Guide to Canada’s Gun Law (May 2022)

By Remitbee - May 31, 2022

As of 2021, 2,236,983 people own a firearm with licensed authorized by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Each day, 3,000 guns are bought and sold by police-approved individuals and about 2,400 federally licensed firearm stores in Canada that are either brand new or used.

In a study, 47 percent of Canadians feel that gun violence is a threat to their community. Statistics show that since 2009, violent offences involving guns rose by a whopping 81 percent.

With the welfare of the people as the top priority, the Government of Canada announced on May 11, 2022 new rules that will be effective on May 18, 2022, to better regulate non-restricted firearms in the country. This new law includes banning assault-style firearms from preventing fight gun crimes. The new law also regulates the sales and transfers of non-restricted firearms.

The country has banned assault-style firearms or guns designed for military use in Canada because these can injure or, worse, kill a large number of people swiftly. Straw purchasing is also desired to be eliminated. Straw purchasing happens when a licensed holder of a firearm legally buys a gun and then illegally resells it on the black market. If this is not stopped, the firearms they sell can fall into the wrong hands and may be used for numerous crimes, including murder, home invasion, shootings, and robberies.

A New Upgrade on Canada’s Gun Law

Honorable Marco Mendicino, the Minister of Public Safety, has announced the regulations under the former Bill C-71, An Act to Amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms, which include more stringent rules in the selling transferring of non-restricted firearms.

He says: “We are taking action to keep Canadians safe from gun violence. To that end, we are bringing into force common-sense regulations that strengthen public safety through validated ownership, transparent business records keeping, and license verification prior to purchasing a firearm. Today’s regulations under Bill C-71 will help ensure that firearms do not end up in the wrong hands, assist police in tracing guns used in crime, and are part of the broader strategy to keep communities safe.”

Here's what you can expect under this new regulation:

Anyone or any business who will sell or transfer a non-restricted firearm should (1) confirm the recipient’s identity and (2) check the validity of their firearms license with the Registrar of Firearms before completing the transfer. The recipient or buyer’s license number and other requested information should also be presented.

Firearms businesses should retain sales and inventory records related to non-restricted firearms so that law enforcement can easily trace guns. The business will hold the records, and the police should present reasonable grounds and a judge’s authorization to access this information.

How to Register a Firearm in Canada

Before you can register a gun in Canada for the first time, a certified verifier should confirm the identification and class of the gun you will register. This verification process will help ensure that the classification, integrity, completeness, and accuracy of the data in the Canadian Firearms Information System database.

A gun that is acquired from a Canadian source should be registered before you take possession of it. This is part of the transfer process which takes place every time a firearm changes ownership. You can call the Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) and choose the “transfer” option from the menu or use the form RCMP 5492 which the current owner and the person acquiring the gun should both fill in.

How to Get a Firearm License in Canada

Even if you are not the owner of the firearm you possess, you need a license if you have a firearm. To avoid risk penalties, apply for a license to register any restricted or prohibited firearms. The Possession and Acquisition License (PAL) is the only license currently available to new applicants in Canada. This license is renewable every five years. To qualify for a license, you should pass the Canadian Firearms Safety Course.

When renewing your PAL, there’s no need to resend your training information. But if you want to upgrade your license with a new or different privilege, you should show proof that you successfully completed the proper training for the license you want to have.

What You Can Do to Help Your Community Safe

For Canada to be safe from gun-related violence, everyone should lend a hand. Here are simple things you can do that will help keep your community safe:

Understand the ban and amnesty

Keep up with the latest gun laws in Canada, especially regarding the banned firearms and devices.

Keep your firearms in a safe and secure location

If you own a gun in Canada, make sure that you are licensed to have one and that your firearm is also licensed and legally acquired. For everyone’s safety, make sure that you keep your guns in a secure location so that no one aside from you can have access to them. Be extra cautious when you transport and display your firearms.

Report on public safety concerns about firearms

If you witness a scene that involves the misuse of guns or if your life is threatened, call 911 and your local police emergency number.

May the information in this article help you be in the know about the update on Canada’s gun law. Remember, your actions can make a difference to your country.

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