What are the firearm laws in Canada?

Canada is strict on guns and self-defense there is illegal. If you plan to bring a firearm into Canada, know before you go what is allowed and what is not.

Certain handguns might be allowed with a special permit but chances of them honoring your permit are fifty-fifty. If you don’t mind losing a day or two of travel if your permit becomes worthless when you attempt to cross into Canada, driving four or five hours out of your way, and you enjoy hassles, then a Canadian handgun permit may be right for you.

You must apply for the Canadian Handgun Permit at least two weeks prior to entry into Canada. The dates and routes of travel MUST be exact. Even with the permit, you may still be denied entry as honoring the permit is at the sole discretion of the Canadian border official and s/he is not required to give a reason. We have shipped and received a lot of permitted handguns that were denied entry.

click=> Firearm Users Visiting Canada

You can bring non-restricted firearms such as most shotguns and low capacity hunting rifles into and back out of Canada but you will need to declare, properly store, and submit a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration (form RCMP 5589). If you bring more than three allowed long guns, you will need the Non-Resident Firearm Declaration Continuation Sheet (form RCMP 5590). Try saying that ten times fast. Click the preceding links for fillable PDFs.

Banff National Park of Canada

If you intend to travel into Banff National Park, you can bring a shotgun or simple low capacity rifle with you so long as you filed a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration (form RCMP 5589) with customs and have it properly stored away. More information can be found at the Canadian Justice Laws website on the National Parks Wildlife Regulations page. Click here => National Parks Wildlife Regulations or call the Alberta Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) office at 800-731-4000.

Here is the nitty-gritty on firearms in the park:

Firearms in the Park

  • No person shall be in possession of a firearm in a park unless the firearm is not loaded and is transported in a case or is wrapped and tied securely in such a manner that no part of the firearm is exposed.

Firearms Storage and Transportation in Canada

For more detailed information, click=> Storage, Display, Transportation, and Handling of Firearms by Individuals Regulations

  • A secure locking device, such as a trigger or cable lock, should be attached; or
  • The firearms should be locked in a gun case, container or room.
  • The ammunition should be stored separately and locked up.
  • If left in an unattended vehicle, firearms should be kept in the trunk, or out of sight. The vehicle should be locked.

Prohibited Firearms Magazines in Canada

High-capacity magazines are prohibited in Canada even if the guns for which the magazines are designed are allowed. As a general rule, the maximum capacity is:

  • five cartridges for most magazines designed for a cente-fire semi-automatic long gun; and
  • ten cartridges for most handgun magazines.

Canadian Firearms Program

For information on the declaration process, please call the CBSA:

  • Within Canada: 1-800-461-9999
  • Outside Canada: 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064

Air Guns in Canada

Certain air guns in Canada are classified under the same regulations as firearms. Air gun replicas resembling actual firearms are prohibited.

click=> Air Guns

click=> Replica Firearms

Be sure to check out our Frequently Asked Questions.