Any firearm acquired after December 1, 1998, (when the Firearms Act came into effect) cannot be registered as a relic.
Definition of a Restricted Firearm
According to the Criminal Code, a restricted firearm is:
• A handgun that is not a prohibited firearm;
You require a firearms licence that is valid for restricted firearms in order to possess or acquire a restricted firearm and to obtain ammunition.
• You require a registration certificate issued under the Firearms Act for all firearms in your possession.
• You require an Authorization to Transport, issued by your Chief Firearms Officer (CFO), in order to transport a restricted firearm from one location to another.
• You must store, display and transport your firearms according to the regulations applying to restricted firearms.
You must be at least 18 to get a licence authorizing you to have restricted firearms. If you are younger than 18, you can use restricted firearms only if you are under the direct and immediate supervision of a licensed adult.
If you do not yet have a firearms licence or if you wish to change your licence privileges to include restricted firearms, you must apply for a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) (form CAFC 921). To be eligible for a PAL, you must meet specific safety-training requirements.
If you already have a Possession-Only Licence (POL) that is valid for restricted firearms, you may renew it if you apply before it expires and you have at least one restricted firearm registered in your name.
Exception: If you had a POL that expired after January 1, 2004, you may obtain a new POL to possess restricted firearms if:
• you apply before May 16, 2010;
• you still possess restricted firearms that were registered to you;
• you still require them for an approved purpose; and
• you pass the public-safety checks
Initially, a PAL for restricted firearms costs $80 and is renewable every five years for as long as you possess firearms. The fee to renew a POL or a PAL or to change your licence privileges is waived until May 16, 2009. If you have already paid a renewal fee, the fee will be refunded.
Permitted Purposes For Owning A Restricted Firearm
There are a few purposes for which you can be licensed to acquire and/or possess a restricted firearm, the most common being target practice or target shooting competitions, or as part of a collection.
In limited circumstances, restricted firearms are also allowed for use in connection with your lawful profession or occupation, or to protect life.
Exception: If you have a firearm that is registered to you as a relic under the former legislation, you may continue to possess it for that purpose. However, you cannot pass that designation on to the next owner. The next owner can acquire the firearm only for one of the purposes referred to above.
As set out in the Firearms Act, a relic firearm is one that is of value as a curiosity or rarity, or that is valued as a memento, remembrance or souvenir.
Criteria For Each Purpose
Depending on which purpose you select, there are some specific criteria you have to meet, as follows.
Target Shooting Practice and Competition
To be authorized to have restricted firearms for target shooting purposes, you must provide proof that you practice or compete at an approved shooting club or range.
For more information about approved shooting clubs and ranges, contact your provincial CFO by calling 1 800 731-4000.
Collectors of Restricted Firearms
To be authorized to have restricted firearms as part of a collection, you must:
• Know the historical, technical or scientific features of such firearms in your collection
• Consent to occasional inspections of the place where your collection is stored
• Comply with regulations dealing with safe storage, record-keeping and other matters related to restricted firearms
Employment Purposes and Protection of Life
In limited circumstances, an individual may be authorized to possess and/or acquire a restricted firearm for employment purposes or for protection of a life.
To be able to register a firearm, you require a firearms licence that is valid for that class of firearm. There is no fee to register or transfer a firearm.
Previously Registered Firearms
All registration certificates issued under the former legislation expired on December 31, 2002. Restricted firearms registered in the former system had to be re-registered under the Firearms Act to update the information. If you have not yet re-registered your restricted firearms, you must do so as soon as possible or dispose of them lawfully. You can apply to re-register them online through the CAFC Web site or by submitting a paper application (form CAFC 998). There is no fee.
Newly Acquired Firearms
If you acquire a firearm from a Canadian source, it must be registered to you before you take possession of it. This will occur as part of the transfer process and must take place any time a firearm of any class changes ownership.
In most cases, the entire process can be completed by calling 1 800 731-4000 and selecting the "transfer" option from the menu of services. Alternatively, fill out form CAFC 681. This is a two-part form that must be completed by both you and the current owner.
If you acquire a firearm in another country and import it to Canada, refer to the fact sheet on importing a firearm.
A restricted firearm being registered for the first time in Canada -- for example, a new import - must be verified by an approved verifier. Restricted firearms that have previously been registered in Canada are already deemed to be verified. They do not need to be verified again unless the Registrar requests another verification to confirm their description or classification. Call 1 800 731-4000 for help to have a firearm verified.
Authorizations To Transport
You require an Authorization to Transport (ATT) from a provincial CFO in order to transport a restricted firearm from one location to another. There is no fee for an ATT.
To be eligible for an ATT you must have a valid firearms licence authorizing you to possess restricted firearms.
You can apply for an ATT by calling 1 800 731-4000 or by submitting form CAFC 679.
For more information, contact the CFP.
This fact sheet is intended to provide general information only. For legal references, please refer to the Firearms Act and its Regulations. Provincial, territorial and municipal laws, regulations and policies may also apply.