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:
- by telephone for general enquiries at 1-800-830-3118
- by mail at 269 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, Canada K1A 0P8 or
- through Public Safety Canada’s electronic form for public enquiries
Alberta’s Chief Firearms Office helps provide licences for a wide range of firearms owners.
Read the options below that best meet your situation.
You risk penalties if you possess a firearm without a valid licence.
A Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) enables a licence holder to possess and use firearms in Canada.
Applicants aged 18 and older may apply for a PAL, or a Restricted Possession and Acquisition Licence (RPAL), or both.
Step 1. Pass the safety course
Generally, applicants, including minors, must pass a Canadian Firearms Safety Course.
If you wish to own a restricted firearm, you need to pass the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course.
Step 2. Complete and submit the form
Complete the PAL form for both the PAL and RPAL application.
Non-residents must be 18 or older to use a firearm in Alberta or bring one into Canada.
Step 1. Complete and submit the declaration form
Complete and submit a Non-resident Firearms Declaration form to the Canada Border Services Agency.
Step 2. Receive a temporary licence
If you are granted a temporary (60 day) licence by the Canada Border Services Agency, you can renew this licence before it expires by contacting Alberta's Chief Firearms Office.
Step 3. Apply for a PAL
Learn more about what non-residents need to do who are coming into Alberta with a firearm.
Minors between 12 and 17 years old can apply for a minor’s licence.
Step 1. Pass the safety course
You must pass the Canadian Firearms Safety Course to be eligible for a licence.
Step 2. Fill out the application form and consent letter
- Application for a Possession Licence Under the Firearms Act (Minors)
- Letter of Consent Minor's Licence Conditions
Step 3. Interview, if required
Before you can get a minor's licence, Alberta's Chief Firearms Office may interview you or your parent or guardian.
The minor's licence is only valid for non-restricted rifles and shotguns. Licensed minors can use a handgun if they are under the direct and immediate supervision of someone licensed to have a handgun.
Step 4. Apply for a PAL when you turn 18
When you turn 18, you must apply for a PAL.
There are exceptions for children under the age of 12, including Indigenous children, who hunt to sustain themselves and their families.
Contact the Chief Firearms Officer for Alberta to see if you meet the requirements.
Get more information on licences for minors.
A business, museum or other organization needs a firearms business licence to possess, manufacture or sell firearms, ammunition and prohibited items. The licence is only valid for the activities specified, and each separate business location needs a separate licence.
Businesses, museums and other organizations should contact Alberta’s Chief Firearms Office for a licence application form. Conditions may be added at their discretion.
Ammunition may be transferred to a:
- business or individual with a valid firearms licence
- public agency (for example, a police force or a government department) with a valid Public Agency Identification Number
For disposal of ammunition, please contact your local police services.
Find more information on business licences.
To participate in sport shooting at a club or range Canadian residents must have a valid:
Find out which shooting club or range is closest to you by contacting Alberta’s Chief Firearms Office.
Alberta’s Chief Firearms Office can request written confirmation from a shooting club or range about the participation of any current or past member in target practice or target shooting competitions within the previous 5 years.
To acquire firearms (not antiques) for a collection, you must be at least 18 years old and have a PAL for the class or classes of firearms you are collecting.
To collect a restricted or prohibited firearm, you need to know the historical, scientific and technical features of the firearm. Alberta’s Chief Firearms Officer will decide whether you are eligible to collect the firearm when you apply to register it.
Application fees are different for each application and adjust each year. Please review your application to ensure you have enclosed the correct amount. Failing to enclose the correct amount will hold up your application process.
Find out more about Canada's firearms service fees.
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