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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
Firearm owners can transfer their firearms to another owner (for example, through a sale or as a gift). The process depends on whether the firearm is a non-restricted or restricted firearm.
The person transferring the firearm is known as the transferor or seller. The person receiving the firearm is known as the transferee or buyer.
A firearm can only be transferred to
- an adult (18 or older) with a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) that is valid for that class of firearm
- a business, museum, or other organization with a firearms business licence
- a public service agency
Businesses need to have a valid business firearms licence for all types of firearms they sell.
You do not need to register non-restricted firearms to transfer them. However, the transferor (seller) must confirm that the transferee's (buyer's) firearms licence is valid prior to the transfer of a non-restricted firearm.
The transfer of a non-restricted firearm may take place only after a reference number has been issued. The reference number is valid for:
- 90 days, or
- the remaining period of validity of the transferee's (buyer's) licence
If a reference number expires before the physical transfer of the firearm, a new reference number must be requested.
The transferor (seller) can start the licence verification process:
- online through Individual Web Services or Business Web Services portals
- by contacting the Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) at 1-800-731-4000
Logging into Individual Web Services
Ensure your email, mailing and residential address are up to date on Individual Web Services to eliminate any issues with transfers. If your place of birth is incorrect on your licence you must contact 1-800-731-4000 to have it corrected.
- Go to Individual Web Services
- Choose a sign secure sign-in method by using your bank information or using GCKey.
- The following information is required from the seller:
- licence number
- last name
- date of birth
- place of birth (city)
- The following information is required from the buyer:
- licence number
- date of birth
- email address
The buyer's email address must be the one CFP has on file in CFIS.
Restricted and prohibited firearms
To transfer a restricted or prohibited firearms, both the transferor (seller) and transferee (buyer) must either:
- contact the CFP at 1-800-731-4000, ext. 4 or 5 (both parties do not need to be available at the same time), or
- read the information sheet and fill out the form at the end of the Information Sheet: Application to Register Restricted and Prohibited Firearms Acquired by Transfer - Transfer Information Sheet (PDF, 379 KB)
For more details visit CFP - Buying and selling (transferring) firearms.
There has been an unprecedented influx of calls to the Canadian Firearms Program and emails to the Alberta Chief Firearms Office regarding firearms sales and transfers.
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
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