Importing and Exporting Firearms, Weapons and Devices

Memorandum D19-13-2

Ottawa, January 23, 2013

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In Brief

1. This memorandum outlines how Tariff Item 9898.00.00 of the Customs Tariff, the Criminal Code, the Firearms Act, and the Export and Import Permits Act relate to the importing and exporting of firearms, firearm parts, weapons, devices, and certain types of ammunition.

2. This memorandum replaces Memorandum D19-13-2 dated June 23, 2009. The following changes were made:

  • (a) The confirmation of the deactivation of a firearm has been amended to reflect the Registrar and not the Chief Firearms Officer
  • (b) Clarification on detention and seizure procedures
  • (c) Update to "Issuing Office" and program area
  • (d) Amendments to the Firearms Act and Criminal Code to repeal the long gun registry.

The Government of Canada is committed to effective firearms and weapons control that targets criminals and at the same time maintain the highest standards of public safety. Firearms and weapons are high-risk commodities that can impact the safety, security and welfare of Canadians. It is the policy of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to control the flow of firearms, weapons and other devices, in order to ensure compliance by all stakeholders with existing laws, regulations and orders and seek to interdict the illegal and unjustified crossing of firearms and weapons across the border; while also streamlining the process for low-risk and law-abiding persons travelling with legitimate purposes and with the required documentation.

Table of Contents


Legislation

The importation and exportation of firearms, weapons and certain prohibited devices are subject to the following legal provisions:

Customs Tariff

List of Tariff Provisions

Tariff item No. 9898.00.00

Firearms, prohibited weapons, restricted weapons, prohibited devices, prohibited ammunition and components or parts designed exclusively for use in the manufacture of or assembly into automatic firearms, in this tariff item referred to as prohibited goods, but does not include the following:

  • (a) prohibited goods imported by:
    • (i) a public officer in the course of the public officer's duties or employment; or
    • (ii) an individual on behalf of and under the authority of a police force, the Canadian Forces, a visiting force or a department of the Government of Canada or of a province; or
    • (iii) a non-resident or an individual belonging to a class of non-residents who, at the time of importation, has the benefit of an exemption under subsection 97(1) and (2) of the Firearms Act.
  • (b) prohibited goods imported by a business that holds a licence authorizing it to acquire and possess those goods, or prohibited goods that are being shipped in transit through Canada by a business that does not carry on business in Canada;
  • (c) prohibited goods, or any class of prohibited goods, that, under regulations made by the Governor in Council, are exempted from the provisions of this tariff item;
  • (d) any weapon that, under subsection 84(3) of the Criminal Code, is deemed not to be a firearm;
  • (e) any firearm, other than a restricted firearm or a prohibited firearm, imported by:
    • (i) a non-resident who meets the requirements of section 35 of the Firearms Act or who holds a license to acquire and possess that kind of firearm;
    • (ii) an individual who holds a licence to acquire and possess that kind of firearm, who is a resident of Canada and who acquired the firearm outside Canada; or
    • (iii) an individual who is a resident of Canada and who did not acquire the firearm outside Canada.
  • (f)  any restricted firearm imported by:
    • (i) a non-resident who meets the requirements of section 35 of the Firearms Act or who holds a licence to acquire and possess that kind of firearm and an authorization to transport;
    • (ii) an individual who holds a licence to acquire and possess that kind of firearm and an authorization to transport, who is a resident of Canada and who acquired the firearm outside Canada; or
    • (iii) an individual who is a resident of Canada, who holds an authorization to transport and who did not acquire the firearm outside Canada.
  • (g) any prohibited firearm, imported by an individual who is a resident of Canada, who holds an authorization to transport and who did not acquire the firearm outside Canada;
  • (h) arms, ammunition, implements or munitions of war, army, naval or air stores and any articles deemed capable of being converted into any such things or made useful in the production of any such things, imported with a permit issued under section 8 of the Export and Import Permits Act;
  • (i)  arms, military stores, munitions of war and other goods eligible for entry under tariff item No. 9810.00.00 or 9811.00.00; and
  • (j)  arms, military stores, munitions of war, or classes thereof, that under regulations made by the Governor in Council, are exempted from the provisions of this tariff item.

For the purposes of this tariff item:

  • (a) "firearms" and "weapon" have the same meaning as in section 2 of the Criminal Code;
  • (b) "automatic firearm", "licence", "prohibited ammunition", "prohibited device", "prohibited firearm", "prohibited weapon", "restricted firearm" and "restricted weapon" have the same meanings as in subsection 84(1) of the Criminal Code;
  • (c) "public officer" has the same meaning as in subsection 117.07(2) of the Criminal Code;
  • (d) "authorization to transport", "business", "carrier" and "non-resident" have the same meanings as in subsection 2(1) of the Firearms Act; and
  • (e) "visiting force" has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Visiting Forces Act.

Criminal Code

Section 91. (1) Subject to subsection (4), every person commits an offence who possesses a firearm, without being the holder of

  • (a) a licence under which the person may possess it; and
  • (b) in the case of a prohibited firearm or a restricted firearm, a registration certificate for it.
  • (2) Subject to subsection (4) every person commits an offence who possesses a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device, other than a replica firearm, or any prohibited ammunition, without being the holder of a licence under which the person may possess it.
  • (3) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) or (2):
  • (a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or
  • (b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
  • (4) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to:
  • (a) a person who possesses a firearm, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device or any prohibited ammunition while the person is under the direct and immediate supervision of a person who may lawfully possess it, for the purpose of using it in a manner in which the supervising person may lawfully use it; or
  • (b) a person who comes into possession of a firearm, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device or any prohibited ammunition by the operation of law and who, within a reasonable period after acquiring possession of it:
    • (i) lawfully disposes of it, or
    • (ii) obtains a licence under which the person may possess it and, in the case of a prohibited firearm or a restricted firearm, a registration certificate for it.

Section 104. (1) Every person commits an offence who imports or exports:

  • (a) a firearm, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device or any prohibited ammunition; or
  • (b) any component or part designed exclusively for use in the manufacture of or assembly into an automatic firearm;
  • otherwise than under the authority of the Firearms Act or any other Act of Parliament or any regulations made under an Act of Parliament.
  • (2) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1):
  • (a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or
  • (b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
  • (3) Any proceeding in respect of an offence under subsection (1) may be commenced at the instance of the Government of Canada and conducted by or on behalf of that government.

Export and Import Permits Act

Section 5. (1) The Governor in Council may establish a list of goods, to be called an Import Control List, including therein any article the import of which the Governor in Council deems it necessary to control for any of the following purposes:

(c.1) to restrict the importation of arms, ammunition, implements or munitions of war, army, naval or air stores, or any articles deemed capable of being converted there into or made useful in the production thereof.

Section 14. No person shall import or attempt to import any goods included in an Import Control List except under the authority of and in accordance with an import permit issued under this Act.

Section 24. All officers, as defined in the Customs Act, before permitting the export or import of any goods, shall satisfy themselves that the exporter or importer, as the case may be, has not contravened any of the provisions of this Act [the Export and Import Permits Act] or the regulations and that all requirements of this Act [the Export and Import Permits Act] and the regulations with reference to those goods have been complied with.

Section 25. All officers, as defined in the Customs Act, have, with respect to any goods or technology to which this Act [the Export and Import Permits Act] applies, all the powers they have under the Customs Act with respect to the importation and exportation of goods, and all the provisions of that Act [Customs Act] and the regulations under it respecting search, detention, seizure, forfeiture and condemnation apply, with such modifications as the circumstances require, to any goods or technology that is tendered for export or import or is exported, transferred or imported or otherwise dealt with contrary to this Act [the Export and Import Permits Act] and the regulations and to all documents relating to the goods or technology.

Firearms Act

Section 35. (1) A non-resident who does not hold a licence may import a firearm that is not a prohibited firearm if, at the time of the importation:

  • (a) the non-resident:
    • (i) is eighteen years old or older;
    • (ii) declares the firearm to a customs officer in the prescribed manner and, in the case of a declaration in writing, completes the prescribed form containing the prescribed information; and
    • (iii) in the case of a restricted firearm, produces an authorization to transport the restricted firearm; and
  • (b) a customs officer confirms in the prescribed manner the declaration referred to in subparagraph (a)(ii) and the authorization to transport referred to in subparagraph (a)(iii).
  • (2) Where a firearm is declared at a customs office to a customs officer but the requirements of subparagraphs (1)(a)(ii) and (iii) are not complied with, the customs officer may authorize the firearm to be exported from that customs office or may detain the firearm and give the non-resident a reasonable time to comply with those requirements.
  • (3) Where those requirements are not complied with within a reasonable time and the firearm is not exported, the firearm shall be disposed of in the prescribed manner.
  • (4) Where a firearm that is neither a prohibited firearm nor a restricted firearm is declared at a customs office to a customs officer and:
  • (a) the non-resident has not truthfully completed the prescribed form; or
  • (b) the customs officer has reasonable grounds to believe that it is desirable, in the interests of the safety of the non-resident or any other person, that the declaration not be confirmed, the customs officer may refuse to confirm the declaration and may authorize the firearm to be exported from that customs office.

Section 36. (1) A declaration that is confirmed under paragraph 35(1)(b) has the same effect after the importation of the firearm as a licence authorizing the non-resident to possess only that firearm and, in the case of a restricted firearm, as a registration certificate for the firearm until

  • (a) the expiry of 60 days after the importation, in the case of a firearm that is neither a prohibited firearm nor a restricted firearm; or
  • (b) the earlier of the expiry of 60 days after the importation and the expiry of the authorization to transport, in the case of a restricted firearm.
  • (2) A chief firearms officer may renew the confirmation of a declaration for one or more period of sixty days.
  • Section 97. (1) Subject to subsection (4), the Governor in Council may exempt any class of non-residents from the application of any provision of this Act or the regulations, or from the application of any of sections 91 to 95, 99 to 101, 103 to 107 and 117.03 of the Criminal Code, for any period specified by the Governor in Council.
  • (2) Subject to subsection (4), the federal Minister may exempt any non-resident from the application of any provision of this Act or the regulations, or from the application of any of sections 91 to 95, 99 to 101, 103 to 107 and 117.03 of the Criminal Code, for any period not exceeding one year.
  • (3) Subject to subsection (4), a provincial minister may exempt from the application in that province of any provision of this Act or the regulations or Part III of the Criminal Code, for any period not exceeding one year, the employees, in respect of any thing done by them in the course of or for the purpose of their duties or employment, of any business that holds a licence authorizing the business to acquire prohibited firearms, prohibited weapons, prohibited devices or prohibited ammunition.
  • (4) Subsections (1) to (3) do not apply if it is not desirable, in the interests of the safety of any person, that the exemption be granted.
  • (5) The authority granting an exemption may attach to it any reasonable condition that the authority considers desirable in the particular circumstances and in the interests of the safety of any person.

Guidelines and General Information

Definitions

1. Use the following definitions when applying this memorandum:

Action – assembly of component parts that carries out the necessary cycle of operation in small arms. Actions are categorized as: air, spring or gas, bolt action, converted automatic, full automatic, lever action, multi-barrel, pump action, revolver, semi-automatic and single shot. The term "Action" is sometimes misused to mean an assembled receiver/frame, without an assembled barrel. The term is also misused as "Barrelled Action" which has evolved into a term describing the metal parts remaining when the wood furniture (stock fore-end and butt) are removed from the firearm.

Ammunition – a loaded cartridge, consisting of a primed cartridge case, propellant and may or may not contain one or more projectiles, designed to be discharged from a firearm, including a caseless cartridge and a shot shell.

Authorization – an authorization issued under the Firearms Act.

Authorization To Carry (ATC) – an authorization that allows an individual to keep restricted firearms, or certain grandfathered handguns, on his or her person for lawful occupational purposes, or to protect life.

Authorization To Transport (ATT) – an authorization that allows an individual to transport restricted or prohibited firearms from one place to another, such as from a home to a target range or gun show and back.

Automatic firearm – a firearm that is capable of, or assembled or designed and manufactured with the capability of, discharging projectiles in rapid succession during one pressure of the trigger.

Barrel – that portion of a firearm through which a projectile or shot charge travels under the impetus of powder gases, compressed air or like means. A barrel may be either smooth or rifled.

Barrel length – the distance from the muzzle of the barrel to and including the chamber. This excludes accessories or barrel extensions such as flash suppressors or muzzle brakes. In the case of a revolver, the distance from the muzzle of the barrel to the breech end immediately in front of the cylinder. (see Appendix A)

Barrelled action – a shotgun or rifle without the stock. The term "barrelled action" has evolved into a term describing the metal parts remaining when the wood furniture (stock fore-end and butt) are removed from the firearm.

Black powder – a finely ground mixture of three basic ingredients - saltpetre (potassium nitrate), charcoal (carbon) and sulphur - principally used in muzzle-loaders and antique cartridge firearms.

Bolt/breech bolt – the locking and cartridge head support mechanism of a firearm that operates in line with the axis of the bore.

Bore – the inside of the barrel of a firearm, from the throat to the muzzle, through which the projectile travels.

Breech – the rear end of the barrel into which the ammunition is loaded.

Bull-pup – a stock that, when combined with a firearm, reduces the overall length of the firearm, such that a substantial part of the reloading action or the magazine-well is located behind the trigger of the firearm when it is held in the normal firing position.

Business – a person who carries on a business that includes the manufacture, assembly, possession, purchase, sale, importation, exportation, display, repair, restoration, maintenance, storage, alteration, pawn broking, transportation, shipping, distribution, or delivery of firearms, prohibited weapons, restricted weapons, prohibited devices, or prohibited ammunition; the possession, purchase, or sale of ammunition; or the purchase of crossbows. A museum is considered a business.

Business Firearms Licence – a licence that allows a business to deal with certain goods. The licence must specify each particular activity that is authorized in relation to firearms, prohibited weapons, restricted weapons, prohibited devices, ammunition or prohibited ammunition.

Calibre – ammunition: a numerical term, without the decimal point, included in a cartridge name to indicate the approximate bullet diameter

Calibre – firearms: the approximate diameter of the circle of the barrel of a firearm. In the case of a rifled barrel, the calibre is the approximate diameter of the circle formed by the tops of the lands.

Carbine – a rifle of short length that is light in weight.

Carrier – a person who carries on a transportation business that includes the transportation of one or more of the following classes of goods: non-restricted firearms, restricted firearms, prohibited firearms, prohibited weapons, restricted weapons, prohibited devices, ammunition or prohibited ammunition.

Carrier licence – a licence that allows a carrier to possess and transport one or more of the following classes of goods: non-restricted firearms, restricted firearms, prohibited firearms, prohibited weapons, restricted weapons, prohibited devices, ammunition or prohibited ammunition.

Cartridge – a complete unit of ammunition, consisting of a case, primer and propellant charge, with or without projectile(s). The term also applies to a shotshell.

Centre-fire cartridge – any cartridge that has its primer central in the head of the case.

Chamber – the rear part of the barrel bore that has been formed to accept a specific cartridge. A revolver cylinder is multi-chambered.

Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) – means the following:

  • (a) in respect of a province, the individual who is designated in writing as the chief firearms officer for the province by the provincial minister of that province;
  • (b) in respect of a territory, the individual who is designated in writing as the chief firearms officer for the territory by the federal Minister; or
  • (c) in respect of any matter for which there is no chief firearms officer under paragraph (a) or (b), the individual who is designated in writing as the chief firearms officer for the matter by the federal Minister.

Cylinder – the cylindrical and rotatable component of a revolver in which chambers are bored to hold cartridges. It combines the functions of magazine, feed system and firing chamber.

Energy – Sometimes called "Projectile Energy", it is the ability or capacity of a projectile to do work by virtue of its motion, commonly expressed in joules or foot-pounds. Energy is also referred as the ballistic measurement that takes into consideration both the mass and velocity of a projectile and is related to the potential to cause injury or damage.

Export – export from Canada and includes exporting goods from Canada that are imported into Canada and shipped in transit through Canada.

Export permit – a permit issued by the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada under the Export and Import Permits Act that allows the export of those goods or classes of goods described on the permit.

Federal Minister – Minister of Public Safety.

Firearm – a barrelled weapon from which any shot, bullet, or other projectile can be discharged and that is capable of causing serious bodily injury or death to a person, and includes any frame or receiver of such a barrelled weapon and anything that can be adapted for use as a firearm.

Firearms Reference Table (FRT) – an electronic database developed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to assist law enforcement officers in the accurate identification of firearms. It establishes a standard method of describing firearms to assist in the goal of determining the legal classification (non-restricted, restricted, prohibited) of a firearm. The FRT also provides descriptions and photos of most existing firearms.

Firing pin – the part of a firing mechanism that strikes the primer of the cartridge to initiate ignition of the propellant charge.

Flintlock firearm – a firearm, usually muzzle loading, discharged when a flint is struck to create sparks that ignite the priming powder.

Former resident – a member of the Canadian Forces, an employee of the Canadian government, or a former resident of Canada returning to Canada to resume residence in Canada after having been a resident of another country for a period of not less than one year, or a resident returning after an absence from Canada of not less than one year.

Frame – see "Receiver".

Full automatic firearm – see "Automatic firearm".

Grandfathering – A legal exception that allows an old rule to continue to apply to some existing situations and/or when the rule will apply instead in all future situations. It describes a legislative provision that assigns special status based on property or other interests that exist at the time a legal change takes effect. In the context of section 12 of the Firearms Act, both the firearm and the individual must be specifically grandfathered. To be and remain grandfathered for a particular category of prohibited firearm, the owner must continuously hold both a valid firearms licence and a valid registration certificate for that prohibited firearm within that category.

Handgun – a firearm that is designed, altered, or intended to be aimed and fired by the action of one hand, whether or not it has been redesigned or subsequently altered to be aimed and fired with both hands.

Import – import into Canada and includes importing goods into Canada that are shipped in transit through Canada and exported from Canada.

Import permit – a permit issued by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada under the Export and Import Permits Act that allows the import of those goods or classes of goods described on the permit.

International Import Certificate (IIC) – a certificate issued under the Export and Import Permits Act to facilitate importation of goods into Canada and compliance with the laws of the country of export. Note: An IIC is not the same as an import permit.

In transit – the movement of goods from a point outside of Canada, through Canada, to another point outside of Canada. This movement must be by the most direct route available. Vacationing or touring Canada is not possible when moving goods in transit.

Licence – a licence issued under the Firearms Act.

Matchlock firearm – a firearm, usually muzzle loading, discharged when a slow burning match is brought to ignite the priming powder.

Military goods – goods listed in Tariff Item 9898.00.00 (h), (i) and (j). They generally include goods specifically designed or subsequently modified for military use, such as large calibre armaments, high explosive engines or any other war machine.

Minor – a person who is less than 18 years old.

Minor's Possession Licence – a licence that allows a minor to possess non restricted firearms. Minors are not allowed to possess restricted or prohibited firearms.

Museum – a person who operates a museum in which non-restricted firearms, restricted firearms, prohibited firearms, prohibited weapons, prohibited devices or prohibited ammunition are possessed, bought, displayed, repaired, restored, maintained, stored or altered; or a museum in which ammunition is possessed or bought. A museum is considered a business.

Muzzle – the end of a barrel from which the projectile emerges.

Muzzle brake – a device attached to the muzzle that softens the recoil of the firearm.

Muzzle loader – a firearm that is loaded with gunpowder and projectile through the muzzle end of the bore.

Muzzle velocity - the speed, measured in meters per second (mps) or feet per second (fps), at which the projectile leaves the muzzle of a firearm.

Non-resident – for determining the admissibility requirements of firearms and weapons, a non-resident is an individual who ordinarily resides outside Canada. Visitors, seasonal residents, temporary residents, settlers, and former residents are non-residents.

Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) – a licence that allows an individual to possess and acquire the class or classes of firearm indicated on the licence.

Possession Only Licence (POL) – a licence that allows an individual to possess the class or classes of firearm indicated on the licence. The holder of this licence may not acquire new firearms. This licence was only available to individuals who applied before January 1, 2001.

Primer – the priming compound, cup and anvil which, when struck, ignites the powder charge.

Provincial Minister(a) in respect of a province, the member of the executive council of the province who is designated by the lieutenant governor in council of the province as the provincial minister;

(b) in respect of a territory, the federal minister; or,

(c)   in respect of any matter for which there is no provincial minister under (a) or (b), the federal minister.

Public agent – an individual who is either:

  • (a) any of the following persons in the course of their duties or for the purposes of their employment:
    • (i) peace officers;
    • (ii) persons training to become police officers or peace officers under the control and supervision of a police force or a police academy or similar institution designated by the federal Minister or the lieutenant governor in council of a province;
    • (iii) persons or members of a class of persons employed in the public service of Canada or by the government of a province or municipality who are prescribed by the regulations made by the Governor in Council under Part III of the Criminal Code to be public officers; and
    • (iv) chief firearms officers and firearms officers.
  • (b) an individual acting on behalf of, and under the authority of, a police force or a department of the Government of Canada or of a province.

Public officer – an individual who is:

  • (a) a peace officer;
  • (b) a member of the Canadian Forces or of the armed forces of another country who is attached or seconded to any of the Canadian forces;
  • (c) an operator of a museum established by the Chief of the Defence Staff or a person employed in any such museum;
  • (d) a member of a cadet organization under the control and supervision of the Canadian Forces;
  • (e) a person training to become a police officer or a peace officer under the control and supervision of:
    • (i) a police force; or
    • (ii) a police academy or similar institution designated by the Attorney General of Canada or the lieutenant governor in council of a province.
  • (f)  a member of a visiting force, within the meaning of section 2 of the Visiting Forces Act, who is authorized under paragraph 14(a) of that Act to possess and carry explosives, ammunition and firearms;
  • (g) the Commissioner of Firearms, the Registrar, a chief firearms officer, any firearms officer and any person designated under section 100 of the Firearms Act; or
  • (h) a member of any of the following classes of persons, if employed in the public service of Canada or by the government of a province or municipality:
    • (i) employees who are responsible for the examination, inventory, storage, maintenance, or transportation of court exhibits and evidence;
    • (ii) employees of police forces or other public service agencies who are responsible for the acquisition, examination, inventory, storage, maintenance, issuance or transportation of firearms, prohibited weapons, restricted weapons, prohibited devices, prohibited ammunition, or explosive substances;
    • (iii) technicians, laboratory analysts, and scientists who work at forensic or research laboratories;
    • (iv) armourers and firearms instructors who work at police academies or similar institutions designated under subparagraph 117.07(2)(e)(ii) of the Criminal Code, or are employed by a federal or provincial department of natural resources, fisheries, wildlife, conservation or the environment, or by the Canada Border Services Agency;
    • (v) park wardens and other employees of a federal or provincial department who are responsible for enforcing laws and regulations dealing with natural resources, fisheries, wildlife, conservation or the environment;
    • (vi) immigration officers;
    • (vii) security personnel employed by the Security Service of the House of Commons or by the Senate Protective Service within the Parliamentary Precinct; or
    • (viii) aircraft pilots employed by the Department of Transport or other public service agencies.

Public service agency – a police force, a department or agency of the public service of Canada or of a province or municipality, a police academy or other public agency that employs or has under its authority public agents.

Receiver/frame – the basic component of a firearm to which all other components are attached. For example, in most firearm designs the barrel is attached to the receiver and the receiver houses the trigger, breech and firing mechanisms.

Registration certificate – a certificate issued under the Firearms Act as proof of registration of a firearm. A copy of this document may be examined.

Regulation – a law made by a body that has been granted (delegated) law-making authority. It is used both to indicate a specific type of delegated legislation, as well as to refer generically to all forms of delegated legislation.

Reproduction – the modern manufacture of any firearm that has ceased to have patent protection and is usually no longer manufactured by the original maker. Normally, the reproduction is equal to or better in quality of material and workmanship than the original and in some cases may be an exact duplicate with interchangeable parts and components.

Resident – for determining the admissibility requirements of firearms and weapons, a resident is an individual who ordinarily resides in Canada.

Revolver – a firearm, usually a handgun, with a cylinder having several chambers so arranged as to rotate around an axis and be discharged successively by the same firing mechanism.

Rifle – a firearm, usually a long arm designed to be fired from the shoulder, normally with rifling inside the bore.

Rim – the edge on the base of a cartridge (i.e., ammunition) case. The rim is the part of the case that the extractor grips to remove the cartridge from the chamber.

Rimfire cartridge – any cartridge that has its primer located inside the annular rim of the cartridge case.

Secure locking device – a device that can only be opened or released by the use of an electronic, magnetic or mechanical key or by setting the device in accordance with an alphabetical or numerical combination; and that, when applied to a firearm, prevents the firearm from being discharged.

Semi-automatic firearm – a repeating firearm requiring a separate pressure of the trigger for each shot fired, that is equipped with a mechanism that, following the discharge of a cartridge, automatically operates to complete any part of the reloading cycle necessary to prepare for the discharge of the next cartridge. It is sometimes referred to as auto-loading or self-loading.

Settler – means any person who enters Canada with the intention of establishing, for the first time, a residence for a period of not less than 12 months, but does not include a person who enters Canada for the purpose of:

  • (a) employment for a period not exceeding 36 months;
  • (b) studying at an educational institution; or
  • (c) performing pre-clearance activities on behalf of the Government of the United States.

Shotgun – a firearm, usually a long arm designed to be fired from the shoulder, normally having a smooth bore. Shotgun ammunition may contain numerous projectiles or a single projectile.

Temporary resident – means:

  • (a) a person who is not a resident of Canada and who resides temporarily in Canada for the purpose of:
    • (i) studying at an educational institution;
    • (ii) employment for a period not exceeding 36 months; or
    • (iii) performing preclearance activities on behalf of the Government of the United States.
  • (b)   the spouse or any dependants of a person described in subparagraph (a)(i) or (ii); and
  • (c)   the spouse or any dependant of a person described in subparagraph (a)(iii), if the spouse or dependant produces on arrival in Canada a valid card or employment authorization issued by the Government of Canada certifying the spouse or dependant to be the spouse or dependant of a person described in subparagraph (a)(iii).

Trigger – the part of the firearm mechanism that is moved manually to cause the firearm to discharge.

Unattended vehicle – means that the vehicle is not under the direct and immediate supervision of a person who is 18 years of age or older and to whom a licence has been issued under the Firearms Act.

Unloaded – a firearm containing no ammunition, i.e., one in which any propellant powder, projectile or cartridge that is capable of being discharged from the firearm is not contained in the breech or firing-chamber nor in a cartridge magazine attached to or inserted into the firearm.

Visiting force – any of the armed forces of a designated state present in Canada in connection with official duties, and includes civilian personnel designated under section 4 of the Visiting Forces Act as a civilian component of a visiting force.

Weapon – any thing used, designed to be used or intended for use in causing death or injury to any person, or to threaten or intimidate any person. Firearms are considered weapons, but not all weapons are firearms.

Wheel-lock firearm – a firearm, usually muzzle loading, discharged when a revolving spring-loaded steel wheel strikes a piece of iron pyrite, or flint, causing sparks that ignite the priming powder.

Identification And Classification

2. All CBSA employees must follow safe handling procedures at all times when in contact with a firearm, weapon or prohibited device. If an employee is uncomfortable or unsure in handling firearms, weapons or prohibited devices, he or she must seek help from another officer qualified to handle them.

3. Except as otherwise stated in this memorandum, all goods must be examined and classified in the condition found or at the time of importation/exportation.

Firearms

4. For CBSA purposes only, all firearms are deemed to be one of two types: "uncontrolled" or "controlled".

"Uncontrolled" firearms

5. "Uncontrolled" firearms are those devices that, although falling within the definition of a firearm in the Criminal Code, are exempt from specific legal requirements of the Firearms Act and its regulations, as well as from other legislative provisions. "Uncontrolled" firearms do not fall under Tariff item No. 9898.00.00, and are generally admissible into Canada. "Uncontrolled" firearms should not be subdivided into any of the non-restricted, restricted, or prohibited classes. The following types of firearms are deemed "uncontrolled":

  • (a) Antique firearms – The term "antique firearm" means:
    • (i) any firearm manufactured before 1898 that was not designed to discharge rim-fire or centre-fire ammunition and that has not been redesigned to discharge such ammunition; or
    • (ii) any firearm that is prescribed to be an antique firearm as listed in the Regulations Prescribing Antique Firearms.
    • Note: Reproductions of all types of antique handguns are considered "controlled" firearms unless the reproduction itself meets the definition of antique firearm (see above). If it is not possible to precisely determine whether a firearm is an antique firearm, consult the section entitled "controlled" firearms.
  • (b) Flare, blank, rivet and industrial guns – Any device that is designed exclusively for signalling, for notifying of distress, or for firing blank cartridges or for firing stud cartridges, explosive-driven rivets or other industrial projectiles, provided that the importer intends to use it only for the purpose for which it is designed.
  • (c)   Slaughter, tranquilizing and line-throwing guns – Any device that is designed exclusively for the slaughtering of domestic animals, the tranquilizing of animals, or the discharging of projectiles with lines attached to them, provided that the importer intends to use it only for the purpose for which it is designed.
  • (d) Low muzzle velocity/energy guns – Any barrelled weapon that is not designed or adapted to discharge projectiles at a muzzle velocity exceeding 152.4 metres per second (500 feet per second) and at a muzzle energy exceeding 5.7 Joules, or to discharge projectiles that are designed or adapted to attain a velocity exceeding 152.4 metres per second (500 feet per second) and an energy exceeding 5.7 Joules. Both thresholds of 152.4 mps and 5.7 Joules must be exceeded for the firearm to be considered "controlled". This requirement exempts firearms that fire below the threshold velocity with a standard projectile, but exceed the threshold velocity when fired with a high-velocity projectile.
  • Note: The term air gun is a colloquial term referring to BB or pellet guns. Such guns operate either as spring-powered, gas-powered, or electrically powered. If the muzzle velocity of the air gun is less than 152.4 mps (500 fps)/5.7 joules but still able to cause serious bodily injury to a person, it may be considered an "uncontrolled" firearm. Airsoft guns and certain types of paintball guns may qualify as a replica firearm (see paragraph 49 of this memorandum).

