Increasing Compliance among Firearms Owners

On March 25, 2011, the Government of Canada announced that it is extending important changes to the Canadian Firearms Program that are designed to enhance public safety and ease the administrative burden on lawful firearms owners. These changes will remain in effect until May 16, 2013.

The Government is renewing these measures to encourage continued compliance, as part of its ongoing efforts towards more effective gun control.

Extending the Amnesty

Under federal firearms legislation currently in force, to be in lawful possession of a non-restricted firearm, an individual must hold a licence issued under the Firearms Act as well as a registration certificate for each firearm.

The Criminal Code amnesty protects non-compliant owners of non-restricted firearms from criminal liability while they are taking steps to comply with the licencing and registration requirements of the Firearms Act and the Criminal Code.

Those steps toward compliance include disposing of their firearm or renewing their licence and obtaining a registration certificate for their firearm.

Applying for POL Renewal

All individuals in Canada who are in possession of a firearm must have a valid firearms licence, hold a valid registration certificate and meet all safe storage requirements to be in compliance with the Firearms Act.

Previously, firearms owners who allowed their Possession Only Licence (POL) to expire were not able to renew that licence. Rather, they had to undergo a firearms safety training course and apply for a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL).

Until May 16, 2013, eligible holders of expired Possession Only Licences will be able to apply for a new POL and bring themselves back into compliance with federal firearms legislation.

Further information can be obtained from the RCMP Canadian Firearms Program at:


Media Relations
Public Safety Canada

The CSSA is the voice of the sport shooter and firearms enthusiast in Canada. Our national membership supports and promotes traditional target shooting competition, modern action shooting sports, hunting, and archery. We support and sponsor competitions and youth programs that promote these Canadian heritage activities