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Selling (transferring) or gifting firearms

Region: Ontario Answer # 7811

The RCMP refers to selling or giving a firearm as a gift to someone else (an individual or a business) as transferring.

The transfer of firearms in Canada is governed by the Firearms Act and its accompanying regulations, which controls and regulates the possession, acquisition, and transfer of firearms. The rules for transferring a firearm vary depending on the type of firearm. Violations of the law can have serious legal consequences. 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.

Who can you sell or gift a firearm to?

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

To transfer a restricted or prohibited firearm it must be registered to the new owner.

How do you transfer a firearm?

To transfer firearms, the transferor (seller) must obtain information from the transferee (buyer), including confirmation of the validity of the transferee’s firearms licence and date of birth and provide this information to the Canadian Firearms Program (CFP). A reference number will then be issued to allow the transfer to take place. The reference number is valid for ninety (90) days or for the remaining period of validity of the transferee’s (buyer’s) licence.

Transferring a restricted or prohibited firearm

To transfer a restricted or prohibited firearm, information is required by both the transferor and transferee including:

  • Transferor’s PAL, firearm registration number and identification number, name and address
  • The new owner’s name, address and PAL

Transfers can be made online or by telephone (Canadian Firearms Program at 1-800-731-4000) for non-restricted firearms, or by telephone or mail for restricted and prohibited firearms. Refer to the RCMP for more information.

What records must be kept?

To sell or gift firearms, there are several types of records that must be maintained to comply with Canadian law:

  • Bill of Sale: A bill of sale is a document that records the details of the firearm transaction between the buyer and the seller. It should include information such as the firearm’s serial number, make, model, caliber, and the names and addresses of both parties involved in the transaction. This document acts as proof of ownership transfer and should be retained by both the buyer and the seller.
  • Firearms Licence Verification: Prior to the sale, transfer, or gift of a firearm, the seller must verify the buyer’s firearms licence. The seller should record the buyer’s licence number and expiry date. This verification is crucial to ensure that the buyer is legally eligible to possess firearms.
  • Transfer Authorization: In cases where a restricted or prohibited firearm is being sold or transferred, a transfer authorization must be obtained from the Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) of the province or territory. This authorization should be retained by both the buyer and the seller as it serves as proof that the transfer was authorized by the appropriate authorities.
  • Registration Certificate: For restricted and prohibited firearms, a registration certificate must be obtained and kept by the owner. The registration certificate contains details about the firearm and its owner, including the serial number, make, model, and the owner’s name and address. This certificate should be kept in a safe and secure place, as it is a legal requirement to have it in possession when in possession of the firearm.

Other considerations

The process and requirements for selling or transferring firearms may vary depending on the specific type of firearm, the location, and any additional regulations imposed by local governments.

Other rules and procedures may apply for businesses.

Transferring or gifting firearms in Canada is complicated and involves many steps. Violations of regulations can have serious legal consequences. Seek legal advice for the most up-to-date and complete information and to ensure that all laws and procedures are being followed.

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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