"Controlled" firearms

6. "Controlled" firearms are strictly those firearms that are controlled for the purposes of certain provisions of the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act. All "controlled" firearms belong to one of three categories: 1) non-restricted, 2) restricted, or 3) prohibited. Each one of the categories has different admissibility requirements.

7. When identifying what category a firearm belongs to, please refer to the Firearms Reference Table (FRT). Access to the FRT can be arranged through your Regional Firearms Coordinator (RFC). However, please note that the FRT does not replace forensic or expert examination and classification of firearms.

8. If a firearm cannot be identified (either because it is a "home-made" firearm, has been extensively modified from its original design, or cannot otherwise be found in the FRT), border services officers should seek assistance from their RFCs or the Regional Intelligence Firearms Liaison Officers (RIFLOs).

Prohibited firearms

9. Prohibited firearms include most automatic, military firearms, and short-barrelled handguns. Prohibited firearms are:

  • (a) handguns that:
    • (i) have a barrel equal to or less than 105 mm (approximately 4.1 inches) in length; or
    • (ii) are designed or adapted to discharge a 25 or 32 calibre cartridge, unless these handguns are listed in the Regulations Prescribing Exclusions From Certain Definitions of the Criminal Code (International Sporting Competition Handguns), and are for use in international sporting competitions governed by the rules of the International Shooting Union; (see Appendix B).
  • (b) firearms adapted from rifles or shotguns, whether by sawing, cutting, or any other alteration, and that as adapted are:
    • (i) less than 660 mm (approximately 25.74 inches) in length; or
    • (ii) 660 mm (approximately 25.74 inches) or more in length but have a barrel less than 457 mm (approximately 17.82 inches) in length.
  • (c) automatic firearms, even if they have been altered to discharge only one projectile with each pull of the trigger; or
  • (d) any firearm that is prescribed to be a prohibited firearm as listed in the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited or Restricted.

Restricted firearms

10.  Restricted firearms are:

  • (a) handguns that are not prohibited firearms;
  • (b) firearms that are semi-automatic, centre-fire, have a barrel less than 470 mm long (approximately 18.33 inches), and are not prohibited firearms;
  • (c) firearms that are designed or adapted to be fired when reduced to a length of less than 660 mm (approximately 25.74 inches) by folding, telescoping, or otherwise; or
  • (d) any firearm that is prescribed to be a restricted firearm as listed in the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited or Restricted.

Non-restricted firearms

11. Non-restricted firearms are all "controlled" firearms that are neither classified as prohibited nor restricted firearms. Generally, they include most hunting rifles and shotguns that have not been modified to the extent that they would become prohibited or restricted firearms.

Deactivated firearms

12.  A deactivated firearm is a device that was originally manufactured as a firearm, but has since been rendered inoperable by the removal of parts, and by the addition of pins and welds, so that the firearm can no longer chamber or fire ammunition. However, some deactivated firearms may still contain functional parts (e.g., functional bolt, barrel). If so, such parts in themselves will be regulated as per the Criminal Code and the Customs Tariff.

13.  A deactivated firearm is not subject to the registration provisions of the Firearms Act. However, a firearm that has been deactivated outside of Canada will be deemed a "controlled" firearm and will therefore require all the appropriate documentation for importation for that class of firearm until the Registrar of Firearms confirms the deactivation.

14.  A deactivated firearm is never a replica firearm.

15.  A "disabled firearm," where the firing or some other mechanism is altered so that the firearm cannot discharge ammunition, is still legally considered a firearm and thus, all rules and regulations pertaining to active firearms (i.e., licensing and registration) will be applicable.

Firearm parts

16.  There are four types of firearms parts:

  • (a) the frame or receiver of a firearm. Any frame or receiver of a firearm is considered to be a firearm in its own right;
  • (b) components or parts designed exclusively for use in the manufacture of or assembly into automatic firearms. Parts that are designed to be used, or can be used on firearms that are not automatic, belong to the fourth type (see below);
  • (c) parts that are considered to be prohibited devices, such as certain short handgun barrels and overcapacity magazines (see Prohibited Devices below); or,
  • (d) all other firearm parts that do not belong to the other three types.

17.  Border services officers should seek assistance from their regional RFC, RIFLO or any other local law enforcement agency expert in order to identify firearm parts.

Weapons

Prohibited weapons

18.  In order for a good to be classified as a prohibited weapon, it must fall within the Criminal Code definition of "prohibited weapon". Only those weapons may be classified under TI 9898.00.00.

19.  Not all weapons are necessarily prohibited. Any weapon that is not specifically prohibited by law will generally be admissible. If a weapon does not meet one or more of the definitions contained in the list of prohibited weapons, please consult the "Other weapons" section below.

20.  The definition of prohibited weapon has two components: 1) "Paragraph (a)" weapons, being automatic, centrifugal, or gravity knives; and 2) "Paragraph (b)" weapons, being those laid out explicitly in the Criminal Code subsection 84(1) Regulations, Part 3. Section 84(1) of the Criminal Code states that a prohibited weapon is:

  • (a) a knife that has a blade that opens automatically by gravity or centrifugal force or by hand pressure applied to a button, spring, or other device in or attached to the handle of the knife; or
  • (b) any weapon, other than a firearm, that is prescribed to be a prohibited weapon.

"Paragraph (a)" weapons

21.  Weapons that fall under paragraph (a) include the following:

  • (a) Automatic knife (switchblade) – An automatic knife that houses a blade that will open automatically by hand pressure applied to a lever or button in or attached to the handle (but not on the blade) of the knife. The blade is released by pressure on the lever or button, and opens with the assistance of an internal spring or mechanism.
  • (b) Centrifugal knife (folding knife, butterfly knife, balisong knife) – A centrifugal knife is one that opens automatically through the use of centrifugal force. Centrifugal force may be defined as a force, arising from the body's inertia, which appears to act on a body moving in a circular path and is directed away from the centre around which the body is moving. That is, centrifugal force is established when the blade of the knife may be opened with the flick of the wrist. Note that extra manipulation and a requirement for some skill to release the blade do not prevent a knife from being a prohibited weapon. A balisong or butterfly knife is a form of centrifugal knife with two handles that counter-rotate around the blade such that, when closed, the blade is concealed within grooves in the handles.
  • (c) Gravity knife – A gravity knife is a knife which may be opened automatically by force of gravity. The knife may be additionally controlled by a lever or button, but typically, applying pressure to such a device and pointing the knife downward will result in the knife's blade releasing and locking into place.
  • Exception: The following type of knife does not generally meet the definition of prohibited weapon, and therefore it is not within the purview of TI 9898.00.00. The misuse of this knife may nonetheless be punishable under other laws.

22.  Torsion bar assisted-opening knives (folding knife, speed-safe knife, spring-assisted knife) – Folding knives that use an internal "torsion bar" to assist in opening them with one hand. The heart of this opening system is the torsion bar in the handle of the knife. In order to open the knife, the user must apply manual pressure to a thumb stud or other protrusion on the blade, thereby overcoming the resistance of the torsion bar. After the blade is moved partially out of the handle by this manual pressure, the torsion bar takes over.

23.  In some cases, torsion bar assisted-opening knives can be opened automatically by gravity or centrifugal force. If this is the case, these knives would fall within the definition of prohibited weapon, and be prohibited under TI 9898.00.00 unless an exemption in that tariff item applies.

"Paragraph (b)" weapons

24. The following weapons are prescribed under paragraph (b) (i.e., Criminal Code, subsection 84(1)(b)) to be prohibited as per Part 3 of the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited or Restricted.

Device with incapacitating gas

25.  This category includes any device designed for the purpose of injuring, immobilizing or otherwise incapacitating any person by the discharge of:

  • (a) Tear gas – Tear gas is a non-specific term for any chemical that is used to cause temporary incapacitation through irritation of eyes, skin, mucous membranes, and/or respiratory system. Common tear gases include CS (chlorobenzalmalononitrile), CN (chloroacetophenone), and CR (dibenzoxazepine).
  • (b) Mace – Mace is the brand name of the product manufactured by Mace Security International. Many other companies manufacture similar products under different brand names. Mace and similar products are a particular type of irritating gas in the form of an aerosol dispenser that is used to cause temporary incapacitation through irritation of eyes, skin, mucous membranes, and/or respiratory system, sometimes causing temporary blindness. It is typically sold and marketed as a self-defence device.
  • (c) Any other spray designed to be used against humans (e.g., "pepper spray") – These are chemical agents, often packaged in the form of aerosol sprays, made with the active ingredient capsaicin. Pepper spray is also known as OC (oleoresin capsicum) spray or OC gas. It is used to cause temporary incapacitation through irritation of eyes, skin, mucous membranes, and/or respiratory system, sometimes causing temporary blindness. In addition, some devices labelled as "pepper spray" may also contain Mace and/or tear gas.
  • Exception: Aerosol or similar dispensers that contain substances capable of repelling or subduing animals (e.g. dog or bear repellent) are not considered prohibited weapons if:
    • (i) the label of the container indicates specifically that it is for use against animals only; and
    • (ii) the provisions of the Pest Control Products Act are met.
    • (iii) In order for a device or dispenser to be considered to meet the above criteria, it must be apparent that the device was designed exclusively for the control or use against animals. The manufacturer's label and specifications will be deemed as the design of the product. The misuse of these or any other similar device may nonetheless be punishable under other laws.
    • (iv) Please note that there is no minimum quantity or capacity requirements (in terms of grams or milliliters) in making the determination with respect to animal repellents.
  • (d) Device with incapacitating liquid/spray/powder – This category includes "any device designed to be used for the purpose of injuring, immobilizing or otherwise incapacitating any person by the discharge of any liquid, spray, powder or other substance that is capable of injuring, immobilizing or otherwise incapacitating any person."

Nunchaku sticks (a.k.a. Liang Ji Gun/ Ee Cheol Bong/ Nisetsuken)

26.  Any instrument or device commonly known as "nunchaku" being hard non flexible sticks, clubs, pipes, or rods linked by a length or lengths of rope, cord, wire or chain, and any similar instrument or device. The definition of "nunchaku" also includes Sanjiegun (or Three-Section- Staff) or any other similar device. On the other hand, "training nunchakus" (these are nunchakus that are light, flexible and covered in foam or any other soft material or fabric) are not considered prohibited weapons.

Shuriken/Shaken (Throwing Stars)

27.  Any instrument or device commonly known as "shuriken", being a hard non flexible plate having three or more radiating points with one or more sharp edges in the shape of a polygon, trefoil, cross, star, diamond or other geometrical shape, and any similar instrument or device.

Manrikigusari/Kusari (Fighting Chain)

28.  These are defined as any instrument or device commonly known as "manrikigusari" or "kusari", being hexagonal or other geometrically shaped hard weights or hand grips linked by a length or lengths of rope, cord, wire or chain, and any similar instrument or device.

Bladed finger ring

29.  Any finger ring that has one or more blades or sharp protrusions and that are capable of being projected from the surface of the ring.

Device with incapacitating electric charge shorter than 480 mm

30.  This category includes any device that is designed to be capable of injuring, immobilizing or incapacitating a person or an animal by discharging an electrical charge produced by means of the amplification or accumulation of the electrical current generated by a battery, where the device is designed or altered so that the electrical charge may be discharged when the device is of a length of less than 480 mm, and any similar device. Examples of these are stun guns or other types of electric-shock devices.

Cross-bows

31.  A cross-bow is a device with a bow and a bowstring mounted on a stock that is designed to propel an arrow, bolt, quarrel, or any similar projectile on a trajectory guided by a barrel or groove and that is capable of causing serious bodily injury or death to a person. The following types of cross-bows are considered to be prohibited weapons:

  • (a) cross-bow for one-handed use – designed or altered to be aimed and fired by the action of one hand, whether or not it has been redesigned or subsequently altered to be aimed and fired by the action of both hands; or
  • (b) cross-bow 500mm or shorter – it has a length not exceeding 500 mm. The length includes the stirrup.

"Constant Companion" (Belt buckle knife)

32.  The device known as the "Constant Companion", being a belt containing a blade capable of being withdrawn from the belt, with the buckle of the belt forming a handle for the blade, and any similar device.

Push-dagger

33.  Any knife commonly known as a "push dagger" that is designed in such a fashion that the handle is placed perpendicular to the main cutting edge of the blade (or blades) and any other similar device other than the aboriginal "ulu" knife. "Kit Rae Fang of Baelin" knives are considered push-daggers.

Device shorter than 30cm with concealed knife blade (e.g., knife comb)

34.  Any device having a length of less than 30 cm and resembling an innocuous object but designed to conceal a knife or blade, including, but not limited to, the device commonly known as the "knife comb", being a comb with the handle of the comb forming a handle for the knife, and any similar device. An innocuous object, for the purposes of TI 9898.00.00, is defined as an item that a reasonable person would usually perceive to be harmless, and thus would be surprised to find a weapon or sharp blade concealed within it. In addition to the "knife-comb", other examples of weapons concealed in innocuous objects include penknives, lipstick knives and certain types of necklace knives. Knives contained in credit card-sized cases clearly resembling real credit cards and designed as weapons will also be considered prohibited weapons.

35.  The following generally do not meet the definition of a prohibited weapon, and thus do not fall under TI 9898.00.00 (therefore admissible). The misuse of these weapons may nonetheless be punishable under other laws:

  • (a) Sword canes/umbrella daggers more than 30 cm in length – These are swords contained in canes, frequently where the handle of the cane also serves as a handle for the sword which is sheathed inside the cane's/umbrella's shaft.
  • (b) Multi-tools/card tools – These are typically credit card-sized plastic cases that contain a number of small functional items such as scissors, a compass, tweezers, etc. These tools will almost always include a small blade or knife that is concealed by the plastic case. They are not designed as weapons but as functional tools.

Spiked wristband

36.  A spiked wristband is a wristband to which a spike or blade is affixed, and any similar device. There are a number of variations on spiked wristbands. In order for a wristband to fall under the prohibited weapon definition, it must first be established that the wristband is in fact a weapon.

37.  Wristbands made out of sturdy or thick leather with a buckle or snap attachment and sharp spikes protruding from the band are considered prohibited weapons.

38.  The following goods generally do not meet the definition of a prohibited weapon, and thus do not fall under TI 9898.00.00. Their misuse may nonetheless be punishable under other laws:

  • (a) cloth, nylon or plastic wristbands which may be weak and not effective as weapons;
  • (b) wristbands with dull ‘studs' which may not be effective as weapons;
  • (c) spiked necklaces, ankle bracelets, belts, boots, spiked gloves and gauntlets or any other item of jewellery or clothing to which spikes are affixed.

Blowgun (Yaqua Blowgun)

39.  The device commonly known as "Yaqua Blowgun", being a tube or pipe designed for the purpose of shooting arrows or darts by the breath, and any similar device. Blowguns are hollow tubes typically made of wood or plastic with an opening at each end. Darts or arrows are placed in one end, and forced out the other end using the force of the operator's breath. The darts used may be made of metal, plastic or wood, and can occasionally be made with poison tips.

