Royal Canadian Mounted Police

What you need to know: Recent changes in handgun regulations

Note

On October 21, 2022, the Government of Canada brought into force amendments to the Conditions of Transferring Firearms and Other Weapons Regulations and to the Authorization to Transport Restricted Firearms and Prohibited Firearms Regulations, changing the regulations concerning the transfer and transportation of handguns in Canada.

On this page

  1. Effective on August 5, 2022
  2. Effective on October 21, 2022

Effective on August 5, 2022

Global Affairs Canada introduced temporary import control measures related to restricted handguns until the proposed amendments to the Firearms Act under Bill C-21 come into force.

As of this date, all individuals and businesses importing a restricted handgun into Canada require an import permit issued by Global Affairs Canada.

Additional information on applying for a Global Affairs Canada import permit for handguns.

Effective on October 21, 2022

Conditions of Transferring Firearms and Other Weapons Regulations. The Government of Canada brought into force amendments to the Conditions of Transferring Firearms and Other Weapons Regulations, changing the regulations on the transfer of handguns in Canada.

Under these amendments, a Chief Firearms Officer will only be able to authorize the transfer of a handgun to an individual who:

  1. holds an Authorization to Carry (ATC) issued under Section 20 of the Firearms Act and needs the handgun:
    • to protect the life of an individual or other individuals pursuant to an Authorization to Carry issued by a Chief Firearms Officer under section 20(a) of the Firearms Act; or
    • for use in connection with his or her lawful profession or occupation pursuant to an Authorization to Carry issued by a Chief Firearms Officer under section 20(b) of the Firearms Act.

    or

  2. has provided the Chief Firearms Officer with a letter from a provincial or national sport shooting governing body indicating that the individual trains, competes, or coaches in a handgun shooting discipline that is on the programme of the International Olympic Committee or the International Paralympic Committee.

Note

Applications to transfer handguns to individuals that do not meet at least one of these prerequisites cannot be processed; clients should not submit an application if they do not fall under one of these exemption groups.

Authorization to Transport Restricted Firearms and Prohibited Firearms Regulations. At the same time, the Government brought into force amendments to the Authorization to Transport Restricted Firearms and Prohibited Firearms Regulations by adding Section 1.11. Under these amendments, a Chief Firearms Officer will be able to issue to an individual an authorization to transport (ATT) a handgun from a port of entry only if:

  • the individual holds a registration certificate for the handgun that was issued on the basis of an application that had been applied for before this regulatory amendment was brought into force
  • the individual holds an Authorization to Carry issued under Section 20 of the Firearms Act
  • the individual has provided the Chief Firearms Officer with a letter from a provincial or national sport shooting governing body indicating that the individual trains, competes, or coaches in a handgun shooting discipline that is on the programme of the International Olympic Committee or the International Paralympic Committee or,
  • an individual is a non-resident of Canada, does not hold a firearms licence, is temporarily importing a handgun and makes the required declaration to a customs officer under Section 35 of the Firearms Act.

Applications for an authorization to transport a handgun from the border that do not meet one of these prerequisites cannot be processed.

The full text of the amendments to the regulations can be found on the Public Safety Canada website.