Canada Border Services Agency
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Importing a Firearm or Weapon Into Canada

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Keeping Canada Safe

Canada's firearms laws help make Canada safer for residents and visitors.

Remember, you have to declare all firearms and weapons at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) office when you enter Canada. If you do not declare all firearms or weapons, we will seize them and you could face criminal charges. You need documents to prove that you are entitled to possess a firearm in Canada, and you must transport it safely.

If you need more information about Canada's firearms laws, a specific firearm, weapon, device and/or applicable fees, contact the Canadian Firearms Program at 1-800-731-4000.

You may also want to speak to the Chief Firearms Officer of the province you are planning to visit. To obtain contact information for the Chief Firearms Officers, consult Appendix A of this publication or contact Border Information Service (BIS) at one of the telephone numbers listed in Appendix B.

Prohibited Weapons and Devices

If you are a visitor to Canada or a resident of Canada, you cannot import prohibited weapons or devices.

The following weapons are prohibited from entering Canada:

  • automatic knives such as switchblades;
  • centrifugal knives such as flick knives or butterfly knives;
  • gravity knives;
  • mace or pepper spray designed for use on humans;
  • nunchaku sticks;
  • shuriken (throwing stars);
  • manrikigusari or kusari (fighting chains);
  • finger rings with blades or other sharp objects projecting from the surface;
  • Taser and stun guns shorter than 480 mm;
  • crossbows designed for one-handed use;
  • crossbows 500 mm or shorter;
  • Constant Companion (belt-buckle knife);
  • push daggers;
  • devices shorter than 30 cm concealing a knife blade (e.g. knife-comb);
  • spiked wristbands;
  • blowguns;
  • Kiyoga or Steel Cobra batons (spring batons);
  • spring-loaded rigid batons (triggered by a button or lever);
  • morning stars; and
  • brass knuckles.

The following devices are prohibited from entering Canada:

  • silencers or devices designed to muffle or stop the sound of a firearm;
  • certain cartridge magazines above a given capacity. Generally, cartridge magazines are limited to 5 rounds for centre-fire, semi-automatic rifles or shotguns and 10 rounds for semiautomatic handguns, with exemptions for certain magazines;
  • bullpup stocks;
  • replica firearms (see additional information on replica firearms below); and
  • devices prohibited by regulations.

Replica firearms (prohibited devices)

Replica firearms:

  • are designed or intended to exactly resemble a firearm with near precision;
  • are not reproductions of antique firearms; and
  • may include airsoft or blank guns.

Replica firearms are classified as prohibited devices. Individuals cannot import them into Canada.

For additional information regarding prohibited weapons and devices, please consult Memorandum D19-13-2, Importing and Exporting Firearms, Weapons and Devices - Customs Tariff, Criminal Code, Firearms Act, and Export and Import Permits Act, available through the "Publications and forms" link on our Web site at www.cbsa.gc.ca.

Firearms Classification

All firearms are classified as non-restricted, restricted or prohibited. If you are a visitor to Canada, you cannot import prohibited firearms under any circumstances. Canadian residents can not import newly acquired prohibited firearms under any circumstances.

Non-restricted firearms include:

  • semi-automatic rifles and shotguns with barrels that are at least 470 mm (18.5 inches) long, and do not otherwise fall into a restricted or prohibited category; and
  • single-shot or manual repeating rifles and shotguns of any length, as long as they are not designed or adapted to be fired when reduced to a length of less than 660 mm (26 inches) by folding, telescoping or other means.

Restricted firearms include:

  • most handguns;
  • semi-automatic rifles and shotguns that are capable of discharging centre-fire ammunition, have barrels between 105 mm (4.14 inches) and 470 mm (18.5 inches) long, and are not otherwise prohibited;
  • firearms designed or adapted to be fired when reduced to a length of less than 660 mm (26 inches) by folding, telescoping or other means; and
  • firearms restricted by regulations.

Prohibited firearms include:

  • handguns with barrels less than or equal to 105 mm (4.14 inches) long;
  • handguns designed or adapted to discharge a 25 or 32-calibre cartridge;
  • firearms adapted from rifles or shotguns by sawing, cutting or any other alteration, that, when adapted in this way, are less than 660 mm (about 26 inches) long or have a barrel that is less than 457 mm (about 18 inches) long;
  • automatic firearms, whether or not altered to fire in the manner of a semi-automatic firearm; and
  • firearms prohibited by regulations.

