Changes to prohibited firearms
On May 1, 2020, 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 [Regulations] of the Criminal Code were amended to prescribe as prohibited over 1,500 models of firearms.
The prohibition also includes certain components of some newly prohibited firearms (with the upper receivers of the M16, AR-10, AR-15 and M4 pattern firearms). New maximum thresholds for muzzle energy (greater than 10,000 Joules – e.g., sniper rifles) and bore diameter (20 mm or greater – e.g., grenade launcher) are in place. Any firearm that exceeds them is now a prohibited firearm.
An amnesty period is currently in effect and will expire on October 30, 2025. The amnesty is designed to protect individuals or businesses who, at the time the prohibition came into force, were in lawful possession of a newly prohibited firearm, from criminal liability while they take steps to comply with the law.
How do I know if I have an affected firearm?
The list of affected firearms is available online in the Canada Gazette, Part II. The regulation is also available on the Justice Canada website under Consolidated Acts and Regulations, and the Canadian Firearms Program website. You may also call the Canadian Firearms Program Contact Centre at 1-800-731-4000 to confirm if your firearm is prohibited.
What should I do if I have a newly prohibited firearm?
If you possess a newly prohibited firearm it must be securely stored in accordance with the storage requirements for that classification of firearm prior to prohibition.
Can I continue to use, sell, import, transfer ownership or transport my newly prohibited firearm?
No. The prohibition takes effect immediately. The newly prohibited firearms can no longer be legally used, sold, imported, transferred or transported except as provided in the amnesty. An individual can only transport the newly prohibited firearm under the following circumstances:
- returning it to a police officer without compensation;
- deactivating by an approved business;
- if not the owner, returning it to the owner;
- if the owner, but the firearm is not at home, returning the firearm home;
- legally exporting the firearm; and,
- if a business, returning the firearm to the manufacturer.
An individual should not deliver a firearm to a police station without first making arrangements with a police officer for a safe and scheduled delivery or pick up. Individuals should not surrender their firearm while physical distancing requirements are in effect.
The Government intends to bring forward a mandatory buyback program. Our top priority is ensuring the safety and security of Canadians. We will take the necessary steps to get this right for our kids and grandkids.
The amnesty period allows for the continued use of previously non-restricted firearms in limited circumstances (e.g., by Indigenous persons exercising Aboriginal or treaty rights to hunt and by those who hunt or trap to sustain themselves or their families), until the end of the amnesty period or when a new firearm is legally obtained. At the end of the amnesty period, all firearms owners must comply with the law.
Will the Government establish a buyback program or a grandfathering regime?
The Government will not provide any option for owners to grandfather these weapons as it intends to bring forward a mandatory buyback program. Our top priority is ensuring the safety and security of Canadians. We will take the necessary steps to get this right for our kids and grandkids.
What about newly prohibited firearms that former Bill C-71 would grandfather?
The Government intends to implement a buyback program. We are looking at a range of options and will work with the provinces and territories to get this right for law-abiding gun owners. Our top priority is ensuring the safety and security of Canadians. We will take the necessary steps to get this right for our kids and grandkids.
If I own a prohibited firearm that was previously grandfathered can I participate in the upcoming buyback program?
More information on the buyback program will be available at a later date.
What should I do if I am returning to Canada with a newly prohibited firearm?
When an individual declares a newly prohibited firearm upon returning to Canada, they will be intercepted at the border and will not be allowed to import the firearm. The individual will be given the option of exporting or abandoning the firearm to the Crown.
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