Kiyoga Baton/Steel Cobra

40.  The device commonly known as a "Kiyoga Baton" or "Steel Cobra" and any similar device consisting of a manually triggered telescoping spring loaded steel whip terminated in a heavy calibre striking tip.

41.  There are two main types of prohibited telescoping/ expandable batons: spring batons and spring-loaded rigid batons.

42.  A spring baton consists of a solid handle, one or more coiled spring body sections, and a solid striking tip or ball at the end furthest from the handle. It is flexible at one or more points and is extended by centrifugal force.

43.  A spring-loaded rigid baton consists of a solid handle, one or more solid body sections, and a solid striking tip or ball at the end furthest from the handle. This type of baton has a button or other trigger that releases a spring, which in turn extends the baton automatically. The baton is rigid when extended.

Exception: The following goods generally do not meet the definition of prohibited weapon, and thus do not fall under tariff item 9898.00.00. Their misuse may nonetheless be punishable under other laws:

  • (a) Centrifugal rigid batons – A baton consisting of a solid handle, one or more solid body sections, and a solid striking tip or ball at the end furthest from the handle. This type of baton usually has no spring or other automatic mechanism, and is deployed through centrifugal force only. It is rigid when extended.
  • (b) Collapsible batons (telescopic batons, police-style batons) – Batons consisting of sections of different diameter metal or other tubing that nestle inside one another when closed, and through a flick of the wrist extend outwards into a baton, with each section lodging securely inside the adjoining one; no spring is found in the instrument or device.
  • (c) Slapjack/blackjack/slappers – A sealed pouch (sometimes leather), beavertail or hourglass shaped, containing weights (ex. lead).

Morning Star

44.  The device commonly known as a "Morning Star" and any similar device consisting of one or more balls of metal or other heavy material studded with spikes and connected to a handle by a length of chain, rope or other flexible material.

Brass knuckles

45.  The device known as brass knuckles and any similar device consisting of a band of metal with one or more finger holes designed to fit over the fingers of the hand. Generally, the outer edges of the brass knuckle will be undulated in order to deliver the kinetic force of a punch through a smaller and harder contact area. Brass knuckles can be made of any type of metal. Typically, but not exclusively, brass knuckles are made with four finger holes, though there are many variations. An example of such a variation would be "half knuckles", that is, a band of metal with only two finger holes.

46.  Brass knuckles can be combined with other weapons such as knives. These ‘brass knuckles knives' consist of two parts: a knife blade, and brass knuckles integrated into the handle. The blade part does not generally possess characteristics that would make it fall under the definition of prohibited weapon. Rather, it is the brass knuckles handle that will usually determine the knife's classification as a prohibited weapon. In order for the knife to be prohibited, the brass knuckles part of the knife must meet the definition of "brass knuckles" in the regulations. Therefore, to classify a ‘brass knuckles knife' as prohibited:

  • (a) the handle must be a weapon; and
  • (b) that weapon must meet the definition of brass knuckles. It is not sufficient for the blade portion of the knife to be designed as a weapon.
  • Exception: The following goods generally do not meet the definition of prohibited weapon, and thus do not fall under tariff item 9898.00.00. Their misuse may nonetheless be punishable under other laws:
  • (a) plastic knuckles do not fall within the definition of "brass knuckle";
  • (b) D-guard knives (knives with a hand-guard in the form of a "D").

Restricted weapons

47.  A restricted weapon is any weapon, other than a firearm, that is prescribed to be a restricted weapon. Currently, there are no regulations prescribing restricted weapons.

Prohibited Devices

General

48.  A prohibited device is:

  • (a) any component or part of a weapon, or any accessory for use with a weapon that is prescribed to be a prohibited device (e.g. any device designed for the purpose of discharging cartridges in rapid succession, bull-pup stocks, etc.);
  • (b) a handgun barrel that is equal to or less than 105 mm (approximately 4.1 inches) in length, but does not include any such handgun barrel that is prescribed where the handgun barrel is used in international sporting competitions governed by the rules of the International Shooting Union;
  • (c) a device or contrivance designed or intended to muffle or stop the sound or report of a firearm, such as silencers (please note that some silencers attached to airsoft guns may also be deemed prohibited devices if they can be used in real firearms);
  • (d) large-capacity cartridge magazines prescribed by regulation; or
  • (e) a replica firearm.

Replica firearms

49.  "Replica firearm" is defined as any device that is designed or intended to exactly resemble, or to resemble with near precision, a firearm, and that itself is not a firearm, but does not include any such device that is designed or intended to exactly resemble, or to resemble with near precision, an antique firearm.

50.  For a device to be a replica firearm it must meet all three requirements:

  • (a) it cannot be a firearm, meaning it does not discharge a projectile with sufficient energy to cause serious bodily injury or death to a person. If the device is a firearm, then it cannot be a replica firearm (and vice versa);
  • (b) it must resemble exactly, or with near precision, a real existing firearm of an identifiable make and model. With respect to visual examination, note that the maximum observing distance is one at which the equivalent make and model of the firearm can be identified. This distance will vary from one firearm make to the next. For example: A Luger pistol has a very distinctive silhouette as compared to other makes and is therefore more readily identified from further away. The examination of the object is something more than casual, but less than detailed. The device does not need to be so close that markings are identifiable; and
  • (c) it cannot be designed or intended to exactly resemble, or to resemble with near precision, an antique firearm (see paragraph 5 of this memorandum).

51.  In addition, there are other material considerations that must be considered when examining a device suspected of being a replica firearm. Amongst them:

  • (a) scale and size;
  • (b) translucency (i.e. whether light can travel through it). At the time of publication, there are no firearms made of glass or translucent material. However, such a determination is not absolute. Much of this consideration depends on "how translucent" the material is and what are the parts that are translucent. For instance, a transparent firearm-like object made of dark, barely translucent material could resemble a firearm. Also, be aware that certain ammunition magazines may be translucent or made with transparent plastic materials (e.g., the magazine of the SIG 550 assault rifle);
  • (c) shape (whether all major parts from the original firearm are reproduced-even if they do not move).

52.  The following are additional inferences that could be made to suggest a device to be considered a replica firearm.  They are not in themselves necessary considerations for a replica firearm determination:

  • (a) weight (whether it does feel realistic in weight or whether it is considered "too light");
  • (b) fabrication materials (whether it is fabricated in metal, plastic or any other type of casting). For example: some handguns (e.g., GLOCK pistols) are polymer-framed and/or use other non-metallic composites;
  • (c) whether the parts move or are in a "functioning state" (e.g., slides moving back and forth, cylinder rotating in a model revolver);
  • (d) colour (e.g., orange tip, pink or blue colours). Real firearms can come in designer colours and/or with painted tips.

53.  The following are examples of devices that may be considered replica firearms (however, each device must always be assessed on a case-by-case basis and taking into account all the above-mentioned criteria):

  • (a) Toy guns and starter pistols do not generally qualify as firearms. However, some toy or model guns and starter pistols may be designed with very realistic mechanisms or appearances (e.g., colour, size, scale, translucency) and resembling a real make and model of a firearm. In such cases, they may be considered replica firearms even if they are made of plastic, die cast zinc, or other material.
  • (b) Airsoft guns and certain types of paintball guns or markers may qualify as a replica firearm, if the muzzle velocity of the projectile does not cause serious bodily harm and their external features are clearly designed to resemble a specific and readily identifiable make and model of a firearm. To be considered a firearm, within the meaning of s. 2 of the Criminal Code, an airsoft gun must have a muzzle velocity in excess of 111.6 meters per second (366 feet per second).
  • Exception: The following goods generally do not meet the definition of prohibited weapon, and thus do not fall under tariff item 9898.00.00. Their misuse may nonetheless be punishable under other laws:
  • (a) an air gun or BB/pellet gun that resembles a real make and model of a firearm may not be a replica firearm if it is an "uncontrolled" firearm (see "Uncontrolled" firearms).
  • (b) a disabled or deactivated firearm is not a replica firearm as it was originally intended to be a firearm, and not simply to resemble one.

54.  Except for replica frames and receivers, most parts intended for replica firearms will generally be admissible, subject to other customs requirements such as payment of duties and taxes. However, border services officer must be vigilant that the parts in question are not interchangeable with real firearms or are not prohibited devices in their own right. For example: border services officer must ensure that the magazines that come with replicas are not real magazines that can be used in firearms and be able to store real ammunition.

55.  If you need more information on the capacity of a given device to inflict injury, its muzzle velocity, its resemblance to a real firearm, or any other technical matter, detain the shipment and:

  • (a) use the FRT;
  • (b) consult the regional RFC or RIFLO (in doing so, please provide all available information about the device in question, such as instruction manual (if available), photos, name & model of the device, manufacturer, calibre, etc.); or
  • (c) conduct research via the internet (especially the web sites of manufacturers, distributors and retailers if applicable).

Magazines

56.  A magazine is a device or container from which ammunition may be fed into the firing chamber of a firearm. This can be an internal or external component of the firearm. For CBSA purposes, any box, body or case of a disassembled magazine will be deemed a magazine, even if at the time of examination it does not contain a follower or spring.

57.  Section 84(1) of the Criminal Code states that certain cartridge magazines prescribed by regulations are considered prohibited devices. For a detailed list of prescribed and overcapacity magazines, see Part 4, Section 3, subsection (1) of the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited or Restricted (see Appendix C).

58.  Cartridge magazines are limited to five rounds for centre-fire automatic or semi-automatic rifles or shotguns and ten rounds for semi-automatic handguns with certain exemptions for rare and valuable magazines.

Alteration or modification of a magazine

59.  A prescribed cartridge magazine that has been altered or re-manufactured so that it is not capable of containing more than five or ten cartridges, as the case may be, of the type for which it was originally designed is not a prohibited device as prescribed by that provision if the modification to the magazine cannot be easily removed and the magazine cannot be easily further altered so that it is capable of containing more than five or ten cartridges, as the case may be.

60.  For the purposes of the above, altering or re-manufacturing a cartridge magazine includes:

  • (a) the indentation of its casing by forging, casting, swaging or impressing;
  • (b) in the case of a cartridge magazine with a steel or aluminum casing, the insertion and attachment of a plug, sleeve, rod, pin, flange or similar device, made of steel or aluminum, as the case may be, or of a similar material, to the inner surface of its casing by welding, brazing or any other similar method; or
  • (c) in the case of a cartridge magazine with a casing made of a material other than steel or aluminum, the attachment of a plug, sleeve, rod, pin, flange or similar device, made of steel or of a material similar to that of the magazine casing, to the inner surface of its casing by welding, brazing or any other similar method or by applying a permanent adhesive substance, such as cement, epoxy or other glue.

61.  This is not necessarily an all-exhaustive list and therefore not the only acceptable methods of converting magazines to five or fewer shots capacity for rifles/shotguns or ten or less for handguns.

Insertion of a rivet

62.  The permanent installation of a rivet (which is considered to be sufficiently permanent as it would require a machine tool to remove) through the casing of the magazine to prevent the magazine platform from moving past the rivet, and therefore not permitting the insertion of more than five/ten cartridges into the magazine is considered an acceptable form of modification. If properly tooled and/or modified in a workmanlike manner, the insertion of a "pop" rivet can be an acceptable way of limiting an otherwise overcapacity magazine. A proper rivet is similar to a "pin" to satisfy the requirements of Part 4, Section 5 of the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited or Restricted (see Appendix C) concerning the limits of magazine size, and therefore will be accepted for CBSA purposes.

63.  In order for the rivet to be acceptable, it should generally:

  • (a) be substantial in nature and of substantial strength, it would require the use of a tool to remove it and not removable by hand;
  • (b) fit tightly and not be loose;
  • (c) securely block the follower from going down and actually limit the magazine to legal capacity; and
  • (d) not be readily removable (i.e., does not fall out when the magazine is handled or operated repeatedly).

64.  If you need more information or if you require further technical assistance, consult your regional RFC, RIFLO, or local law enforcement agency (in doing so, please provide all available information about the device in question, such as photos, name and model of the magazine, manufacturer, the type of firearm for which the magazine is intended, etc.). You may also conduct research via the web or rely on other appropriate tools at your disposal.

65.  All additions or modifications to the magazine must be completed prior to its importation into Canada.

Ammunition

General

66.  The following information regarding ammunition has been compiled for ease of reference. Please refer to Memorandum D19-6-1, Administration of the Explosives Act and Regulations.

67.  Ammunition means a cartridge containing a projectile designed to be discharged from a firearm and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, includes a caseless cartridge and a shot shell. The importation of certain types of ammunition is prohibited (see "Prohibited Ammunition" below).

68.  Restrictions on the importation of hollow point handgun ammunition no longer apply. Hollow point ammunition for all types of firearms is now admissible.

69.  Certain types of ammunition are referred to as being "caseless" as they do not have a cartridge. No special restrictions apply to this type of ammunition.

Prohibited Ammunition

70.  Prohibited ammunition refers to any ammunition, round, cartridge, or projectile of any kind, that is prescribed to be prohibited in the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited or Restricted. Currently, there are four types of prohibited ammunition:

  • (a) any cartridge that is capable of being discharged from a commonly available semi-automatic handgun or revolver and that is manufactured or assembled with a projectile that is designed, manufactured, or altered so as to be capable of penetrating body armour, including KTW, THV and 5.7 x 28 mm P-90 cartridges (the latter applies only to Military SS.90 and SS.190 types of cartridges);
  • (b) any projectile that is designed, manufactured, or altered to ignite on impact, where the projectile is designed for use in or in conjunction with a cartridge and does not exceed 15 mm in diameter;
  • (c) any projectile that is designed, manufactured, or altered to explode on impact, where the projectile is designed for use in or in conjunction with a cartridge and does not exceed 15 mm in diameter; and
  • (d) any cartridge that is capable of being discharged from a shotgun and that contains projectiles known as "fléchettes" or any similar projectiles. Fléchettes are small, fin-stabilized darts or arrows.

71.  Any other projectile for ammunition that does not meet the prohibition criteria of paragraphs (b) and (c) above does not require an import permit.

Note: Other provisions of the Explosives Act may regulate any other type of ammunition not listed above. Please refer to Memorandum D19-6-1.

Other Military Goods

72.  Other military goods include both goods specifically designed or subsequently modified for military use, such as large calibre armaments, grenade and rocket launchers, high explosive engines or any other war machine. Military goods are listed in the Import Control List and the Export Control List under the Export and Import Permits Act.

Import and Export Procedures

Importation

73.  Please note that the importation of both non-restricted and restricted firearms is currently exempt from the import permit requirements under the Export and Import Permits Act.

74.  In order to bring a firearm into Canada, the foreign country from where the firearm is being exported may require an International Import Certificate (IIC) from Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. An IIC is an end-use document that formally recognizes that the Government of Canada is aware of, and has no immediate objections to, the proposed import of specific goods to Canada by the stated importer, for the stated end-use and end-user. The IIC is issued to Canadian applicants, who in turn provide a copy to their foreign supplier(s), who use the IIC to obtain a foreign export permit. 

75.  Both residents and non-residents must be at least 18 years old to import any firearm. Holders of a minor's licence cannot import firearms by themselves.

76.  All importations must conform to the safe transportation requirements, please see the section on transportation below for more information.