On the other hand, antique firearms are not considered firearms for licensing and registration purposes. Antique firearms include:

  • any firearms manufactured before 1898 that are not originally designed or redesigned to discharge rim-fire or centre-fire ammunition;
  • long guns manufactured in 1898 or later that are reproductions of flintlock, wheel-lock, or matchlock firearms; and
  • firearms that are classified as antique by regulations.

If you are a Canadian resident or a visitor to Canada, you can import firearms that are considered to be antiques under the Criminal Code. You do not need to register antique firearms, and you do not need a licence if you are the owner of antique firearms. Please note: safe storage and transportation requirements still apply.

For additional information regarding importation requirements for each class of firearm, see the section called "Firearms Import Procedures for Individuals."

For additional information regarding firearms classification, please consult Memorandum D19-13-2, available through the "Publications and forms" link on our Web site at www.cbsa.gc.ca.

Firearms specifications

Barrel length

Canadian law specifies that the barrel of a firearm must be measured to assist in determining the firearm's classification.

Barrel length is measured as follows:

  • a revolver is measured from the muzzle of the barrel to the breech, immediately in front of the cylinder;
  • all other firearms are measured from the muzzle of the barrel up to and including the chamber, but not including the length of any part or accessory added to the barrel, including those designed or intended to suppress the muzzle flash or reduce the recoil, such as a flash suppressor (eliminator) or muzzle brake.

Muzzle velocity

Other barreled weapons, such as pellet guns, may be considered as non-restricted or restricted firearms if they meet the legal definition of a firearm and have a muzzle velocity of more than 152.4 metres (500 ft.) per second and a muzzle energy of more than 5.7 joules. Owners of such firearms have to meet all import, licence, registration and authorization requirements for non-restricted or restricted firearms.

If the muzzle velocity of a weapon is 152.4 metres (500 ft.) per second or less or if the muzzle energy is 5.7 joules or less, the weapon may still, technically, be a firearm. However, owners of such weapons do not need a firearms licence, the weapons do not have to be registered, and owners do not need an authorization to transport such a weapon for importation purposes.

Firearms Import Procedures for Individuals

When you arrive at the border, declare your firearm to the border services officer, provide any documents required (as listed below), and answer all questions truthfully. The border services officer must be satisfied that you have a valid reason for importing the firearm, and may check to ensure that you have stored your firearm properly for transportation. The border services officer will also review your documents and may verify that the firearm you have matches the one described on the documents.

If you have declared a firearm but cannot meet the import requirements, or you do not have the proper documents, the border services officer may allow you to export the firearm from Canada. At his or her discretion, the border services officer may detain the firearm, issue you a receipt and allow you a reasonable amount of time to present the correct documents to the CBSA.

If you have not been truthful, or if the officer believes that you should not bring the firearm into Canada, we can detain it.

If you did not declare the firearm, we will seize it, and you may face criminal charges.

If you need information about importing a specific firearm or weapon, contact the Border Information Service (BIS) at one of the telephone numbers listed in Appendix B.

Import regulations

Different regulations apply if you are importing firearms as a visitor or Canadian resident. However, anyone importing a firearm to Canada must be at least 18 years of age.

Note: Persons under 18 years of age cannot import firearms, but may be eligible for a Minor's Possession Licence.

Visitors to Canada

If you are a visitor to Canada, and do not have a Canadian firearms licence and, in the case of a restricted firearm, a registration certificate, you are required to declare your firearms in writing.

Visitors must declare all their firearms in writing. This can be done by filling out Form CAFC 909 Non-Resident Firearm Declaration and paying a CAN$25 fee. Once confirmed by a border services officer, it has the same effect as a temporary licence and registration and is valid for up to 60 days.

If you are importing restricted firearms, you also need an authorization to transport (ATT). You can get an application for an ATT by calling the Canadian Firearms Program at 1-800-731-4000. Normally, if you are a visitor declaring your restricted firearms in writing, you should plan to come to the CBSA office between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. in order to apply for an ATT, as you will need a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration confirmation number to apply. If you are unable to come to the office during these hours, please make arrangements in advance by calling the Chief Firearms Officer of the province you will be visiting, as listed in Appendix A.

For more information on declarations by visitors, please call the Canadian Firearms Program at 1-800-731-4000, or visit their Web site at www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp

Visitors who hold a valid Canadian firearms licence must show it to a border services officer to import a non-restricted firearm.

Visitors who hold a valid Canadian firearms licence but do not have registration certificates for their restricted firearms must also complete Form CAFC 909, Non-Resident Firearm Declaration and pay a CAN $25 fee. Once confirmed by a border services officer, the declaration has the same effect as a temporary registration certificate for the firearms for up to 60 days.

