License to Own a Firearm in Canada

To own or possess a firearm in Canada, you must have a possession only, minors, restricted or a possessions and acquisitions firearms license.

For those people who are in need of firearms, the laws are clear that they need a license for them to legally own a gun. Therefore, there are different levels when it comes to firearms licenses and these levels are determined by issues like if you want to possess a new firearm, to borrow one or even purchase ammunition. You should note that if you possess a firearm illegally, this is a criminal offense and this is punishable up to five years jail term and the firearm will be confisticated.

both hands firing a gun
If you want a firearm, the law says you must get a license.




The following are the types of firearms licenses you will come across:

  • Possession only (POL)

This was intended for those people who already owned firearms, but they did not have the intention to acquire any. This license also allows you to purchase any kind of ammunition and keep non-restricted, prohibited or even restricted firearms that you already own legally. With the license, you can also borrow other firearms as long as they are of the same legal class. If you already possess a license, it is free to get another license or renew what you already possess.

  • Minor’s firearm license

This is a license issued to someone who is in need of firearm and they are under the age of 18. Usually, this license is obtained for non-restricted firearms for the following purposes: hunting, competition, instruction mostly in the firearm’s use and target practice. It is from the Chief Firearms Officer’s office that the application forms for this license are obtained.

In Canada for instance, a minor who is not a sustenance hunter should take the Canadian firearms safety course and pass the subsequent exams in order to obtain the license. You can also go for the One Stop Shopping course which extends the training in safety aspects. If you are sustenance hunter, you can challenge the exams just like the adults.

  • Restricted firearms

The license allows one to own both restricted and non-restricted firearms, as well as any prohibited firearm that the law finds you entitled to acquire. To obtain the license, one must pass the Canadian Firearms Safety as well as Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety exam. You should note that for foreigners, the same conditions still apply just as the Canadian citizens and especially for any Canadian firearms license.

  • Possession and acquisition license

This license can be obtained by those who have no interest in any kind of restricted firearms but still wish to acquire sporting long guns. However, you must pass the exam in Canadian Firearms Safety Course.

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