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Canada — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

StockpilesGun Numbers

Civilian Guns

Number of Privately Owned Firearms

ChartThe estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in Canada is

2017: 12,708,0001
2011: 8,619,3282 3 4
2010: 8,383,265
2009: 8,205,454
2008: 8,044,572
2005: 9,950,0005

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

ChartThe estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) per 100 people in Canada is

2017: 34.701
2011: 25.336 7 4
2010: 24.83
2009: 24.50
2008: 24.22
2005: 30.85

Number of Privately Owned Rifles

In Canada, the number of rifles in civilian possession is reported to be 3,500,0008

Number of Privately Owned Shotguns

In Canada, the number of shotguns in civilian possession is reported to be 2,600,0008

Number of Privately Owned Handguns

In Canada, the number of handguns in civilian possession is reported to be 1,100,0008

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Canada ranked at No. 129

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a 2007 comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Canada ranked at No. 135

Proportion of Households with Firearms

ChartIn Canada, the percentage of households with one or more guns is reported to be

2005: 15.5%10
1999/2003: 17.0%
1995/98: 20.8%
1992: 24.2%11
1992/94: 26.0%10
1989: 31.0%

Proportion of Households with Rifles

In Canada, the percentage of households with one or more rifles is reported to be

1992: 19.3%11

Proportion of Households with Shotguns

In Canada, the percentage of households with one or more shotguns is reported to be

1992: 15.4%11

Proportion of Households with Handguns

ChartIn Canada, the percentage of households with one or more handguns is reported to be

2005: 2.9%10
1999/2003: 1.8%
1995/98: 2.3%
1992/94: 3.9%10 11
1989: 5.2%10

Number of Licensed Firearm Owners

ChartThe number of licensed gun owners in Canada is reported to be

2015: 2,026,01112
2014: 1,989,18113
2013: 1,960,38014
2012: 1,938,080
2011: 1,902,815
2010: 1,848,00014 15
2009: 1,843,91314
2008: 1,859,501
2006: 1,908,01115

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of licensed firearm owners per 100 people in Canada is

2015: 5.776
2014: 5.9413
2013: 5.676
2012: 5.65
2011: 5.59
2010: 5.47
2009: 5.51
2008: 5.60
2006: 5.84

Number of Registered Firearms

ChartThe number of registered guns in Canada is reported to be

2017: 2,081,4421
2015: 978,34712
2014: 911,78913 16 17
2013: 847,31218 16 17
2012: 767,019
2011: 7,835,75318
2010: 7,646,69915 18 19
2009: 7,459,50418
2008: 7,313,247
2006: 7,102,46615

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of registered guns per 100 people in Canada is

2016: 2.776
2014: 2.7213 16 17
2013: 2.456 16 17
2012: 2.24
2011: 23.036
2010: 22.576 19
2009: 22.286
2008: 22.02
2006: 21.74

Estimated Number of Illicit Firearms

ChartUnlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Canada there are estimated to be

2017: 10,626,5581
2011: 783,5752 20 4
2010: 762,115
2009: 745,950
2008: 731,325

Estimated Rate of Illicit Firearms per 100 Population

ChartUnlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Canada the rate of illicit firearms per 100 people is estimated to be

2011: 2.306
2010: 2.26
2009: 2.23
2008: 2.20

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Canada are reported to have 233,94921 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Canada are reported to have 103,00022 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn Canada, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2012: 73023
2011: 679
2010: 778
2009: 735
2008: 747
2007: 744
2006: 798
2005: 839
2004: 767
2003: 813
2002: 827
2001: 86024 25 26
2000: 89824 25

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

ChartIn Canada, the annual rate of all gun deaths per 100,000 population is

2012: 2.1323
2011: 2
2010: 2.30
2009: 2.19
2008: 2.25
2007: 2.26
2006: 2.44
2005: 2.59
2004: 2.39
2003: 2.55
2002: 2.61
2001: 2.74
2000: 2.89

Total Number of Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn Canada, annual male deaths resulting from firearms total

2012: 68423
2011: 631
2010: 725

Total Number of Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn Canada, annual female deaths resulting from firearms total

2012: 4623
2011: 48
2010: 53

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Canada, annual homicides by any means total

2015: 60427
2014: 521
2013: 509
2012: 48823
2011: 521
2010: 515
2009: 61028 29 30 31 32 33
2008: 61128 29 30 31 32 33
2007: 59428 29 30 31 32 33 34
2006: 60628 29 30 31 32 33
2005: 663
2004: 624
2003: 549
2002: 582
2001: 553
2000: 546
1999: 53828 31
1998: 558
1997: 586
1996: 635
1995: 588
1994: 59635
1993: 627
1992: 732
1991: 754
1990: 660
1989: 657
1988: 576
1987: 644