77.  Licences, permits and authorizations, must be in their original form. Reproductions and/or photocopies of these documents will not be accepted. The only exception is in the case of registration certificates, where a copy is acceptable.

78.  Please note that foreign "concealed carry authorization and/or permits" do not permit their holders to carry concealed firearms or weapons into or through Canada.

79.  Appendix D contains a simplified table of import document requirements for all types of importers included below.

Importation of Firearms

Non-restricted firearms

Personal importations by residents

Re-importation of firearms

80.  Residents may re-import non-restricted firearms into Canada or may move them in transit through Canada if they present a valid Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) or Possession only Licence (POL) authorizing possession of that class of firearm.

Note: A BSF407 Identification of Articles for Temporary Exportation form listing the firearm is recommended to show that it has not been purchased outside of Canada.

Importation of newly acquired firearms

81.  Residents may import newly acquired non-restricted firearms into Canada or may move them in transit through Canada if they present a valid Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) authorizing the acquisition of a non-restricted firearm.

82.  Those residents who arrive in Canada without a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) who are attempting to import a newly acquired firearm do not have the option of having the firearm held by CBSA. No 40 day holding period will be granted. The importer may choose to abandon the goods to the Crown, or to export the firearm.

83.  It is not necessary for Canadian residents to demonstrate a valid purpose in order to import a non-restricted firearm.

Personal importations by settlers, temporary or former residents

84.  Settlers, temporary or former residents may import non-restricted firearms as part of their effects if they present a valid Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) authorizing possession of that class of firearm

85.  If the settler, temporary or former resident does not have a licence for the non-restricted firearm, he/she may:

  • (a) complete a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration (NRFD) (CAFC909) and, if applicable, a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration Continuation Sheet (CAFC910);
  • (b) pay the confirmation fee; and
  • (c) have the form confirmed by the border services officer. The form will be valid for 60 days and allow the individual time to apply for a licence.

Personal importations by non-residents

86.  Unlike Canadian residents, non-residents importing non-restricted firearms will always need to have a valid purpose for importing. Valid purposes can include:

  • (a) hunting during their respective seasons;
  • (b) use in competitions;
  • (c) repair;
  • (d) re-enactments;
  • (e) in transit movement (i.e., moving in the most direct route possible from point A to point B, through Canada); or
  • (f)  protection against wildlife in remote areas.

87.  A border services officer must be satisfied that the circumstances warrant the firearm being imported. Please note that non-residents who are proceeding to a Canadian national park should be advised that many national parks do not allow firearms. In addition, non-residents under 18 years of age are not permitted to transfer their firearm to an adult to ensure its importation.

Licensed non-residents

88.  Non-residents may import non-restricted firearms into Canada or may move them in transit through Canada if they:

  • (a) have a valid purpose for importing the firearms;
  • (b) have a valid Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) or Possession Only Licence (POL) authorizing possession of that class of firearm.

Non-resident without a Canadian firearms licence

89.  If the non-resident does not have a licence, he or she must:

  • (a) have a valid purpose for importing the firearm(s);
  • (b) complete a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration (CAFC909) and, if applicable, a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration Continuation Sheet (CAFC910);
  • (c) pay the confirmation fee; and
  • (d) have the NRFD confirmed by the border services officer.

90.  Once confirmed, the NRFD acts as a temporary licence for the non-resident for the firearm(s) listed.

Note: The confirmation fee is valid for 60 days from the date of payment and covers all firearms on the declaration. On any subsequent importation within the 60 day period of the same non-restricted firearm(s), the border services officer will match the firearm(s) to the original NRFD, but no additional fee is payable.

Commercial and other types of importations

91.  Businesses may import non-restricted firearms if they have a valid firearms business licence. The licence describes the activities the business may conduct regarding non-restricted firearms (e.g., importation, sale, display, storage). A business might also need a carrier licence if it is engaged in the transportation of firearms and the firearms business licence does not specify transportation of non-restricted firearms (see "Transportation" section).

92.  Businesses not carrying on a business in Canada may ship non-restricted firearms in transit through Canada. In this case, no firearms business licence is required.

Note: Public officers acting in the course of their duties, and individuals acting on behalf of and under the authority of a domestic police force, the Canadian Forces, a visiting force, or of a federal or provincial government department may import non-restricted firearms, or move them in transit through Canada. Firearms licences, authorizations, permits or registration certificates are not required (see "Other Modalities for Importing Firearms").

Restricted firearms
Personal importations by residents

93.  Re-import of firearms – Residents may re-import restricted firearms into Canada or may move them in transit through Canada if they present:

  • (a) a valid Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) or Possession Only Licence (POL) authorizing possession of that class of firearm;
  • (b) a valid registration certificate for the firearm; and
  • (c) a valid Authorization to Transport (ATT).

94.  If the resident does not present all of the documents listed above they have the option of exporting or abandoning the firearm, or of having it held by the CBSA. The CBSA may hold the firearm for 40 days on a BSF241, Non-monetary General Receipt while the resident satisfies the outstanding documentation requirements.

Note: A BSF407 Identification of Articles for Temporary Exportation form listing the firearm is not sufficient documentation for re-importation.

Importation of newly acquired firearms

95.  Residents may import newly acquired restricted firearms into Canada or may move them in transit through Canada if they present:

  • (a) a valid Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) authorizing the acquisition of a restricted firearm;
  • (b) a valid registration certificate for the firearm. The resident should arrange with the CFP to have the firearm registered prior to arriving at the CBSA port office; and
  • (c) a valid Authorization to Transport (ATT).

96.  If the resident does not have a registration certificate for the restricted firearm he/she wishes to import, he/she has the option of exporting or abandoning the firearm, or of having it held by the CBSA. The CBSA may hold the firearm for 40 days on a BSF241, Non-monetary General Receipt while the resident satisfies the outstanding documentation requirements. The resident should be advised to complete an application to register newly imported firearms (CAFC 998, available on the CFP Web  site) in order to receive a registration certificate. The resident may contact the CFP at 1-800-731-4000 for additional information. Residents must make bona fide efforts to obtain the missing documentation as quickly as possible. Storage charges may apply in such circumstances.

97.  If, after a reasonable delay, the resident has not presented the required registration and any other applicable documentation, the port is authorized to dispose of the firearm(s) by approved means.

98.  Those residents who arrive in Canada without a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) who are attempting to import a newly acquired firearm do not have the option of having the firearm held by CBSA. No 40 day holding period will be granted. The importer may choose to abandon the goods to the Crown, or to export the firearm.

99.  It is not necessary for Canadian residents to demonstrate a valid purpose in order to import a restricted firearm.

100. Form B15, Casual Goods Accounting Document must show the PAL number and provide a complete description of the firearm, including make, model, and serial number.

Personal importations by settlers, temporary or former residents

101. Settlers, temporary or former residents may import restricted firearms as part of their effects if they present:

  • (a) a valid Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) authorizing possession of that class of firearm;
  • (b) a valid registration certificate for the firearm; and
  • (c) a valid Authorization to Transport (ATT).

102. If the settler, temporary or former resident does not have a licence and a registration certificate for the restricted firearm(s), they may:

  • (a) obtain an Authorization to Transport (ATT) from the CFO of the province in which they present themselves or where they are to reside;
  • (b) complete a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration (CAFC909) and, if applicable, a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration Continuation Sheet (CAFC910);
  • (c) pay the confirmation fee; and
  • (d) have the form confirmed for 60 days by the border services officer.

103. If the settler, former or temporary resident arrives outside of business hours (i.e., 9-5 Monday to Friday), the settler, former or temporary resident is to be advised to complete the NRFD and pay the confirmation fee. The CBSA may then hold the firearm for 40 days on a BSF241 form while the settler, former or temporary resident obtains an ATT. The settler, former or temporary resident may contact the CFP at 1-800-731-4000 for additional information. Settlers, former or temporary residents must make bona fide efforts to obtain the ATT as quickly as possible. Storage and transportation charges may apply in such circumstances.

104. Once the ATT has been obtained the firearm(s) may be shipped to the settler, former or temporary resident by using the most secure means of transmission by post that is offered by Canada Post that includes the requirement to obtain a signature on delivery, with the white copy of the confirmed NRFD and a copy of the ATT. If, after a reasonable delay, the settler, former resident or temporary resident has not presented a valid ATT, the port is authorized to dispose the firearm(s) by approved means.

Personal importations by non-residents

Licensed non-residents

105. Non-residents may import restricted firearms into Canada or may move them in transit through Canada if they have:

  • (a) a valid purpose for importing the firearms;
  • (b) a valid Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) or Possession Only Licence (POL) authorizing possession of that class of firearm;
  • (c) a valid registration certificate for the firearm; and
  • (d) a valid Authorization to Transport (ATT).

106. If the non-resident does not have all of the documentation listed above for the restricted firearm(s) they wish to import, they must:

  • (a) have a valid purpose for importing the firearms;
  • (b) have a valid Authorization to Transport (ATT);
  • (c) complete a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration (CAFC909) and, if applicable, a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration Continuation Sheet (CAFC910);
  • (d) pay the confirmation fee; and
  • (e) have the form confirmed by the border services officer for either: the length of the ATT; or, 60 days, whichever is shorter.
  • (f)  Once confirmed, in this case, the NRFD acts as a temporary registration for the firearm(s) listed.

Note: The confirmation fee is valid for 60 days from the date of payment and covers all firearms on the declaration. On any subsequent importation within the 60 day period of the same restricted firearm(s), the border services officer will match the firearm(s) to the original NRFD and check the validity of the ATT, but no additional fee is payable. If the non-resident does not have the ATT, CBSA may hold the firearm for 40 days while the non-resident satisfies the outstanding documentation requirements. Non-residents must make bona fide efforts to obtain the missing documentation as quickly as possible. Storage and transportation charges may apply.

Commercial and other types of importations

107. The same requirements as for non-restricted firearms also apply to the importation of restricted firearms by businesses and other types of importers (Government, military, police, etc.). Border services officer must ensure that, in the case of commercial importations, the firearms business licence indicates the business in question is allowed to import restricted firearms.

Prohibited firearms

Personal importations by residents

Re-importation of firearms

108. Residents may re-import prohibited firearms into Canada or may move them in transit through Canada if they:

  • (a) properly exported the firearm(s) (i.e., presented an export permit to the CBSA upon exportation);
  • (b) present a valid Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) or Possession Only Licence (POL) authorizing possession of that class of firearm;
  • (c) present a valid registration certificate for the firearm;
  • (d) present an import permit for the firearm(s); and
  • (e) present a valid Authorization to Transport (ATT).

109. If the resident does not meet all the requirements listed above he/she has the option of exporting or abandoning the firearm, or of having it held by the CBSA. The CBSA may hold the firearm for 40 days on a BSF241, Non-monetary General Receipt form while the resident satisfies the outstanding documentation requirements. Storage and transportation charges may apply.

Note: A BSF407 Identification of Articles for Temporary Exportation form, listing the firearm, is not sufficient documentation for re-importation.

Importation of newly acquired firearms

110. Residents may not import newly acquired prohibited firearms into Canada or move them in transit through Canada.

Personal importations by non-residents

111. Non-residents may not import prohibited firearms. This includes movements in transit through Canada.

Personal importations by settlers and temporary residents

112. Settlers and temporary residents may not import prohibited firearms as part of their effects.

Personal importations by former residents

113. Former residents may import prohibited firearms as part of their effects if they:

  • (a) have been in continuous legal ownership of the firearm(s) since they left Canada;
  • (b) properly exported the firearm(s) (i.e., presented an export permit to the CBSA upon exportation);
  • (c) presents a valid Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) or Possession Only Licence (POL) authorizing possession of that class of firearm;
  • (d) presents a valid registration certificate for the firearm;
  • (e) presents an import permit for the firearm(s); and
  • (f)  presents a valid Authorization to Transport (ATT) from the CFO of the province in which they present themselves or where they are to reside.

114. If the former resident does not meet all the requirements listed above they have the option of exporting or abandoning the firearm to the CBSA.

Commercial and other types of importations

115. The same requirements as for restricted and non-restricted firearms also apply to the importation of prohibited firearms by businesses and other types of importers (Government, military, police, etc.). However, border services officer must ensure that, in the case of commercial importations, the firearms business licence indicates the business in question is allowed to import prohibited firearms. 

"Uncontrolled" and deactivated firearms (including antique firearms)

"Uncontrolled" firearms

116. Residents, non-residents, businesses and public officers may all import "uncontrolled" firearms. No firearms licences, authorizations, permits or registration certificates are required. In the case of antique firearms, they must comply with safe transportation, handling and transportation requirements.

Deactivated firearms

117. In the case of a firearm that has been deactivated outside Canada, that firearm will be treated as an "active firearm" (one that is not deactivated) until it is in Canada and the Registrar of Firearms confirms the deactivation status. Thus, to import such a firearm, the importer will need a valid licence allowing the importer to import that class of firearm and he/she will need a registration certificate for the firearm, and in the case of a prohibited firearm, an import permit. Once the Registrar of Firearms has confirmed that the firearm modification meets Canadian deactivation standards, the firearm may be de-registered.

Firearm parts

118. For the importation of frames or receivers, the requirements are the same as for the importation of the firearm for which the frame/receiver was designed (see definitions of firearm and receiver). Border services officer must also ensure that the firearm parts are not prohibited devices in themselves (see "Prohibited Devices").

119. The importation of parts for prohibited firearms is controlled by the Export and Import Permits Act. An import permit will thus be required for such goods. If a component or part is declared, but still falls within TI 9898.00.00 because the correct authorizations, licences, or permits are not available, then the parts are prohibited from entering Canada. More information on the import permit requirements for prohibited firearms parts may be obtained by contacting Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.

Personal importations by residents and former residents

120. Residents may re-import components or parts designed exclusively for use in the manufacture of or assembly into automatic firearms and may import such parts newly acquired outside of Canada, as long the person presents:

  • (a) a valid PAL or POL authorizing possession of that type of prohibited firearm for which the part is designed; and
  • (b) an import permit for the component(s) or part(s).

Personal importations by non-residents, settlers or temporary residents

121. They may not import components or parts designed exclusively for use in the manufacture of or assembly into automatic firearms.

Commercial and other types of importations

122. Businesses may import components or parts designed exclusively for use in the manufacture of or assembly into automatic firearms, as long they present:

  • (a) a valid firearms business licence specifically permitting the importation of prohibited firearms; and
  • (b) an import permit for the component(s) or part(s).

Other Modalities for Importing Firearms

CANPASS

123. Under the terms and conditions of the CANPASS Private Boats and Private and Corporate Aircraft programs, authorization holders may import non-restricted firearms provided they are declared in advance to the CBSA and meet all import and documentation requirements as per above. Restricted and prohibited firearms cannot be imported under the terms and conditions of any CANPASS program.

Foreign law enforcement officers

124. Section 97 of the Firearms Act provides the Governor in Council and, to a more limited extent, a federal or provincial Minister the power to exempt non-residents from the application of any of the provisions of the Firearms Act or regulations, or certain provisions of the Criminal Code (including the import requirements under the Customs Act, the Firearms Act, etc.).

