Guns and Firearm Possession

Canada has strict laws governing the possession and use of firearms. These include laws that prohibit the possession of a wide variety of firearms, especially handguns and automatic weapons. Visitors to Canada are not allowed to carry firearms for self-defence.

You will not be allowed to bring a sporting rifle or shotgun into Canada unless you are intending to use it for one of the following purposes:

  • Sport or hunting
  • Shooting competitions
  • Protection against wildlife in remote areas of Canada (but not in National Parks)
  • Transportation through Canada to another country.

A non-restricted firearm is a regular sporting rifle or shotgun with a barrel length of at least 470 millimeters (18.5 inches) and an overall length of at least 660 (26 inches). Barrel length is measured from the muzzle of the barrel up to and including the chamber, but not including any part or accessory designed to limit the muzzle flash or to reduce the recoil (such as flash suppressers or muzzle brakes). Please note however that some firearms meeting the above requirements are still listed as restricted.

Handguns are restricted weapons in Canada and may only be brought into the country for use at an approved shooting competition. A permit to carry a handgun for this purpose is required from the province or provinces you are visiting.

Severe penalties and confiscation apply to the possession of illegal firearms in Canada.

Anyone thinking about bringing a firearm into the country should contact a Canada Customs office and ask for the brochure Importing a Firearm or Weapon into Canada.

Regional Customs Offices

Toronto (416)-973-8022 1 Front Street West
PO Box 10, Station A
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5W 1A3
Hamilton (905)-308-8715 400 Grays Road North,
Hamilton, Ontario
Canada L8E 3J6
Windsor (519)-257-6400 PO Box 2280, Station A,
A.C.L.U., Ontario
Canada N8Y 4R8
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