Visitors cannot, under any circumstances, import prohibited firearms.

Visitors who want to leave firearms in Canada must pay duties and taxes. If the firearm is sold or otherwise transferred to a Canadian resident, the parties must meet all the legal requirements associated with transferring firearms.

Documentation - Visitors to Canada without a Canadian Firearms Licence

Type of Firearm Form CAFC909 + CAN $25 Authorization to Transport
non-restricted required not required
restricted required required
prohibited importation prohibited

Documentation - Visitors to Canada with a Canadian Firearms Licence

Type of Firearm Possession and Acquisition Licence OR Possession only Licence Canadian Firearm Registration Certificate OR Form CAFC909 + CAN$25 Authorization to Transport
non-restricted required not required not required
restricted required required required
prohibited importation prohibited

Canadian residents

Canadian residents cannot, under any circumstances, import prohibited firearms newly acquired outside Canada.

If you are importing grandfathered prohibited firearms that you previously temporarily exported from Canada, you have to provide the CBSA with:

  • your valid Possession-Only Licence or Possession and Acquisition Licence with appropriate privileges;
  • the valid registration certificate for the firearm;
  • an import permit issued by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada; and
  • a valid ATT issued by the Chief Firearms Officer of the province of residence.

If you are importing firearms that were previously exported from Canada, it is a good idea to carry proof that you purchased the firearm in Canada, or that duty was paid when you imported it. You can ask CBSA staff to document your firearm on Form BSF407, Identification of Articles for Temporary Exportation, before you leave the country or provide a copy of the export permit under which the firearm was exported.

Documentation - Canadian residents importing newly acquired firearms

Type of Firearm Possession and Acquisition Licence Firearm Registration Certificate Authorization to Transport
non-restricted required not required not required
restricted required required required
prohibited importation prohibited

Documentation - Canadian residents re-importing firearms previously exported from Canada

Type of Firearm Possession and Acquisition Licence OR Possession only Licence Firearm Registration Certificate Authorization to Transport Import Permit
non-restricted required not required not required not required
restricted required required required not required
grandfathered required required required required

Ammunition

You may import authorized sporting and competitive ammunition and reloading components for your personal use.

Quantities that may be imported for personal use and not for sale without requiring an Explosives Importation Permit from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) include:

  • small-arms, sporting ammunition, up to a maximum of 5,000 rounds; and
  • primers, up to a quantity of 5,000; and
  • empty primed cartridge cases, up to a quantity of 5,000; and
  • propellants, smokeless powder in containers not exceeding 4000 grams and black powder in containers not exceeding 500 grams, up to a maximum total combined quantity of 8 kilograms, (17.66 pounds).

Consult with the Explosives Regulatory Division at NRCan to determine if the ammunition you wish to import is authorized and approved for importation and use in Canada. Note that tracer, armour-piercing and similar military cartridges are prohibited entry under Canadian law unless accompanied by an Explosive Importation Permit issued by NRCan.

Within these limits, non-residents can import 200 rounds duty free for hunting purposes, or up to 1,500 rounds duty free for use at a recognized competition.

You can make arrangements to import larger quantities through a Canadian shooting association, committee or federation for team practice and competition at meets. For information on permits to import quantities of ammunition in excess of those mentioned above or for the purposes of sale, contact:

Explosives Regulatory Division
Natural Resources Canada
580 Booth Street
Ottawa ON K1A 0E4

Telephone: 613-948-5200
Fax: 613-948-5195
Email: canmet-erd@nrcan.gc.ca
Web site: www.nrcan.gc.ca

Procedures for Exporting Firearms

Exporting firearms to the United States

Currently, if you are exporting non-restricted or restricted firearms from Canada to the United States, you do not have to stop at a CBSA office when you leave the country. However, the United States requires an import permit. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) issues the required import permit. Applicable forms are available on the ATF Web site at www.atf.gov. It can take up to 12 weeks to process an application, so it is advisable to apply for a United States import permit well in advance.

Note: The application form for the import permit may be accompanied by a copy of a United States hunting licence or an invitation to a target/sportshooting competition. For more information regarding United States import permits, contact:

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
Firearms and Explosives Imports Branch
Office of Public and Governmental Affairs
Room 8290
650 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington DC 20226 USA

Telephone: 304-616-4550
Email: ATFMail@atf.gov
Web site: www.atf.treas.gov

If you are exporting prohibited firearms from Canada to the United States you need an export permit from Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. For more information on these permits, contact:

Export and Import Permits Bureau
Export Controls Division
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Lester B. Pearson Building
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa ON K1A 0G2

Telephone: 613-996-2387
Fax: 613-996-9933
Web site: www.international.gc.ca

Exporting firearms to countries other than the United States

If you are exporting any class of firearm to countries other than the United States, you need an export permit from Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. For more information on these permits, please contact Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada at the number and/or address above.

