Strengthening Canada’s Gun Laws

As communities across the country have faced a steady increase in gun-related crime over the past five years, the Government of Canada has strengthened Canada's gun laws in a common-sense and focused way. New legislation prioritizes public safety and effective police work, while respecting law-abiding firearms owners.

Note: Some technical amendments will come into force on Royal Assent such as provisions related to the forfeiture of firearms under the Criminal Code. It is anticipated most amendments, including licence verification, business record keeping, and provisions related to Authorizations to Transport restricted and prohibited firearms as well those related to CZ/SA firearms, will come into force by Order- in-Council at a later date once necessary administrative changes have been put in place.

Expanded background checks

The legislation requires expanded background checks over the lifetime of an applicant seeking to acquire a firearms licence rather than just the five years immediately preceding the application.

Licence verification

The Government of Canada aims to reduce the risk of non-restricted firearms being sold or given to those without a valid licence. The legislation requires individuals and businesses transferring a non-restricted firearm to confirm the validity of the firearms licence of the person acquiring it with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Canadian Firearms Program prior to completing the transfer.

Standardize existing best practices among commercial retailers

The legislation requires firearms businesses to retain sales records related to non-restricted firearms in order to strengthen due diligence practices and support the tracing of firearms. Tracing firearms is useful in informing law enforcement during criminal investigations.

The impartial, professional, accurate and consistent determination of firearms classification

The Government of Canada will ensure the impartial, professional, accurate and consistent determination of firearms classification as either "non-restricted" "restricted" or "prohibited" - restoring a system in which Parliament defines the classes but entrusts technical experts to make a classification determination objectively based on criteria under the Criminal Code.

If you own a firearm affected by Bill C-71, refer to the Canadian Firearms Program website or call 1-800-731-4000.

Specific transportation authorizations for restricted and prohibited firearms

The legislation has re-instated the requirement to apply for an authorization to transport restricted and prohibited firearms to locations other than a shooting range.

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