Rate of Homicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn Canada, the annual rate of homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2015: 1.6827
2014: 1.46
2013: 1.44
2012: 2.1323
2011: 2
2010: 2.30
2009: 1.8128 30 31 32 33
2008: 1.84
2007: 1.8128 30 31 32 33 34
2006: 1.8628 30 31 32 33
2005: 2.06
2004: 1.95
2003: 1.74
2002: 1.86
2001: 1.78
2000: 1.78
1999: 1.7728 31
1998: 1.85
1997: 1.96
1996: 2.14
1995: 2.01
1994: 2.0628
1993: 2.19
1992: 2.58
1991: 2.69
1990: 2.38
1989: 2.41
1988: 2.15
1987: 2.43

Male Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Canada, annual male homicides by any means total

2015: 42936
2014: 371
2013: 358
2012: 35623
2011: 363
2010: 382

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Canada, annual female homicides by any means total

2015: 17536
2014: 150
2013: 151
2012: 13223
2011: 158
2010: 133

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Canada, annual firearm homicides total

2014: 15612
2013: 13124
2012: 16123
2011: 139
2010: 172
2009: 18224 30 31 37
2008: 201
2007: 18824 30 31 34 37
2006: 19024 30 31 37
2005: 223
2004: 17324 31 37
2003: 161
2002: 152
2001: 171
2000: 18424 31
1999: 165
1998: 151
1997: 18631
1996: 207
1995: 168

Rate of Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Canada, the annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population is

2014: 0.456
2013: 0.38
2012: 0.4723
2011: 0.41
2010: 0.51
2009: 0.546 31 37 33
2008: 0.61
2007: 0.576 31 37 33 34
2006: 0.586 31 37 33
2005: 0.69
2004: 0.546 31 37 33
2003: 0.506 31 37
2002: 0.48
2001: 0.54
2000: 0.59
1999: 0.546 31
1998: 0.49
1997: 0.631
1996: 0.7
1995: 0.6
1992: 0.7638

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

ChartIn Canada, the percentage of homicides committed with a firearm is reported to be

2013: 27%24
2012: 33%24 39
2011: 27%24 30
2010: 39%
2009: 31%
2008: 34%
2007: 33%
2006: 32%
2005: 34%
2004: 28%24
2003: 31%
2002: 27%
2001: 31%
2000: 34%
1999: 31%
1998: 27%
1997: 35.6%31
1996: 36.0%
1995: 31.2%

Male Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn Canada, annual male firearm homicides total

2012: 13523
2011: 109
2010: 143

Female Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn Canada, annual female firearm homicides total

2012: 2623
2011: 30
2010: 29

Handgun Homicides

ChartIn Canada, annual handgun homicides total

2013: 8624
2012: 107
2011: 9424 25
2010: 101
2009: 113
2008: 124
2007: 126
2006: 110
2005: 130
2004: 112
2003: 110
2002: 98
2001: 110
2000: 107
1999: 8924
1998: 70

Rate of Handgun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Canada, the annual rate of handgun homicide per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.256
2012: 0.31
2011: 0.28
2010: 0.30
2009: 0.34
2008: 0.37
2007: 0.38
2006: 0.34
2005: 0.40
2004: 0.35
2003: 0.34
2002: 0.31
2001: 0.35
2000: 0.34
1999: 0.29
1998: 0.23

Long Gun Homicides

ChartIn Canada, annual long gun homicides total

2013: 3924
2012: 48
2011: 4524 25
2010: 50
2009: 46
2008: 52
2007: 49
2006: 63
2005: 70
2004: 52
2003: 45
2002: 46
2001: 53
2000: 69
1999: 6424
1998: 65

Rate of Long Gun Homicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Canada, the annual rate of long gun homicide per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.116
2012: 0.14
2011: 0.13
2010: 0.15
2009: 0.14
2008: 0.16
2007: 0.15
2006: 0.19
2005: 0.22
2004: 0.16
2003: 0.14
2002: 0.15
2001: 0.17
2000: 0.22
1999: 0.21
1998: 0.21

Gun Homicides (Other)

ChartIn Canada, annual gun homicides (other) total

2013: 624
2012: 17
2011: 1924 25
2010: 20
2009: 23
2008: 25
2007: 13
2006: 17
2005: 23
2004: 9
2003: 6
2002: 8
2001: 8
2000: 8
1999: 1224
1998: 16

Rate of Gun Homicide (Other) per 100,000 People

ChartIn Canada, the annual rate of gun homicide (other) per 100,000 population is