125. Canadian law enforcement agencies may designate or appoint foreign law enforcement officers on official duty as supernumerary or special constables of their force for the duration of their stay in Canada. This is common when foreign law enforcement officers come to Canada for training purposes, tactical or shooting competitions, or joint force operations. When this status is provided to a foreign law enforcement officer, the officer takes on the role of a peace officer for the Canadian agency. Upon arrival at a CBSA port, the officer must produce a duly authorized letter or certificate from the Canadian law enforcement agency indicating:

  • (a) the officer's name;
  • (b) destination in Canada;
  • (c) date of departure;
  • (d) specifics of the firearm; and
  • (e) under what Canadian agency's authority the firearm is being imported.

126. The letter or certificate permits the foreign enforcement officer to enter Canada with the service firearm only for the time specified on the documentation.

127. Canadian law enforcement agencies will not grant this status to foreign enforcement officers coming to Canada for parades or ceremonies. Please refer to Appendix E for authorizing Canadian agents.

Note: U.S. bail enforcement agents or fugitive recovery agents (also known as "bounty hunters") are not considered law enforcement officers and cannot undertake their activities here, as such an institution does not exist in Canada.

Foreign officials escorting visiting dignitaries

128. Under very special circumstances, the Commissioner of the RCMP may issue a Certificate of Appointment to named visiting foreign dignitaries and accompanying security officers, appointing them as supernumerary special constables for a specified period. This appointment grants them the power to act as peace officers in Canada, while under the supervision of the RCMP. This appointment provides them with consent to carry their firearm while in active performance of their duties, and the following requirements must be met:

  • (a) notification must be provided to CBSA at the point of arrival;
  • (b) the foreign dignitary or security officer has to be met by the RCMP in the CBSA area;
  • (c) the individual must have a copy of the certificate of appointment in his or her possession; or the certificate of appointment must be presented by the RCMP at that time; and
  • (d) the individual must remain under RCMP direction.

129. In those instances where no such designation is applicable, the RCMP will arrange to meet the entourage and take possession of the firearms and/or weapons where prior notification has been received concerning the visit. Where no notification has been received by the RCMP, the CBSA will follow regular procedures for handling non-restricted, restricted or prohibited firearms and/or weapons imported by non-residents.

Canadian law enforcement officers

130. In the case of Canadian law enforcement officers (such as police officers) importing firearms, the firearm in question may be imported only when it is being acquired during the function of that person's duties or employment. The officer must have a letter of authorization from the chief of the agency in question stating that the firearm(s) is being transported directly to the agency involved. If the officer does not possess the necessary documentation proving their status as public officer and the letter of authorization, they must be processed as an individual resident importing firearm(s).

131. Firearms that are being shipped to a law enforcement agency may be released only to an authorized member of that agency, the importer in question, or a licensed carrier. The following requirements must be met before CBSA can release the goods:

  • (a) If the goods are released to an authorized member of the agency importing the goods, a letter of authorization from the chief of the agency or equivalent must be presented to CBSA identifying the person as an employee of that particular agency and indicating that the firearms are being transported for and being delivered directly to the agency in question.
  • (b) If the goods are released directly to the importer acting on behalf of the agency, a copy of a purchase order or a letter of authorization from the agency must be presented to CBSA.
  • (c) If the goods are released to a licensed carrier, a written authorization from the CFO naming the carrier involved and a copy of the purchase order or a letter of authorization from the agency importing the goods must be presented to CBSA.
  • (d) There must be a separate purchase order or letter of authorization from the agency for each shipment.

Canadian Forces

132. The Firearms Act does not apply to the Canadian Forces. In order to import firearms and weapons, the Canadian Forces must obtain import permits from Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada if they are importing on behalf of another country.

133. The following conditions must be met before the goods are released by the CBSA:

  • (a) If the goods are released to a member of the Canadian Forces, a letter of authorization from a Department of National Defence (DND) Commanding Officer must be presented to CBSA identifying the person as an employee of the Canadian Forces and indicating that the firearms are being transported for and being delivered directly to the Canadian Forces.
  • (b) If the goods are released directly to the importer acting on behalf of the Canadian Forces, a copy of a purchase order or a letter of authorization from a DND Commanding Officer must be presented to CBSA indicating that the goods must be delivered directly to the Canadian Forces.
  • (c) If the goods are released to a licensed carrier, a written authorization from the CFO naming the carrier involved and a copy of the purchase order or a letter of authorization must be presented to CBSA.
  • (d) There must be a separate purchase order or letter of authorization from a DND commanding officer for each shipment.

134. In the case of Canadian Forces personnel importing firearms or weapons on their own, the importation must be for official military business and the person in question must present proper travel orders and a letter of authorization from his or her DND Commanding Officer. The goods must be transported directly to a Canadian Forces premises.

135. Military personnel of the Canadian Forces returning from overseas missions are not allowed to bring in unlawfully acquired firearms, weapons, or any other similar device for personal purposes, such as war trophies, personal memorabilia, field souvenirs, etc.

Visiting forces

136. A member of a visiting armed force must be travelling on official military business with travel orders and have authorized identification and written authorization to transport from his or her commanding officer stating that the firearm or weapon will be transported directly to the base of the visiting forces member. Persons who cannot substantiate their status as a visiting force must be treated as non-residents and, if they are in possession of a non-restricted or restricted firearm, they will be required to possess all the appropriate documentation (NRFD, licensing, registration, ATT, etc.). Without the latter, the firearm(s) will be detained.

Special rules regulating the importation of firearms by museums

137. Museums, like businesses, may import firearms, weapons and other goods regulated under the Firearms Act of the class(es) listed on their business licence.

138. Museums that import firearms, weapons and other regulated goods must present:

  • (a) their firearms business licence; and if applicable,
  • (b) an import permit.

139. A shipment of firearms and goods that is regulated under the Firearms Act and imported by or on behalf of a museum may only be released by CBSA to an authorized employee of the museum or to a licensed carrier.

140. The authorized employee must present to CBSA the letter signed by the director of the museum identifying the person as an employee of that particular museum.

Importation of Prohibited Weapons and Prohibited Devices

Personal importations by residents, non-residents, settlers, temporary and former residents

141. Residents, non-residents, settlers, temporary and former residents may not import prohibited weapons or devices.

Commercial importations

142. Businesses cannot import prohibited weapons or devices, unless the business in question possesses a valid firearms business licence that allows their importation.

143. For example: a replica firearm, which is a prohibited device under the Criminal Code, the Firearms Act and TI 9898.00.00, may lawfully be imported into Canada if the importer possesses the required firearms business licence issued by a CFO that indicates that the named business may import prohibited devices for prescribed purposes (e.g., the use of replica firearms as props in the making of a motion picture, television, or theatrical productions). Prohibited weapons and certain prohibited devices (such as replica firearms) do not fall under the Import Control List of the Export and Import Permits Act. Thus, no import permits from Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada are required to import them (do not confuse the latter with the above-mentioned firearms business licence which is required).

Importations by public officers

144. Public officers acting in the course of their duties, and individuals acting on behalf of and under the authority of a domestic police force, the Canadian forces, a visiting force, or of a federal or provincial department may import prohibited weapons or devices, or move them in transit through Canada. Their importation must be for official business. Firearms licences, authorizations, permits or registration certificates are not required, but proof of official status and approval from the public officer's superior(s) must be confirmed. Public officers or other such individuals cannot import prohibited weapons or devices by mail.

Importation of Ammunition

145. For comprehensive information on ammunition and explosives permit requirements, see Memorandum D19-6-1, Administration of the Explosives Act and Regulations.

Personal importations by residents

146. Residents may import certain quantities of ammunition. An Explosives Importation Permit issued by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is not required for the quantities listed below if the ammunition is imported for private use and not for sale.

  • (a) 5,000 safety cartridges; and
  • (b) 5,000 percussion caps (primers) for safety cartridges; and
  • (c) 5,000 Empty primed safety cartridge cases; and
  • (d) 8 kg or 17.66 pounds of gunpowder (black powder) in canisters of 500 g (1.10 pounds) or less and smokeless powder in canisters of 4,000 g (8.82 pounds) or less; and
  • (e) pyrotechnic distress signals and lifesaving devices, any quantity necessary for the safe operation of the aircraft, vessel, train, or vehicle in which they are transported, or for the safety of the occupants.

Personal importations by non-residents

147. Non-residents may import certain quantities of ammunition. As outlined in Memorandum D2-1-1, Temporary Importation of Baggage and Conveyances by Non-residents, a non-resident may temporarily import under TI 9803.00.00, duty- and tax free:

  • (a) 200 rounds of ammunition; or
  • (b) 1,500 rounds of ammunition, if the ammunition is for his or her own use at a competition under the auspices of a recognized Canadian shooting or rifle association. The non-resident must prove that he or she is attending a competition, and that the competition is at an approved range (this information can be determined if the range is listed in official directories).

148. Non-residents, who import more than the duty-free allowance of ammunition, as outlined in paragraph 147, but not more than the limits listed in paragraph 146, must pay duty and taxes on the excess amount of ammunition.

149. Non-residents may import certain quantities of ammunition. An Explosives Importation Permit issued by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is not required for the quantities listed in Paragraph 146 if the ammunition is imported for private use and not for sale.

150. Non-residents may move ammunition in transit through Canada.

151. A single shipment may consist of safety cartridges, primers, gunpowder, etc., up to the quantities listed above.

152. Caps for toy guns may be imported for private use or sale without an Explosives Importation Permit when packed with individual novelties, other than toy guns, and imported in a quantity of not more than 50 per package.

153. Both residents and non-residents importing ammunition must comply with the Storage, Display, Transportation and Handling of Firearms by Individuals Regulations.

Commercial and other types of importations

154. Commercial importations of ammunition that are not prohibited by an Order in Council require an Explosives Importation Permit from NRCan and a valid firearms business licence.

155. Businesses importing prohibited ammunition must comply with the Storage, Display, Transportation and Handling of Firearms and other Weapons by Businesses Regulations.

Importations by Public Officers

156. In the case of public officers acting in the course of their duties, and individuals acting on behalf of and under the authority of a domestic police force, the Canadian forces, a visiting force, or of a federal or provincial department, may import ammunition or move them in transit through Canada. Their importation must be for official business. Firearms licences, authorizations, permits or registration certificates are not required, but proof of official status and approval from the public officer's superior(s) must be confirmed.

Importation of Military Goods

157. An import permit issued under the provisions of the Export and Import Permits Act is required to import certain specified military weapons. Under subsection 8(1) of this Act, Canadian residents or businesses can apply to Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada for an import permit to import goods that are on the Import Control List (generally military hardware and munitions). If such permit is issued, it may specify the quantity and quality of the goods to be imported, who can import them, where, and from whom they can be imported, as well as other terms and conditions. The importer must also be duly registered with the Controlled Goods Directorate of Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) to obtain a permit.

Exportation

158. Section 95 of the Customs Act requires all goods exported from Canada to be reported to the CBSA and in such manner as may be prescribed.

159. All shipments of non-restricted and restricted firearms destined for export to countries other than the U.S. are subject to export control under the Export and Import Permits Act and must be accompanied by an export permit issued by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.

160. In the case of prohibited firearms, certain prohibited devices, components, parts, or ammunition, a company may export them if it has the proper firearms business licence and export permit. An export permit is required to export such goods to the U.S. Before exporting any of these items, individuals and/or companies should check with customs officials in the country to which the goods are exported to verify if these goods are admissible in that country.

161. For more detailed information on export regulations, please consult the Guide to Canada's Export Controls published by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.

162. Applications for export permits are available from any CBSA office or from Export Controls Division, at the following address:

Export Controls Division
Trade Controls and Technical Barriers Bureau
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

163. For all firearms being permanently exported from Canada, the exporter must advise the CFP, in order to update the information contained in the Canadian Firearms Registry. For more information, contact the CFP at 1‑800‑731-4000 or at www.rcmp.gc.ca/cfp.

Transportation

Transportation of Firearms and Weapons by Individuals

164. The following transportation requirements apply to all personal importations of firearms. The requirements are summarized below. Please consult the Regulations for further information. The regulations do not apply to public officers. Public officers are:

  • (a) peace officers;
  • (b) members of the Canadian Forces or the armed forces of a state other than Canada who are attached or seconded to the Canadian Forces;
  • (c) persons training to become police officers or peace officers under the control and supervision of:
    • (i) a police force; or
    • (ii) a police academy or similar institution designated by the Attorney General of Canada or the lieutenant governor in council of a province.
  • (d) members of a visiting force, within the meaning of section 2 of the Visiting Forces Act, who are authorized under paragraph 14(a) of that Act to possess and carry explosives, ammunition, and firearms;
  • (e) persons or members of a class of persons employed in the Public Service of Canada or by the government of a province or municipality who are prescribed by the regulations made by the Governor in Council under Part III of the Criminal Code to be public officers; and
  • (f) Chief firearms officers or firearms officers.

Transporting non-restricted or antique firearms

165. An individual may transport a non-restricted or antique firearm in a vehicle only if the non-restricted or antique firearm is unloaded,

166. An individual may transport a non-restricted or antique firearm in an unattended vehicle only if the non-restricted or antique firearm is unloaded and securely locked in the trunk or similar compartment that can be securely locked. If the vehicle is not equipped with a trunk or similar compartment, the non restricted or antique firearm must not be visible from outside the vehicle and the vehicle or part of the vehicle that contains the non-restricted/antique firearm must be securely locked.

167. An individual may transport an antique handgun only if it is in a locked container that cannot readily be broken open or into or accidentally opened during transportation.

Transporting restricted or prohibited firearms

168. An individual may transport a restricted or prohibited firearm in a vehicle only if the restricted firearm is unloaded, rendered inoperable by means of a secure locking device, and in a locked container that cannot be readily broken open or into or accidentally opened during transportation. If the prohibited firearm is an automatic firearm that has a bolt or bolt carrier that is removable, the bolt or bolt carrier must be removed.

169. If the restricted or prohibited firearm is transported in an unattended vehicle, the firearm must be unloaded and securely locked in the trunk or similar compartment that can be securely locked. If the vehicle is not equipped with a trunk or similar compartment, the container must not be visible from outside the vehicle and the vehicle or part that contains the restricted or prohibited firearm must be securely locked.

Compliance

170. Travellers should be made aware of these transportation requirements to ensure that they comply with them. Firearms will not be allowed to enter Canada until proper transportation requirements have been met.

171. You may obtain more information on the safe transportation of firearms from any chief firearms officer. The addresses and telephone numbers are listed in Appendix F.

Transportation of Firearms, Weapons and Other Regulated Goods by Businesses

172. Commercial carriers that transport firearms, prohibited weapons, prohibited devices, and prohibited ammunition must have a carrier licence or a firearms business licence that permits transportation. A carrier licence will specify the class(es) of goods they are permitted to carry. However, a business that imports or exports firearms, weapons and/or other regulated goods on its own behalf does not require a carrier licence, provided the firearms business licence specifies this activity. For example: ABC Ltd., which uses its own transportation company (ABC Trucking) to import and export non-restricted firearms, does not require a carrier licence to transport the goods in addition to its firearms business licence, as long as its firearms business licence specifies that transportation is one of the listed privileges.

