Firearms safety

Firearms safety tips and advice to help keep Alberta’s communities safe and secure.

  • Federal buyback program clarification – December 15, 2022

    The ACFO has received a large number of questions around the recent announcement, on December 15, 2022, pertaining to the federal buy back program. Please note the following:

    It is not legal to use the 2020 OIC prohibited firearms – nor has it been – since May 1, 2020. The protocol relates to being in possession of prohibited firearms after the Amnesty expires on October 30, 2023.

  • Firearms sales and transfers – October 21, 2022

    As of October 21, 2022, individuals and businesses will no longer be able to submit applications to transfer handguns through the Program’s Contact Centre or Business Web Services (BWS), when the buyer is an individual, unless the buyer belongs to one of the identified exempt groups. The Canadian Firearms Program continues to provide firearms owners with the information they need through the RCMP website. Specific details pertaining to handgun regulations can be found at the RCMP website – Recent changes in handgun regulations.

    This regulatory provision does not apply in respect of any application for the transfer of a handgun that was submitted before the entry into force of this regulatory amendment”, for example, that was submitted by midnight on the day before the new regulations entered into force which was October 21, 2022.

    For further comments, concerns or questions regarding the new policy, please contact Public Safety Canada:


Firearms safety is paramount. An important function of Alberta’s Chief Firearms Office is to provide information and advice to Albertans on how to keep their firearms safe. Taking safety measures will help keep Alberta’s communities secure.

Enhance your firearms safety knowledge 

Storing safety

Safety begins at home. Store your firearms safely to prevent accidents and avoid them being lost or stolen.

Always unload and lock your firearms. They can be locked up separately or with other firearms in the same container.

For non-restricted firearms:

  • attach a secure lock, such as a trigger lock or cable lock, or remove the bolt
  • lock the firearms in a cabinet, container or safe room

For restricted and prohibited firearms:

  • attach a secure lock so they cannot be fired and lock them in a cabinet, container or safe room
  • lock the firearms in a vault, safe or room that was built to store firearms safely

Video: ACFO Firearms Safety - Storage

Displaying safety

When displaying your firearms:

  • unload and lock them
  • do not display them with or near ammunition
  • attach them to secure locks

Some rules may be different for firearms displayed away from home – for example, at a gun show.

Video: ACFO Firearms Safety - display

Transporting safety – ATT

Non-restricted firearms must be unloaded during transportation.

For restricted and prohibited firearms:

  • unload them
  • attach secure locks
  • lock them in a strong, non-transparent container
  • obtain an Authorization to Transport

If you must leave any class of firearm in an unattended vehicle:

  • lock them in the trunk or in a similar lockable compartment
  • put secured firearms and firearm containers out of sight and lock the vehicle

Authorization to Transport (ATT)

  • You do not need an Authorization to Transport (ATT) for: non-restricted firearms that you transport yourself
  • any firearms that a licensed Alberta carrier ships on your behalf

You need an ATT whenever you wish to transport restricted or prohibited firearms anywhere other than to:

  • an approved shooting club or shooting range within your province of residence
  • pick up newly acquired firearms from the seller’s place that is within your province of residence

You cannot get an Authorization to Transport (ATT) if:

  • you are applying to transport prohibited firearms for which you do not hold the appropriate grandfathering privilege
  • your licence has expired or is not valid
  • you hold a possession licence for minors

To apply for an ATT:

  1. Ensure you have the following information prepared:
    • The exact dates and times during which you intend to transport the firearm(s) you are applying to transport.
    • The registration certificate number(s) of any firearms you are borrowing that will be included in this application, as well as the firearm licence number of the individual or business to whom they are registered.
    • The reason you are transporting the firearm(s).
  2. Apply online
    • Login to Individual Web Services to begin your ATT application.
    • Ensure you have updated your email address and your place of birth is correct. 

Get more information about mailing firearms

Video: ACFO Firearms Safety - Transportation

Authorization to carry

In general, the only firearms allowed for wilderness protection are non-restricted rifles and shotguns.

However, Canadian residents may be authorized to carry a handgun or restricted long gun for wilderness protection or for lawful occupational purposes if they:

  • are licensed to possess restricted firearms
  • are a licensed professional trapper
  • need protection from wild animals in their job

To apply for an Authorization to Carry (ATC), complete and submit an ATC form.

Sport shooting safely

Contact Alberta’s Chief Firearms Office to find out if the place where you will be target shooting is approved under federal regulations.

Hunting safety

Alberta's hunting community plays a vital role in wildlife management in the province.

It is important that hunters continue a tradition of responsible and safe hunting practices by keeping well informed about current hunting regulations and requirements.

Get more information about hunting responsibly and regulations.

Find out how to get a hunting licence on My Wild Alberta.

Video: ACFO Firearms Safety - humane hunting 

Firearms safety training and instructors

For information about the Canadian Firearms Safety Course and where to find a certified instructor, see Firearms safety training and instructors.

Borrowing safety

Adults and minors do not need a licence to borrow a firearm in Alberta, but must be under the direct and immediate supervision of a licensed adult.

Non-residents need to complete a Temporary Borrowing Licence form. This form must be submitted and approved ahead of time by Alberta’s Chief Firearms Officer.

Learn more about non-resident requirements.

Buying and selling safety

In Canada, a firearm may only be transferred to:

  • adults (18 or older) with a valid licence
  • businesses, museums, or other organizations with a valid licence
  • public service agencies, such as a police services, police academies or certain government departments

Learn more about the buying and selling process.

Restricted firearms sales and transfers

To initiate a restricted firearms transfer:

  1. Download and complete the application form RCMP 5492
  2. Submit the form by regular mail, or email it to [email protected].

Inheriting firearms safely


To inherit a firearm you must:

  • be 18 years of age
  • hold a valid licence


Provide the following documents to the Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) so that you can act as an executor:

  • a completed Act on Behalf of an Estate form
  • confirmation that the registered owner is deceased by providing one of the following:
    • the death certificate
    • letters of probate
    • a document (on letterhead) from a police department or coroner

Within a reasonable length of time, you must:

  • ensure the firearms are transferred and registered to a properly licensed individual or business, or
  • dispose of the firearms in a safe and lawful manner

Until then, you must ensure that the firearms are safely stored.

The Chief Firearms Office for Alberta will assist you if a valid firearms licence and/or registration certificate do not exist at the time of death.



To reduce delays, ensure you include your PAL number or application number, full name and date of birth when you email [email protected].

Connect with Alberta’s Chief Firearms Office:

Email: [email protected]

Alberta Chief Firearms Office
PO Box 458, Station Main
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 2K1