2013: 0.026
2012: 0.05
2011: 0.06
2010: 0.06
2009: 0.07
2008: 0.08
2007: 0.04
2006: 0.05
2005: 0.07
2004: 0.03
2003: 0.02
2002: 0.03
2001: 0.03
2000: 0.03
1999: 0.04
1998: 0.05

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Canada, annual suicides by any means total

2012: 3,92423
2011: 3,72629
2010: 3,948
2009: 3,885
2008: 3,70029 40
2007: 3,60829 40 41
2006: 3,511
2005: 3,741
2004: 3,613
2003: 3,764
2002: 3,648
2001: 3,68829 40 41
2000: 3,605
1999: 4,07426

Rate of Suicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn Canada, the annual rate of suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2012: 11.4423
2011: 10.95
2010: 11.69
2009: 11.60
2008: 11.146 40
2007: 10.956 40 41
2006: 10.75
2005: 11.55
2004: 11.24
2003: 11.80
2002: 11.53
2001: 11.75
2000: 11.59
1999: 12.9326
1992: 13.1942

Male Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Canada, annual male suicides by any means total

2012: 2,97023
2011: 2,780
2010: 2,980

Female Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Canada, annual female suicides by any means total

2012: 95423
2011: 946
2010: 968

Gun Suicides

ChartIn Canada, annual firearm suicides total

2012: 54423
2011: 51825 43
2010: 58725
2009: 531
2008: 518
2007: 534
2006: 586
2005: 593
2004: 568
2003: 618
2002: 633
2001: 651
2000: 685

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Canada, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

2012: 1.5923
2011: 1.52
2010: 1.74
2009: 1.59
2008: 1.60
2007: 1.62
2006: 1.79
2005: 1.83
2004: 1.77
2003: 1.94
2002: 2.00
2001: 2.076 26
2000: 2.206
1992: 3.7244

Male Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn Canada, annual male firearm suicides total

2012: 52823
2011: 500
2010: 563

Female Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn Canada, annual female firearm suicides total

2012: 1623
2011: 18
2010: 24

Handgun Suicides

ChartIn Canada, annual handgun suicides total

2011: 2525
2010: 42
2009: 42
2008: 33
2007: 13
2006: 25
2005: 13
2004: 18
2003: 20
2002: 15
2001: 15
2000: 16

Rate of Handgun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Canada, the annual rate of handgun suicide per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.076
2010: 0.12
2009: 0.13
2008: 0.10
2007: 0.04
2006: 0.08
2005: 0.04
2004: 0.06
2003: 0.06
2002: 0.05
2001: 0.05
2000: 0.05

Long Gun Suicides

ChartIn Canada, the number of long gun suicides is

2011: 16625
2010: 242
2009: 215
2008: 243
2007: 125
2006: 129
2005: 120
2004: 125
2003: 107
2002: 127
2001: 123
2000: 131

Rate of Long Gun Suicide per 100,000 People

ChartIn Canada, the annual rate of long gun suicide per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.496
2010: 0.72
2009: 0.64
2008: 0.73
2007: 0.38
2006: 0.40
2005: 0.37
2004: 0.39
2003: 0.36
2002: 0.40
2001: 0.39
2000: 0.42

Gun Suicides (Other)

ChartIn Canada, annual gun suicides (other) total

2011: 32725
2010: 303
2009: 274
2008: 242
2007: 396
2006: 432
2005: 460
2004: 425
2003: 491
2002: 491
2001: 513
2000: 538

Rate of Gun Suicide (Other) per 100,000 People

ChartIn Canada, the annual rate of gun suicide (other) per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.966
2010: 0.90
2009: 0.82
2008: 0.73
2007: 1.20
2006: 1.31
2005: 1.42
2004: 1.32
2003: 1.54
2002: 1.55
2001: 1.63
2000: 1.73

Unintentional Gun Deaths

ChartIn Canada, annual unintentional shooting deaths total

2012: 1723
2011: 1625 43
2010: 1125
2009: 10
2008: 20
2007: 17
2006: 17
2005: 17
2004: 23
2003: 27
2002: 31
2001: 2825 26
2000: 2025

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Canada, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death per 100,000 population is

2012: 0.0223
2011: 0.02
2010: 0.02
2009: 0.03
2008: 0.06
2007: 0.05
2006: 0.05
2005: 0.05
2004: 0.07
2003: 0.08
2002: 0.10
2001: 0.096 26
2000: 0.06
1992: 0.2245

Unintentional Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn Canada, annual unintentional male shooting deaths total

2012: 1423
2011: 16
2010: 11

Unintentional Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn Canada, annual unintentional female shooting deaths total

