If you are a gun owner and are getting ready to move, there are some important rules you should know if you plan on moving with firearms. Canada’s laws regarding firearms are fairly strict, and a special Firearm Carrier License is required by a moving company in order for you to entrust them with your guns. If no moving company in your area is licensed as such, or you are not employing a company to take care of your move, you will have to transport your guns to your new residence on your own. In order to avoid penalties you will need to follow the laws and guidelines closely. Keep in mind that while federal law may give guidelines pertaining to gun transportation each province has its own set of laws as well; if you are caught breaking provincial gun laws you can be charged with a crime even if you are fully abiding by federal law. Firearms legislation changed in 2014, and some of the rules surrounding non-restricted firearms were made less
Non-restricted firearms, such as rifles and other long guns, must be unloaded during transportation. Trigger locks are not required for transport, but some provinces require that you have a permit on-hand if you are transporting a long gun outside of hunting season. If you are moving across provincial lines be sure to phone the Provincial Firearms Office in your destination province. Keep your firearms license and any paperwork pertaining to your non-restricted firearm with you as you are transporting it. If you have an opaque, locking gun cabinet or case it is acceptable to transport your firearms locked away in this fashion.
The legislation and laws for restricted and prohibited firearms are far more confining. Again, if you are crossing provincial borders it is imperative that you check that province’s particular laws with the Provincial Firearms Office. Federal legislation dictates that for transportation restricted and prohibited firearms must follow certain guidelines. These guns must be unloaded for transport, and have a secure locking device attached to each gun. In turn the firearms must be locked in a sturdy, non-transparent container for transport. Any automatic firearms must have the bolts removed. An Authorization to Transport must be obtained by phoning 1-800-731-4000 before you move.
If, during your move, your guns will be left unattended in a vehicle there are rules governing this as well. Any class of firearm must be locked in a trunk or lockable compartment similar, whether in a lockable storage case or not. If the vehicle does not have a trunk or equivalent lockable compartment the guns must be transported out of sight and the doors to the vehicle locked.
Failure to comply with both federal and provincial gun legislation packs big punishment. Gun safety is of chief concern in Canada, and depending on the offence(s) those found non compliant can find themselves facing not only confiscation of their licenses and firearms but also years of jail time and hefty fines.
Replica and antique firearms, according to the CFP’s regulations, can only be transported in a locked trunk or equivalent lockable compartment. Antique guns must be transported void of ammunition. If the antique firearm in question is a handgun, it must be locked in a non-transparent case that cannot be easily broken.
Lastly, be sure to update your licensing information with your new address. This must be done within thirty days of your move, and can be finished online or with a quick phone call.
If you are moving to Canada from the US and are a firearms owner, there are steps you must take before you move your guns into the country. It will be necessary to obtain a Possession and Acquisition License, or PAL, from the RCMP Canadian Firearms Program. More information can be found here.
Take time, if you’re not entirely clear, to brush up on the Canadian Firearms Program. Ignorance of the legislation is often the reason firearms owners are penalized – an outcome easily avoided through education. Make sure your guns – and yourself – get to your new home without incident.