173. A firearms business licence or a carrier licence is not required for foreign based companies that do not carry on business in Canada and that are moving firearms in transit through Canada on an in-transit manifest.

Transporting non-restricted and restricted firearms and prohibited handguns

174. A business may transport restricted and non-restricted firearms and prohibited handguns only if the firearm is unloaded and in a container made of an opaque material of such strength, construction, and nature that it cannot be readily broken open or into or accidentally opened during transportation.

175. If the restricted, non-restricted firearms or prohibited handguns are in an unattended vehicle that is equipped with a trunk or similar compartment that can be securely locked, the container has to be in that trunk or compartment that must be securely locked.

176. If the unattended vehicle in which the firearms have been left is not equipped with a trunk or similar compartment that can be securely locked, the vehicle must be securely locked and the container must not be visible from outside the vehicle.

Transporting prohibited firearms other than prohibited handguns

177. A business may transport a prohibited firearm, other than a prohibited handgun, only if it is unloaded and in a container:

  • (a) that is made of an opaque material of such strength, construction, and nature that it cannot be readily broken open or into or accidentally opened during transportation; and
  • (b) that is constructed and sealed so as to prevent it from being opened without breaking the seal or otherwise clearly indicating that it has been opened.

178. If it is an automatic firearm that has a bolt or bolt carrier that can be easily removed, the automatic firearm must be made inoperable by removing the bolt or bolt carrier.

179. If the prohibited firearm, other than a prohibited handgun, is in an unattended vehicle that is equipped with a trunk or similar compartment that can be securely locked, the container must be in that trunk or compartment which must be securely locked. If the unattended vehicle is not equipped with a trunk or similar compartment that can be securely locked, the vehicle or the part of the vehicle that contains the container must be securely locked and the container must not be visible from outside the vehicle.

Transporting prohibited weapons, prohibited devices, and prohibited ammunition

180. A business may transport a prohibited weapon, prohibited device, or prohibited ammunition only if it is in a container:

  • (a) that is made of an opaque material and is of such strength, construction, and nature that it cannot be readily broken open or into or accidentally opened during transportation;
  • (b) that is constructed and sealed so as to prevent it from being opened without breaking the seal or otherwise clearly indicating that it has been opened; and
  • (c) that is marked with its contents when it is being imported or exported from Canada.

181. If the restricted weapon, prohibited weapon, prohibited device, or prohibited ammunition is in an unattended vehicle that is equipped with a trunk or similar compartment that can be securely locked, the container must be in that trunk or compartment and the trunk or compartment must be securely locked. If the unattended vehicle is not equipped with a trunk or similar compartment that can be securely locked, the vehicle, or the part of the vehicle that contains the container, must be securely locked and the container must not be visible from outside the vehicle.

Shipping Firearms by Mail

182. Both individuals and businesses may ship a firearm by mail only if:

  • (a) the firearm is a non-restricted firearm, restricted firearm or prohibited handgun;
  • (b) the destination is within Canada;
  • (c) the firearm is posted using the most secure means of transmission by post that is offered by Canada Post that includes the requirement to obtain a signature on delivery (Note: Canada Post requires all firearms to be shipped through Priority Courier with signature); and
  • (d) all other requirements for admissibility are met.
    • (i) Under no circumstances can ammunition or a prohibited firearm (other than a handgun) be shipped by mail.
    • (ii) "Uncontrolled" firearms can be imported by mail (or moved in-transit through Canada).
    • (iii) Firearms may not be exported from Canada by mail.
    • (iv) Shipments of firearms and/or weapons that do not comply with these, or any other established regulations, will be detained by the CBSA.

Detention and Disposal

Detention and Release Procedures

Identification of firearms, weapons and prohibited devices

183. Before making a release decision, the border services officer must:

  • (a)   check the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited or Restricted;
  • (b)   determine the class of firearm, (i.e., non restricted, restricted, or prohibited) by referring to the FRT, if not included in the Regulations; and
  • (c)   contact the RFC or the Regional Trade Compliance Officer if still in doubt.

184. The following information should be provided to the Regional Trade Compliance Officer to help him/her identify the firearm:

Possessor information

  • (a) Importer/exporter, full name and address, PAL/POL number, ID number and type, DOB if known; and
  • (b) Comments/statements by possessor regarding purpose of importation (e.g., "going to hunt in the Timmins' region for two weeks").

Firearm detail

  • (a) Make/manufacture;
  • (b) type of firearm (combination, machine gun, pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun);
  • (c) model of the firearm (Frontier, Single Six, "unknown", or just leave blank);
  • (d) calibre/gauge details (e.g., 12 ga., .22, .38, 9 mm, 38 S&W, 45 ACP);
  • (e) serial number details as shown;
  • (f) barrel length as measured;
  • (g) country of manufacture;
  • (h) type of action (full automatic, converted automatic, revolver, semi-automatic, bolt, lever action, etc.)
  • (i) overall length as measured
  • (j) condition (smells of gun powder, gun oil, badly scratched, serial number obliterated, etc.);
  • (k)   any other observation (folding stock, spare short barrels, blood or other foreign objects on the firearm, etc.).

185. In the case of other types of firearm or weapon that may require a determination, provide as complete a description of the firearm or weapon as possible, e.g., length, material of construction, photocopies or photographs, its intended use.

Detention procedures

186. For more detail on detention procedures, see the CBSA Enforcement Manual.

187. The following procedures must be followed. When detaining a firearm, prohibited weapon or device for identification and/or classification purposes:

  • (a)   complete Form K26, Notice of Detention, and distribute the copies in the following manner:
    • (i) original to importer;
    • (ii) first copy to port file; and
    • (iii) second and third copy to the RFC or the regional intelligence firearms liaison officer; and
  • (b)   hold the firearm, weapon or device in a secure area and, where applicable, by logging the K26 file number on the Form E45 (BSF227), Inventory Control Log for Seized, Forfeited, Detained, Abandoned, and Unclaimed Goods that will serve to maintain an audit trail from the date of receipt to the release/disposal date. Information entered on the Form E45 (BSF227) must be complete and accurate. 
  • Note: If forensic work is required (e.g. finger printing, tool mark examination, biological exam) do not continue to handle the items. Follow K26, Notice of Detention evidence/exhibit handling procedures. A K129, Exhibit Control must be completed upon transfer within CBSA or to another agency/department, as outlined in the CBSA Enforcement Manual.

188. If a declared firearm, weapon or device is determined to be admissible, the detaining office must contact the importer/agent to arrange for the release of the goods. At this time, the importer must be advised of any permit, authorization, and/or certificate requirements. When goods are to be released, the border services officer must indicate the manifest number in Part C of the K26.

189. A Canadian resident who declares a firearm, weapon or device to the CBSA, but does not have the appropriate documentation outlined in this Memorandum, the item will be held by the CBSA on a BSF241, Non-Monetary General Receipt for up to 40 days. Within this time, the importer will be able to:

  • (a) export the firearm, weapon or device under the CBSA supervision. If the goods are exported, the border services officer will indicate, where applicable, the manifest number in Part C of the K26;
  • (b) abandon the firearm, weapon or device to the Crown. If an importer agrees to abandon the weapon to the Crown, a Form BSF241, Non-Monetary General Receipt must be completed and signed; or
  • (c) obtain the applicable permits, authorization, or certificates and present them to the CBSA to obtain release of the goods.

190. A non-resident who declares a firearm, weapon or device to the CBSA, but does not have the appropriate documentation outlined in this memorandum will be given an opportunity to:

  • (a) export the firearm, weapon or device under the CBSA supervision. If the goods are exported, the border services officer will indicate, where applicable, the manifest number in Part C of the K26;
  • (b) abandon the firearm, weapon or device to the Crown. If an importer agrees to abandon the weapon to the Crown, a Form BSF241, Non-Monetary General Receipt must be completed and signed; or
  • (c) obtain and present to the CBSA the applicable permits/certificates to obtain release of the goods.

191. If the firearm, weapon or device is deemed inadmissible, the originating district must contact the importer/agent and give the importer the opportunity to:

  • (a) request a re-determination of the tariff classification of the goods. This request must be sent to the regional Recourse Division and comply with the provisions of section 60 of the Customs Act and the procedures outlined in Memorandum D11-6-7, Importers' Dispute Resolution Process for Origin, Tariff Classification, and Value for Duty of Imported Goods.
  • (b) export the firearm, weapon or device. If the goods are exported, the border services officer will indicate, where applicable, the manifest number in Part C of the K26; or
  • (c) abandon the firearm, weapon or device to the Crown. If an importer agrees to abandon the weapon to the Crown, a Form BSF241, Non-Monetary General Receipt must be completed and signed.

192. Inadmissible firearms, weapons or devices that are declared at the time of importation into Canada can be detained and exported according to sections 101 and 102 of the Customs Act. Goods may be detained under section 101 of the Act to ensure that their entry into Canada complies with all applicable federal laws. Section 102 of the Act provides authority to export such goods in the absence of any other statutory provision. The export of the goods in these circumstances will not result in an offence under the Criminal Code.

193. Therefore, where a firearm, weapon, or device is reported to a border services officer when imported into Canada according to the Customs Act, but does not meet relevant federal statutory requirements governing its importation, the border services officer may authorize the firearm, weapon, or device to be exported. The item should be held in a secure area until the importer has made the necessary arrangements for the goods to be exported under the CBSA supervision.

Note: In the case of a prohibited firearm, the exporter should, depending on the circumstances, obtain an export permit from Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada to export the firearm from Canada.

Seizure

194. Seizure of any undeclared firearm, prohibited weapon or device is warranted when a traveller was given the opportunity to declare the firearm, prohibited weapon or device by completing a declaration card or by responding to questioning, and did not declare it. Border services officers must undertake appropriate enforcement action in this respect. For more detail on seizure procedures, see the CBSA Enforcement Manual. 

Release procedures

195. If the firearm or weapon is not subject to seizure or detention, ensure all appropriate permits/authorizations have been duly presented and released according to current release procedures.

196. If the firearm or weapon is deemed inadmissible, detain it and follow the procedures outlined above.

Disposal Procedures

Firearms

197. All firearms that have been the object of abandonment, forfeiture or seizure must be forwarded to the RCMP's Laboratory in Ottawa for destruction, and not diverted to, or through, any other person or service for disposal.

198. When forwarding the firearms to the RCMP, border services officer must ensure that:

  • (a) a covering letter is placed inside the package indicating its contents and the purpose for which it is being sent;
  • (b) each firearm must be reported to your inventory in the Public Agent Web Services and then transferred to the RCMP using the "Report Transfer to Another Agency" link;
  • (c) no explosives or compressed gases are included in the package;
  • (d) the firearms are securely packaged; and
  • (e) only non-restricted and restricted firearms and prohibited handguns are sent by mail and that they are sent by the most secure means offered by Canada Post that includes the requirement to obtain a signature on delivery (prohibited long guns must be sent by a licensed carrier).

199. Cancel any CBSA document relating to a firearm that has been sent to the RCMP for disposal.

200. A firearm cannot be returned to the importer once it has been forwarded to the RCMP for disposal.

Ammunition

201. Ammunition that has been abandoned, forfeited, or seized must be disposed according to the instructions in Memorandum D19-6-1, Administration of the Explosives Act and Regulations or by contacting NRCan.

Prohibited weapons and devices

202. Prohibited weapons and devices that have been abandoned, forfeited, or seized must be disposed of locally, using the most cost-effective method of disposal. Several suggested options are at your disposal. Amongst them:

  • (a) destruction of the weapons and devices at the Queen's warehouses;
  • (b) asking local police to destroy these weapons and devices in conjunction with other items confiscated by that law enforcement agency; or
  • (c) hiring local private companies for the destruction of these weapons and devices (For instance, sending them to a local scrap yard or metal smelter. In the case of pepper spray and other gaseous substances, they must be disposed in accordance with federal, provincial and municipal environmental regulations).

203. In all instances and regardless of the method of disposal, the presence of a border services officer will be required to witness the destruction of these weapons and devices. Each region must also keep a certificate of destruction or any other documentation that can demonstrate the weapons or devices have been properly destroyed. The documentation should mention the type and quantity of weapons and how they have been destroyed.

Firearms and Weapons Used as Evidence in Court Proceedings

204. Circumstances may arise in which criminal charges are laid against individuals as a result of a border seizure of certain firearms and weapons. Since these devices may be required as evidence in court proceedings, the responsible police authority should be given full cooperation as well as controlled access to the devices concerned.

205. For information on how to document the control of these particular devices, please refer to the CBSA Enforcement Manual.

206. In all cases, relevant CBSA documentation must be cross-referenced to create an audit trail or evidence for any subsequent audit.

Additional Information

207. For more information about the policies and procedures outlined in this memorandum, contact the following program:

Firearms and Weapons Program
Other Government Departments Programs Unit
Commercial Border Programs Division
Programs Branch
Canada Border Services Agency
Ottawa ON  K1A 0L8
Fax: 613-946-1520

208. The Canadian Firearms Program is responsible for delivering information relating to the Firearms Act to the Canadian public and can be reached at:

Telephone: 1-800-731-4000
Fax: 613-825-0315
Web site:www.rcmp.gc.ca/cfp


Appendix A

Diagram Of How To Calculate Barrel Length And Describing Parts Of A Firearm

1. For a revolver, the barrel length is the distance from the muzzle of the barrel to the breech end immediately in front of the cylinder.

2. For other firearms barrel length means the distance from the muzzle of the barrel up to and including the chamber, but not including the length of any component, part, or accessory, including those designed or intended to suppress the muzzle flash or recoil.

Barrel Length Image Barrel Length Image

Appendix B

Handguns Excluded from the Definition of "Prohibited Firearms" for International Sporting Competition

Make Model Calibre

Benelli

MP 90 S

32 S&W Long

 

 

Domino

OP 601

22 Short

 

 

Erma

ESP 85A

32 S&W Long

 

 

FAS

CF 603

32 S&W Long

 

 

FAS

601

22 Short

 

 

Hammerli-Walther

201

22 Short

 

 

Hammerli-Walther

202

22 Short

 

 

Hammerli

230

22 Short

 

 

Hammerli

230-1

22 Short

 

 

Hammerli

230-2

22 Short

 

 

Hammerli

232

22 Short

 

 

Hammerli

280

32 S&W Long

 

 

Hammerli

P240

32 S&W Long

 

 

Hammerli

SP-20

22 LR

32 S&W Long

 

High Standard

Olympic

22 Short

 

 

Manurhin

MR 32 Match

32 S&W Long

 

 

Pardini

GP

22 Short

 

 

Pardini

GP Schumann

22 Short

 

 

Pardini

HP

32 S&W Long

 

 

Pardini

MP

32 S&W Long

 

 

Sako

22-32

22 Short

22 LR

32 S&W Long

Sako

Tri-Ace

22 Short

22 LR

32 S&W Long

Unique

DES 69

22 LR

 

 

Unique

VO 79

22 Short

 

 

Unique

DES 32 U

32 S&W Long

 

 

Vostok

TOZ 96

32 S&W Long

 

 

Walther

GSP

22 Short

22 LR

32 S&W Long

Walther

OSP

22 Short

22 LR

32 S&W Long

Appendix C

Prohibited Devices

For additional information please consult the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited or Restricted.

