A friend of mine will be immigrating to Canada later this year (BC, if it makes a difference). In a former life he enjoyed IPSC shooting, and is interested in resuming practical pistol and/or 3-gun in his newly adopted country if possible.
What types of guns will he be able to own, and what hoops will he have to jump through to get them ?
Well there is a lot of BS here gun law wise in general.
Here is a overall summary w/o focusing on just IPSC.
There will be 2 firearms classes... Restricted
. Need to take the appropriate course for each. When I took my course back in 1995, it was 4 hrs a night for 4 nights, but no live firing. This covered both classes above. They changed a bit now and broke the courses up depending on which class(es) you want.
You then join a club (and take their club level safety course)... then apply for a Firearms License. Once your application is approved, you can begin to purchase ammo and possibly firearms. Your primary club also applies on your behalf (in Ontario anyway) for an ATT (Authorization to Transport)
. This stupid piece of paper is so you can take your Restricted firearms to and from the club.
As for the Firearms License itself... there is POL
. POL (Possession Only License
) allows you to purchase ammo only, and covers existing Non-Restricted firearms you already own. PAL (Possession and Acquisition License
) allows you to purchase firearms and ammo. The PAL is further broken down to Restricted and Non-Restricted permissions. If you applied for Non-Restricted only (b/c you took that particular course for example)... that is all you can purchase (ie. hunting rifles, shotguns). So your friend will need a PAL with 'Restricted' permissions.
He will be able to own Full Size handguns w/barrels longer than 106mm (ie. Glock 17). You can also buy a Glock 19 with a longer barrel for example.
Handguns mags must be pinned to 10 rds, or use factory 10rd mag.
You cannot hunt with a handgun or AR, or any other Restricted firearm. You can only shoot them at an approved range.
AR's for example... any barrel length is legal, but Colt is hard for example to import from the US. So LMT is the next best thing. If Norinco (yuk) is your thing... they are available also.
AR mags must be pinned to 5rds. RRA pistol mags... factory 10rd's are fine I believe.
Any length factory 'pump' shotgun is classed as Non-Restricted. 14" are fine for example, just hard to find new, and US won't export Mossberg or Remington for example since they are Class III. However, if Norinco (yuk) is your thing... they are available.
IPSC info can be found HERE
Here is the Canadian Firearms website
with more info.
I think I got most. Any locals please fill gaps or correct as necessary please.
ETA: BC in general though... things are much smoother out west. Ontario is the worst.
Thanks G22... your description is clear, and very helpful. I'll relay the website reference to my friend.
One thing I forgot... if your friend already has taken firearms training/courses, then he should be able to skip taking the courses we have here. There is a section on the Firearms License app for this, and to attach proof/copy of such training.
Reading the above thread, and just curious, say the immigrant in question already had these "restricted" guns back in the states. After going through the appropriate courses and recieving the appropriate permission slips (PAL if I remember right) Could this person have a dealer back home ship these items to a dealer up there, and then conduct the transfers according to prescribed guidelines?
Is there no provision whatsoever for standard capacity mags? What about F/A? Are the Canadian equivalent to a federal firearms licence all but unobtainable?
If he has time to visit and get his test out of the way before he arrives, he can register his guns as soon as his licence is approved, and import them with him.
There is no grandfathering on the standard capacity mags. Sorry.
Full Auto is legal up here, kinda. It's of no use to your friend, as full auto collectors became a closed society as of midnite Jan 1 1979. No new full auto's can be imported for civilians, and no new owners. Also, they recently got ass raped and now can not take there guns to the range at all.
As for an FFL, in a way, our PAL acts similarly. We can buy and sell guns across the country. Dealers with a business firearms licence get wholesale prices, but we don't have to go through a dealer for used guns.
To get a dealers permit, it is probably easier than in the US, but there is really no advantage unless you intend to conduct legitimate business.