Before exporting these goods, check with customs officials of the country you intend to enter for their requirements.

You must also advise the Canadian Firearms Program of any permanent exportation of a restricted or prohibited firearm from Canada. This makes it possible for officials there to update the information contained in the Canadian Firearms Registry. For more information, contact the Canadian Firearms Program at 1-800-731-4000 or visit their Web site at www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp.

Hunting Requirements

Firearms are forbidden in many of Canada’s national and provincial parks, game reserves and adjacent areas. Hunting in Canada is governed by federal, provincial and territorial laws. If you hunt in Canada, you must have a hunting licence from each province or territory you plan to hunt in. If you need more information about parks and hunting regulations, contact the appropriate provincial or territorial tourism information office listed in Appendix C.

Transporting Firearms

Canadian law states that you have to transport all firearms unloaded. If you are transporting them in a vehicle, they must be kept out of sight in a part of a vehicle that is kept locked (the trunk, if there is one), unless the vehicle is supervised by an adult. You have to transport restricted and prohibited firearms in a locked case and equip them with locked safety devices to prevent firing. Antique handguns do not require a secure locking device, although all other transportation provisions apply.

If you are flying, please see Transport Canada's Web site at www.tc.gc.ca for information concerning the transportation of firearms and/or ammunition.

Foreign Requirements

Importers are reminded that foreign countries, including the United States, have different legal requirements that apply to the purchase, possession, transportation and exportation of firearms, ammunition, weapons and related items. It is recommended that you contact the appropriate authorities in the country you are visiting, to determine if any requirements apply to your situation.

Appendix A - Chief Firearms Officers and the Canadian Firearms Program

Canadian Firearms Program

Canadian Firearms Program
Ottawa ON K1A 0R2

Telephone:
1-800-731-4000 (within Canada and the United States)
506-624-5380 (outside Canada and the United States)

Fax: 613-825-0297
Email: cfp-pcaf@rcmp-grc.gc.ca
Web site: www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp

Chief Firearms Officers

Newfoundland and Labrador
Chief Firearms Officer
Suite E120
Prince Charles Building
120 Torbay Road
St. John’s NL A1A 2G8

Telephone: Telephone Canadian Firearms Program
Fax: 709-772-3202

Nova Scotia
Chief Firearms Officer
Public Safety and Security Division
Provincial Firearms Office
1st Floor
5151 Terminal Road
P.O. Box 7
Halifax NS B3J 2L6

Telephone: Telephone Canadian Firearms Program
Fax: 902-424-4308
Web site: www.gov.ns.ca

New Brunswick
Chief Firearms Officer
Department of Public Safety
65 Brunswick Street, 2nd Floor
P.O. Box 6000
Fredericton NB E3B 1G5

Telephone: Canadian Firearms Program
Fax: 506-457-3521

Prince Edward Island
Chief Firearms Officer
Consumer, Corporate and Insurance Services Division
Environment, Labour and Justice
P.O. Box 2000
Charlottetown PE C1A 7N8

Telephone: Canadian Firearms Program
Fax: 902-368-5198
Web site: www.gov.pe.ca

Quebec
Bureau du contrôleur des armes à feu du Québec
Sûreté du Québec
1701 Parthenais Street 10th Floor
Montréal QC H2K 3S7

Telephone: Canadian Firearms Program
Fax: 514-496-4653
Web site: www.suretequebec.gouv.qc.ca

Ontario
Chief Firearms Officer
Ministry of the Solicitor General
777 Memorial Avenue
Orillia ON L3V 7V3

Telephone: Canadian Firearms Program
Fax: 705-329-5623

Manitoba and Nunavut Territory
Chief Firearms Officer
Unit 1
1680 Ellice Avenue
Winnipeg MB R3H 0Z2

Telephone: Canadian Firearms Program
Fax: 204-984-0670

Saskatchewan
Chief Firearms Officer
Room 310
1783 Hamilton Street
Regina SK S4P 2B6

Telephone: Canadian Firearms Program
Fax: 306-780-7400

Alberta and Northwest Territories
Chief Firearms Officer
Suite 720
10909 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton AB T5J 3L9

Telephone: Canadian Firearms Program
Fax: 780-495-7970

British Columbia and Yukon Territory
Chief Firearms Officer
Suite 118
5477-152nd Street
Surrey BC V3S 5A5

Telephone: Canadian Firearms Program
Fax: 604-575-1241

Appendix B - Border Information Service (BIS)

The BIS is a computerized, 24-hour telephone service that automatically answers all incoming calls and provides general border services information. You can use a touch tone telephone to hear recorded information on a variety of border topics related to personal importations, travellers' exemptions, residency information, commercial importations/ exportations, postal shipments, currency exchange rates, cross-border currency reporting and trade agreements; including programs such as CANPASS, NEXUS, API/PNR, CSA/FAST and AMPS.