1. Any electrical or mechanical device that is designed or adapted to operate the trigger mechanism of a semi‑automatic firearm for the purpose of causing the firearm to discharge cartridges in rapid succession.

2. Any rifle, shotgun or carbine stock of the type known as the "bull‑pup" design, being a stock that, when combined with a firearm, reduces the overall length of the firearm such that a substantial part of the reloading action or the magazine‑well is located behind the trigger of the firearm when it is held in the normal firing position.

3. (1) Any cartridge magazine

  • (a) that is capable of containing more than five cartridges of the type for which the magazine was originally designed and that is designed or manufactured for use in:
    • (i) a semi‑automatic handgun that is not commonly available in Canada;
    • (ii) a semi‑automatic firearm other than a semi‑automatic handgun;
    • (iii) an automatic firearm whether or not it has been altered to discharge only one projectile with one pressure of the trigger;
    • (iv) the firearms of the designs commonly known as the Ingram M10 and M11 pistols, and any variants or modified versions of them, including the Cobray M10 and M11 pistols, the RPB M10, M11 and SM11 pistols and the SWD M10, M11, SM10 and SM11 pistols;
    • (v) the firearm of the design commonly known as the Partisan Avenger Auto Pistol, and any variant or modified version of it; or
    • (vi) the firearm of the design commonly known as the UZI pistol, and any variant or modified version of it, including the Micro‑UZI pistol.
  • (b) that is capable of containing more than 10 cartridges of the type for which the magazine was originally designed and that is designed or manufactured for use in a semi‑automatic handgun that is commonly available in Canada.

(2) Paragraph (1)(a) does not include any cartridge magazine that:

  • (a) was originally designed or manufactured for use in a firearm that:
    • (i)  is chambered for, or designed to use, rimfire cartridges;
    • (ii) is a rifle of the type commonly known as the "Lee Enfield" rifle, where the magazine is capable of containing not more than 10 cartridges of the type for which the magazine was originally designed; or
    • (iii)  is commonly known as the U.S. Rifle M1 (Garand) including the Beretta M1 Garand rifle, the Breda M1 Garand rifle and the Springfield Armoury M1 Garand rifle.
  • (b) is not a reproduction and was originally designed or manufactured for use in a firearm that:
    • (i)  is commonly known as the Charlton Rifle;
    • (ii) is commonly known as the Farquhar‑Hill Rifle; or
    • (iii)  is commonly known as the Huot Automatic Rifle.
  • (c) is of the "drum" type, is not a reproduction and was originally designed or manufactured for use in a firearm commonly known as:
    • (i)  the .303 in. Lewis Mark 1 machine‑gun, or any variant or modified version of it, including the Lewis Mark 1*, Mark 2, Mark 2*, Mark 3, Mark 4, Lewis SS and .30 in. Savage‑Lewis;
    • (ii) the .303 in. Vickers Mark 1 machine‑gun, or any variant or modified version of it, including the Mark 1*, Mark 2, Mark 2*, Mark 3, Mark 4, Mark 4B, Mark 5, Mark 6, Mark 6* and Mark 7; or
    • (iii)  the Bren Light machine‑gun, or any variant or modified version of it, including the Mark 1, Mark 2, Mark 2/1, Mark 3 and Mark 4;
  • (d) is of the "metallic‑strip" type, is not a reproduction and was originally designed or manufactured for use in conjunction with the firearm known as the Hotchkiss machine‑gun, Model 1895 or Model 1897, or any variant or modified version of it, including the Hotchkiss machine‑gun, Model 1900, Model 1909, Model 1914 and Model 1917, and the Hotchkiss machine‑gun (Enfield), Number 2, Mark 1 and Mark 1*;
  • (e) is of the "saddle‑drum" type (doppeltrommel or satteltrommel), is not a reproduction and was originally designed or manufactured for use in the automatic firearms known as the MG‑13, MG‑15, MG‑17, MG‑34, T6‑200 or T6‑220, or any variant or modified version of it; or
  • (f)  is of the "belt" type consisting of a fabric or metal belt, is not a reproduction and was originally designed or manufactured for the purpose of feeding cartridges into a automatic firearm of a type that was in existence before 1945.

(3) Paragraph (1)(b) does not include any cartridge magazine that:

  • (a) is of the "snail‑drum" type (schneckentrommel) that was originally designed or manufactured for use in a firearm that is a handgun known as the Parabellum‑Pistol, System Borchardt‑Luger, Model 1900, or "Luger", or any variant or modified version of it, including the Model 1902, Model 1904 (Marine), Model 1904/06 (Marine), Model 1904/08 (Marine), Model 1906, Model 1908 and Model 1908 (Artillery) pistols;
  • (b) was originally designed or manufactured for use in a firearm that is a semi‑automatic handgun, where the magazine was manufactured before 1910;
  • (c) was originally designed or manufactured as an integral part of the firearm known as the Mauser Selbstladepistole C/96 ("broomhandle"), or any variant or modified version of it, including the Model 1895, Model 1896, Model 1902, Model 1905, Model 1912, Model 1915, Model 1930, Model 1931, M711 and M712; or
  • (d) was originally designed or manufactured for use in the semi‑automatic firearm that is a handgun known as the Webley and Scott Self‑Loading Pistol, Model 1912 or Model 1915.

(4) A cartridge magazine described in subsection (1) that has been altered or re‑manufactured so that it is not capable of containing more than five or ten cartridges, as the case may be, of the type for which it was originally designed is not a prohibited device as prescribed by that subsection if the modification to the magazine cannot be easily removed and the magazine cannot be easily further altered so that it is so capable of containing more than five or ten cartridges, as the case may be.

(5) For the purposes of subsection (4), altering or re‑manufacturing a cartridge magazine includes:

  • (a) the indentation of its casing by forging, casting, swaging or impressing;
  • (b) in the case of a cartridge magazine with a steel or aluminum casing, the insertion and attachment of a plug, sleeve, rod, pin, flange or similar device, made of steel or aluminum, as the case may be, or of a similar material, to the inner surface of its casing by welding, brazing or any other similar method; or
  • (c) in the case of a cartridge magazine with a casing made of a material other than steel or aluminum, the attachment of a plug, sleeve, rod, pin, flange or similar device, made of steel or of a material similar to that of the magazine casing, to the inner surface of its casing by welding, brazing or any other similar method or by applying a permanent adhesive substance, such as a cement or an epoxy or other glue.

Appendix D

Table Of Import Document Requirements

Importer Non-Restricted Firearm Restricted Firearm Prohibited Firearm

Business/museum

Valid business licence issued under the Firearms Act that allows the importation of this class of firearm.

Valid business licence issued under the Firearms Act that allows the importation of this class of firearm.

Valid business licence issued under the Firearms Act that allows the importation of this class of firearm.
Import permit

Carrier

Valid carrier licence that allows the transportation of this class of firearm.

Valid carrier licence that allows the transportation of this class of firearm.

Valid carrier licence that allows the transportation of this class of firearm.

Police force/Canadian forces/Visiting forces

General Import Permit No. 60 shown on manifest
Letter of authorization from chief of police or commanding officer

General Import Permit No. 60 shown on manifest
Letter of authorization from chief of police or commanding officer

General Import Permit No. 60 shown on manifest
Letter of authorization from chief of police or commanding officer

Resident (previously exported)

Valid PAL or POL

Valid PAL or POL
Valid registration certificate for the firearm(s)
Authorization to transport

Valid PAL or POL
Valid registration certificate for the firearm(s)
Import permit
Authorization to transport

Resident (acquired outside of Canada)

Valid PAL

Valid PAL
Valid registration certificate for the firearm(s)
Authorization to transport

Prohibited entry

Non-resident
(non-licensed) *

At least 18 years of age
Non-Resident Firearm Declaration
Confirmation fee

At least 18 years of age
Authorization to transport required
Non-Resident Firearm Declaration
Confirmation fee

Prohibited entry

Non-resident
(licensed with registration certificate) *

At least 18 years of age
Valid PAL or POL

At least 18 years of age
Valid PAL or POL
Valid registration certificate for the firearm(s)
Authorization to transport required

Prohibited entry except for former residents who present:
Valid PAL or POL
Valid registration certificate for the firearm(s)
Import permit
Authorization to transport

Non-resident
(licensed without registration certificate) *

At least 18 years of age
Valid PAL or POL

At least 18 years of age
Valid PAL or POL
Authorization to transport required
Non-Resident Firearm Declaration
Confirmation fee

Prohibited entry

* Non-residents include settlers, temporary residents, former residents and seasonal residents.

Appendix E

Authorizing Canadian Agents For Supernumerary Or Special Constables

Province/Territory Authorizing Agents Legislative Authority

Canada-wide

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act

Newfoundland

(a) Royal Canadian Mounted Police
(b) Royal Newfoundland Constabulary

(a) Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act
(b) Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Act

Nova Scotia

(a) Royal Canadian Mounted Police
(b) Attorney General of Nova Scotia

(a) Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act
(b) Nova Scotia's Police Act

New Brunswick

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act

Prince Edward Island

(a) Royal Canadian Mounted Police
(b) Attorney General of Prince Edward Island

(a) Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act
(b) Prince Edward Island's Police Act

Quebec

(a) Minister of Public Safety
(b) Mayor of Municipality

(a) Quebec's Police Act
(b) Quebec's Police Act

Ontario

(a) Solicitor General of Ontario
(b) Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police
(c) Police Services Board (Chief of Police)

(a) Police Services Act
(b) Police Services Act

(c) Police Services Act

Manitoba

(a) Royal Canadian Mounted Police
(b) Attorney general of Manitoba

(a) Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act
(b) Provincial Police Act

Saskatchewan

(a) Royal Canadian Mounted Police
(b) Provincial Minister of Justice

(a) Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act
(b) Saskatchewan's Police Act, Part v

Alberta

(a) Royal Canadian Mounted Police
(b) Solicitor General of Alberta

(a) Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act
(b) Alberta's Police Act

Yukon/Nunavut/ Northwest Territories

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act

British Columbia

(a) Royal Canadian Mounted Police
(b) Attorney General of British Columbia
(c) Chiefs of the following forces: Vancouver; West Vancouver; Abbotsford; Nelson; Saanich; Victoria; Oak Bay; New Westminster; Esquimalt; Delta; Central Saanich; Port Moody

(a) Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act
(b) British Columbia's Police Act
(c) British Columbia's Police Act

Appendix F

Directory Of Chief Firearms Officers, The Canadian Firearms Program, And The Office Of The Registrar

Chief Firearms Officers

Alberta
Chief Firearms Officer – Alberta and Northwest Territories
Suite 720, 10909 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton AB T5J 3L9
Telephone: 1-800-731-4000 (Canada and the United States)
506-624-5380 (all other countries)
Fax: 780-495-7970

New Brunswick
Chief Firearms Officer
Department of Public Safety
65 Brunswick Street, 2nd Floor
P.O. Box 6000
Fredericton NB E3B 1G5
Telephone: 1-800-731-4000 (Canada and the United States)
506-624-5380 (all other countries)
Fax: 506-457-3521

Nunavut
Chief Firearms Officer – Manitoba and Nunavut
Unit 1, 1680 Ellice Avenue
Winnipeg MB R3H 0Z2
Telephone: 1-800-731-4000 (Canada and the United States)
506-624-5380 (all other countries)
Fax: 204-984-0670

Quebec
Bureau du Contrôleur des armes à feu du Québec
Sûreté du Québec
1701 Parthenais Street 10th Floor
Montréal QC H2K 3S7
Telephone: 514-598-4588
1-800-731-4000 (Canada and the United States)
506-624-5380 (all other countries)
Fax: 514-496-4653

British Columbia
Chief Firearms Officer – British Columbia and Yukon
Suite 118, 5477-152nd Street
Surrey BC V3S A5A
Telephone: 1-800-731-4000 (Canada and the United States)
506-624-5380 (all other countries)
Fax: 604-575-1241

Newfoundland and Labrador
Chief Firearms Officer – Newfoundland and Labrador
Suite E120, Prince Charles Building
120 Torbay Road
St. John's NL A1A 2G8
Telephone: 1-800-731-4000 (Canada and the United States)
506-624-5380 (all other countries)
Fax: 709-772-3202

Ontario
Chief Firearms Officer
Ministry of the Solicitor General
777 Memorial Avenue
Orillia ON L3V 7V3
Telephone: 705-329-5522
1-800-731-4000 (Canada and the United States)
506-624-5380 (all other countries)
Fax: 705-329-5623

Saskatchewan
Chief Firearms Officer
Room 310, 1783 Hamilton Street
Regina SK S4P 2B6
Telephone: 1-800-731-4000 (Canada and the United States)
506-624-5380 (all other countries)
Fax: 306-780-7400

Manitoba
Chief Firearms Officer – Manitoba and Nunavut
Unit 1, 1680 Ellice Avenue
Winnipeg MB R3H 0Z2
Telephone: 1-800-731-4000 (Canada and the United States)
506-624-5380 (all other countries)
Fax: 204-984-0670

Northwest Territories
Chief Firearms Officer – Alberta and Northwest Territories
Suite 720, 10909 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton AB T5J 3L9
Telephone: 1-800-731-4000 (Canada and the United States)
506-624-5380 (all other countries)
Fax: 708-495-7970

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: 902-368-5536
1-800-731-4000 (Canada and the United States)
506-624-5380 (all other countries)
Fax: 902-368-5198

Yukon
Chief Firearms Officer – British Columbia and Yukon
Suite 118, 5477-152nd Street
Surrey BC V3S A5A
Telephone: 1-800-731-4000 (Canada and the United States)
506-624-5380 (all other countries)
Fax: 604-575-1241

Nova Scotia
Chief Firearms Officer
Public Safety and Security Division
Provincial Firearms Office
5151 Terminal Road – 1st Floor
P.O. Box 7
Halifax NS B3J 2L6
Telephone: 902-424-6689
1-800-731-4000 (Canada and the United States)
506-624-5380 (all other countries)
Fax: 902-424-4308

Registrar of Firearms
Office of the Registrar
Canadian Firearms Program
Central Processing Site
P.O. Box 1200
Miramichi NB E1N 5Z3

Canadian Firearms Program
Canadian Firearms Program
Ottawa ON K1A 1M6
Telephone: 1-800-731-4000 (Canada and the United States)
Fax: 613-825-0297
Email: cfp-pcaf@rcmp-grc.gc.ca
Web site: www.rcmp.gc.ca/cfp

References

Issuing office:
Other Government Departments Programs Unit
Commercial Border Programs Division
Programs Branch
Headquarters file:
68515-03
Legislative references:
Customs Act; Customs Tariff; Criminal Code; Export and Import Permits Act; Firearms Act; Regulations Prescribing Exclusions from Certain Definitions of the Criminal Code (International Sporting Competition Handguns); Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited or Restricted; Storage, Display, Transportation and Handling of Firearms by Individuals Regulations; Storage, Display, Transportation and Handling of Firearms and other Weapons by Businesses Regulations
Other references:
Superseded memorandum D:
D19-13-2, June 23, 2009
Date modified: