;

  • (b) to authorize,

    • (i) notably by sections 5 to 12 and 54 to 73, the manufacture of or offer to manufacture, and

    • (ii) notably by sections 21 to 34 and 54 to 73, the transfer of or offer to transfer,

    firearms, prohibited weapons, restricted weapons, prohibited devices, ammunition and prohibited ammunition in circumstances that would otherwise constitute an offence under subsection 99(1), 100(1) or 101(1) of the Criminal Code; and

  • (c) to authorize, notably by sections 35 to 73, the importation or exportation of firearms, prohibited weapons, restricted weapons, prohibited devices, ammunition, prohibited ammunition and components and parts designed exclusively for use in the manufacture of or assembly into automatic firearms in circumstances that would otherwise constitute an offence under subsection 103(1) or 104(1) of the Criminal Code.

  • 1995, c. 39, s. 4;
  • 2012, c. 6, s. 9.

Authorized Possession

Eligibility to Hold Licences

General Rules

Marginal note:Public safety
  •  (1) A person is not eligible to hold a licence if it is desirable, in the interests of the safety of that or any other person, that the person not possess a firearm, a cross-bow, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device, ammunition or prohibited ammunition.

  • Marginal note:Criteria

    (2) In determining whether a person is eligible to hold a licence under subsection (1), a chief firearms officer or, on a reference under section 74, a provincial court judge shall have regard to whether the person, within the previous five years,

    • (a) has been convicted or discharged under section 730 of the Criminal Code of

      • (i) an offence in the commission of which violence against another person was used, threatened or attempted,

      • (ii) an offence under this Act or Part III of the Criminal Code,

      • (iii) an offence under section 264 of the Criminal Code (criminal harassment), or

      • (iv) an offence relating to the contravention of subsection 5(1) or (2), 6(1) or (2) or 7(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act;

    • (b) has been treated for a mental illness, whether in a hospital, mental institute, psychiatric clinic or otherwise and whether or not the person was confined to such a hospital, institute or clinic, that was associated with violence or threatened or attempted violence on the part of the person against any person; or

    • (c) has a history of behaviour that includes violence or threatened or attempted violence on the part of the person against any person.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (3) Despite subsection (2), in determining whether a non-resident who is 18 years old or older and by or on behalf of whom an application is made for a 60-day licence authorizing the non-resident to possess non-restricted firearms is eligible to hold a licence under subsection (1), a chief firearms officer or, on a reference under section 74, a provincial court judge may but need not have regard to the criteria described in subsection (2).

  • 1995, c. 39, ss. 5, 137;
  • 1996, c. 19, s. 76.1;
  • 2003, c. 8, s. 10;
  • 2015, c. 27, s. 3.
Marginal note:Court orders
  •  (1) A person is eligible to hold a licence only if the person is not prohibited by a prohibition order from possessing any firearm, cross-bow, prohibited weapon, restricted weapon, prohibited device or prohibited ammunition.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) Subsection (1) is subject to any order made under section 113 of the Criminal Code (lifting of prohibition order for sustenance or employment).

Marginal note:Successful completion of safety course
  •  (1) An individual is eligible to hold a licence only if the individual

    • (a) successfully completes the Canadian Firearms Safety Course, as given by an instructor who is designated by a chief firearms officer, and passes the tests, as administered by an instructor who is designated by a chief firearms officer, that form part of that Course;

    • (b) passed, before the commencement day, the tests, as administered by an instructor who is designated by a chief firearms officer, that form part of that Course;

    • (c) successfully completed, before January 1, 1995, a course that the attorney general of the province in which the course was given had, during the period beginning on January 1, 1993 and ending on December 31, 1994, approved for the purposes of section 106 of the former Act;

    • (d) passed, before January 1, 1995, a test that the attorney general of the province in which the test was administered had, during the period beginning on January 1, 1993 and ending on December 31, 1994, approved for the purposes of section 106 of the former Act; or

    • (e) on the commencement day, was an individual referred to in paragraph 7(4)(c) as it read immediately before that day and held a licence.

  • Marginal note:Restricted firearms safety course

    (2) An individual is eligible to hold a licence authorizing the individual to possess prohibited firearms or restricted firearms only if the individual

    • (a) successfully completes a restricted firearms safety course that is approved by the federal Minister, as given by an instructor who is designated by a chief firearms officer, and passes any tests, as administered by an instructor who is designated by a chief firearms officer, that form part of that course;

    • (b) passed, before the commencement day, a restricted firearms safety test, as administered by an instructor who is designated by a chief firearms officer, that is approved by the federal Minister; or

    • (c) on the commencement day, was an individual referred to in paragraph 7(4)(c) as it read immediately before that day and held a licence authorizing the individual to possess prohibited firearms or restricted firearms.

  • Marginal note:After expiration of prohibition order

    (3) An individual against whom a prohibition order was made

    • (a) is eligible to hold a licence only if the individual has, after the expiration of the prohibition order,

      • (i) successfully completed the Canadian Firearms Safety Course, as given by an instructor who is designated by a chief firearms officer, and

      • (ii) passed the tests, as administered by an instructor who is designated by a chief firearms officer, that form part of that Course; and

    • (b) is eligible to hold a licence authorizing the individual to possess restricted firearms only if the individual has, after the expiration of the prohibition order,

      • (i) successfully completed a restricted firearms safety course that is approved by the federal Minister, as given by an instructor who is designated by a chief firearms officer, and

      • (ii) passed any tests, as administered by an instructor who is designated by a chief firearms officer, that form part of that course.

  • Marginal note:Exceptions

    (4) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to an individual who

    • (a) in the prescribed circumstances, has been certified by a chief firearms officer as meeting the prescribed criteria relating to the safe handling and use of firearms and the laws relating to firearms;

    • (b) is less than eighteen years old and requires a firearm to hunt or trap in order to sustain himself or herself or his or her family;

    • (c) [Repealed, 2015, c. 27, s. 4]

    • (d) requires a licence merely to acquire cross-bows; or

    • (e) is a non-resident who is 18 years old or older and by or on behalf of whom an application is made for a 60-day licence authorizing the non-resident to possess non-restricted firearms.

  • Marginal note:Further exception

    (5) Subsection (3) does not apply to an individual in respect of whom an order is made under section 113 of the Criminal Code (lifting of prohibition order for sustenance or employment) and who is exempted by a chief firearms officer from the application of that subsection.

  • 1995, c. 39, s. 7;
  • 2003, c. 8, s. 11;
  • 2015, c. 27, s. 4.
 
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