The service is available in both official languages. If you call during office hours (8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., local time) and need more specific information, you can speak directly to an agent.

If you use a rotary-dial telephone, you cannot hear the BIS recorded information. However, if you call BIS during office hours (8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., local time), your call will be transferred directly to an agent.

You can access BIS free of charge throughout Canada by calling 1-800-461-9999. If you are calling from outside Canada, you can access BIS by calling 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064. Long distance charges will apply.

Appendix C - Provincial and Territorial Tourism Information Offices

Note: The toll-free numbers listed below are valid in North America only.

Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism
Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation
P.O. Box 8700
St. John’s NL A1B 4J6

Telephone:
1-800-563-6353
709-729-2830

Fax: 709-729-0870
Email: contactus@newfoundlandlabrador.com
Web site: www.newfoundlandlabrador.com

Prince Edward Island
Tourism PEI
P.O. Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

Telephone:
1-800-463-4734
902-368-5540

Fax: 902-368-4438
Email: tourismpei@gov.pe.ca
Web site: www.tourismpei.com

Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage
P.O. Box 456
Halifax NS B3J 2R5

Telephone:
1-800-565-0000
902-424-5000

Fax: 902-424-2668
Email: explore@gov.ns.ca
Web site: www.novascotia.com

New Brunswick
Tourism New Brunswick
P.O. Box 12345
Campbelltown NB E3N 3T6

Telephone: 1-800-561-0123
Fax: 506-789-2044
Email: nbtourism@gnb.ca
Web site: www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca

Quebec
Ministère du Tourisme
1255 Peel St. Office 400
Montréal QC H3B 4V4

Telephone:
1-877-266-5687
514-873-7977

Fax: 514-864-3838
Email: info@bonjourquebec.com
Web site: www.bonjourquebec.com

Ontario
Ontario Tourism
5150 Spectrum Way
Mail Stop R44
Mississauga ON L4W 5G1

Telephone:
1-800-ONTARIO (668-2746)
905-754-1958

Fax: 905-206-6750
Email: info@ontariotravel.net
Web site: www.ontariotravel.net

Manitoba
Travel Manitoba
7-155 Carlton Street
Winnipeg MB R3C 3H8

Telephone:
1-800-665-0040
204-927-7800

Fax: 204-927-7828
Email: contactus@travelmanitoba.com
Web site: www.travelmanitoba.com

Saskatchewan
Tourism Saskatchewan
186-1621 Albert St.
Regina SK S4P 2S5

Telephone:
1-877-237-2273
306-787-9600

Fax: 306-787-6298
Email: travel.info@sasktourism.com
Web site: www.sasktourism.com

Alberta
Travel Alberta
P.O. Box 2500
Edmonton AB T5J 2Z4

Telephone:
1-800-ALBERTA (252-3782)
780-427-4321

Fax: 780-427-0867
Email: travelinfo@travelalberta.com
Web site: www.travelalberta.com

British Columbia
Tourism British Columbia
12th Floor, 510 Burrard Street
Vancouver BC V6C 3A8

Telephone: 1-800-HELLO BC (435-5622)
Email: Email contact through website
Web site: www.hellobc.com

Northwest Territories
NWT Tourism
P.O. Box 610
Yellowknife NT X1A 2N5

Telephone:
1-800-661-0788
867-873-5007

Fax: 867-873-4059
Email: info@spectacularnwt.com
Web site: www.spectacularnwt.com

Nunavut
Nunavut Tourism
P.O. Box 1450
Iqaluit, NU X0A 0H0

Telephone:
1-866-NUNAVUT (686-2888)
867-979-6551

Fax: 867-979-1261
Email: info@NunavutTourism.com
Web site: www.nunavuttourism.com

Yukon
Department of Tourism and Culture
100 Hanson St.
Whitehorse YT Y1A 2C6

Telephone:
1-800-661-0494
867-667-3084

Fax: 867-393-6351
Email: vacation@gov.yk.ca
Web site: www.travelyukon.com