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Ammunition regulations in Canada

Region: Ontario Answer # 7813

There are specific rules and restrictions that govern the purchase, possession, and transportation of ammunition in Canada. You do not need a licence to own ammunition, however a licence is required to purchase ammunition.

The laws surrounding the purchase, possession, and transportation of ammunition vary depending on the type of ammunition and the province or territory in which you reside. This includes provincial Ammunition Regulations and Firearms Acts. You must also follow the storage and handling requirements of the Federal Explosives Act.

If you have been charged with a firearms or weapons related crime, it is important to hire an experienced criminal defence lawyer as soon as possible.

Licence to purchase ammunition

Obtaining a licence to purchase ammunition in Canada requires following a set of regulations and procedures:

  1. Complete the application form: Fill out the application form for a PAL, which can be obtained from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) website or from a local firearms office.
  1. Background check: The RCMP will conduct a background check to ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements for a PAL. This includes checking for any criminal convictions, mental health issues, or other factors that may pose a risk.
  1. Safety course: Complete the Canadian Firearms Safety Course (CFSC) and pass the exam. This course covers the safe handling and storage of firearms, as well as the laws and regulations surrounding firearms in Canada.
  1. References: Provide references who can vouch for your character and suitability to possess firearms. These references will be contacted by the RCMP during the application process.
  1. Submit application and fee: Once you have completed all the necessary steps, submit your application along with the required fee to the RCMP.
  1. Wait for approval: The RCMP will review your application and conduct a thorough valuation. This evaluation may include contacting your references, conducting additional background checks, and verifying the information provided in your application. The processing time for a PAL can vary, but it typically takes several months.
  1. PAL issued: If your application is approved, you will be issued a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) . This licence will allow you to purchase and possess firearms and ammunition for lawful purposes.

Once you have obtained a PAL, you can legally purchase ammunition in Canada. It is important to note that certain types of ammunition may be restricted or prohibited, so it is essential to familiarize yourself with the regulations surrounding ammunition before making a purchase.

What are the regulations for the sale and purchase of ammunition?

The sale and purchase of ammunition in Canada is regulated to ensure that it is only obtained by individuals who are authorized to possess it. In general, ammunition can only be sold to individuals who hold a valid firearms licence. This licence can be either a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) or a minor’s licence (for individuals who are 12 years of age or more, but under 18 years of age).

When purchasing ammunition, individuals are required to present their firearms licence and provide their licence number to the seller. The seller is then responsible for verifying the validity of the licence before completing the sale. It is illegal to sell ammunition to someone who does not hold a valid firearms licence.

Individuals are also prohibited from purchasing ammunition that is not compatible with the firearms they are authorized to possess. For example, if someone is licenced to possess a handgun, they cannot legally purchase ammunition that is designed for use in a rifle.

Some provinces and territories may have additional regulations and restrictions on the sale and purchase of ammunition.

Is there an age restriction to purchase ammunition?

The minimum age to purchase ammunition in Canada varies by province or territory. In most provinces, the minimum age is 18 years old. However, in some provinces such as Quebec and Alberta, the minimum age is 16 years old. It is important to check the specific age requirements in your province or territory before purchasing ammunition.

What records must be kept?

In Canada, there are record-keeping requirements for the sale of ammunition. When purchasing ammunition, the seller is required to record certain information such as the buyer’s name, address, and PAL (Possession and Acquisition Licence) number. The seller is also required to record details about the ammunition being sold, such as the quantity, type, and caliber. These records must be kept for a specific period of time, typically six years, and made available for inspection by law enforcement if requested.

It is important to note that these record-keeping requirements apply to both online and in-person purchases of ammunition. Sellers are responsible for ensuring that they comply with these regulations and maintain accurate records. Failure to comply with the age restrictions and record-keeping requirements for ammunition can result in serious consequences. Violations of these regulations can result in fines, imprisonment, or the revocation of your PAL.

Possession and storage requirements

When possessing ammunition, it is essential to store it securely and separately from your firearms. This means that you should have a separate locked container or safe to store your ammunition in. The purpose of this requirement is to prevent unauthorized access and to ensure that ammunition is not easily accessible to individuals who should not have access to it.

When transporting ammunition, it must be handled with care and in compliance with the law. Ammunition must be transported in a secure manner, such as in a locked container or in a vehicle’s trunk. It’s important to note that transporting ammunition is prohibited in certain places, such as schools, government buildings, and airports. Always check local regulations and laws regarding the transport of ammunition in your specific province or territory.

Restrictions on ammunition types

It’s important to be aware that there are restrictions on certain types of ammunition in Canada. For example, there are limitations on the possession and use of armor-piercing and explosive ammunition. These types of ammunition are generally prohibited and can only be legally possessed or used by individuals who have a specific authorization or permit.

In addition, there are restrictions on the possession and use of high-capacity magazines. These magazines, which are capable of holding more than a certain number of rounds, are generally prohibited. However, there are exceptions for individuals who have a specific authorization or permit.

As many regulations and restrictions regarding ammunition are specific to your province or territory, seek legal help to ensure that you are in compliance with the law. Violations of these regulations can have serious legal consequences.

Get help

To erase your criminal record, call toll-free 1-888-808-3628 or learn more at Pardon Partners. It’s easier than you think.

If you have been charged with a crime, it is important to hire an experienced criminal defence lawyer as soon as possible. Contact our preferred criminal defence expert, Calvin Barry Criminal Lawyers for a free consultation at 416-938-5858 .


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