2012: 323
2011: 0
2010: 0

Unintentional Handgun Deaths

ChartIn Canada, annual unintentional shooting deaths by handgun total

2011: 025
2010: 0
2009: 1
2008: 3
2007: 1
2006: 0
2005: 1
2004: 0
2003: 1
2002: 0
2001: 1
2000: 1

Rate of Unintentional Handgun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Canada, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death by handgun per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.006
2010: 0.00
2009: 0.00
2008: 0.01
2007: 0.00
2006: 0.00
2005: 0.00
2004: 0.00
2003: 0.00
2002: 0.00
2001: 0.00
2000: 0.00

Unintentional Long Gun Deaths

ChartIn Canada, annual unintentional shooting deaths by long gun total

2011: 625
2010: 6
2009: 5
2008: 8
2007: 7
2006: 8
2005: 4
2004: 5
2003: 6
2002: 6
2001: 3
2000: 1

Rate of Unintentional Long Gun Death per 100,000 People

ChartIn Canada, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death by long gun per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.026
2010: 0.02
2009: 0.01
2008: 0.02
2007: 0.02
2006: 0.02
2005: 0.01
2004: 0.02
2003: 0.02
2002: 0.02
2001: 0.01
2000: 0.00

Unintentional Gun Deaths (Other)

ChartIn Canada, annual unintentional shooting deaths by firearm (other) total

2011: 1025
2010: 5
2009: 4
2008: 9
2007: 9
2006: 9
2005: 12
2004: 18
2003: 20
2002: 25
2001: 24
2000: 18

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death (Other) per 100,000 People

ChartIn Canada, the annual rate of unintentional shooting death by firearm (other) per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.036
2010: 0.01
2009: 0.01
2008: 0.03
2007: 0.03
2006: 0.03
2005: 0.04
2004: 0.07
2003: 0.06
2002: 0.08
2001: 0.08
2000: 0.06

Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Canada, annual shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2012: 823
2011: 625 43
2010: 825
2009: 12
2008: 8
2007: 5
2006: 5
2005: 6
2004: 3
2003: 7
2002: 11
2001: 10
2000: 9

Rate of Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Canada, the annual rate of unknown-cause shooting deaths per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.026
2010: 0.02
2009: 0.04
2008: 0.02
2007: 0.02
2006: 0.02
2005: 0.02
2004: 0.01
2003: 0.02
2002: 0.03
2001: 0.03
2000: 0.03
1992: 0.0746

Male Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Canada, annual male shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2012: 723
2011: 6
2010: 8

Female Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Canada, annual female shooting deaths in which the cause remains undecided total

2012: 123
2011: 0
2010: 0

Handgun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Canada, annual deaths by handgun in which the cause remains undecided total

2011: 025
2010: 1
2009: 1
2008: 0
2007: 1
2006: 0
2005: 0
2004: 0
2003: 1
2002: 0
2001: 0
2000: 1

Rate of Handgun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Canada, the annual rate of unknown-cause handgun deaths per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.006
2010: 0.00
2009: 0.00
2008: 0.00
2007: 0.00
2006: 0.00
2005: 0.00
2004: 0.00
2003: 0.00
2002: 0.00
2001: 0.00
2000: 0.00

Long Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Canada, annual deaths by long gun in which the cause remains undecided total

2011: 125
2010: 0
2009: 1
2008: 3
2007: 1
2006: 1
2005: 4
2004: 0
2003: 1
2002: 2
2001: 1
2000: 1

Rate of Long Gun Death from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Canada, the annual rate of unknown-cause long gun deaths per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.006
2010: 0.00
2009: 0.00
2008: 0.01
2007: 0.00
2006: 0.00
2005: 0.01
2004: 0.00
2003: 0.00
2002: 0.01
2001: 0.00
2000: 0.00

Gun Deaths (Other) from Undetermined Cause

ChartIn Canada, annual deaths by firearm (other) in which the cause remains undecided total

2011: 525
2010: 7
2009: 10
2008: 5
2007: 3
2006: 4
2005: 2
2004: 3
2003: 5
2002: 9
2001: 9
2000: 7

Rate of Gun Death (Other) from Undetermined Cause per 100,000 People

ChartIn Canada, the annual rate of unknown-cause gun deaths (other) per 100,000 population is

2011: 0.016
2010: 0.02
2009: 0.03
2008: 0.02
2007: 0.01
2006: 0.01
2005: 0.01
2004: 0.01
2003: 0.02
2002: 0.03
2001: 0.03
2000: 0.02

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Canada, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

In a classification of the world's small, medium and major firearm manufacturers, Canada was ranked 'small'61

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Canada, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69

Firearm Exports (Number)

ChartThe annual number of firearms exported from Canada is reported by manufacturers to be

2017: 6,55370
2016: 2,600
2015: 1,261
2014: 2,762
2013: 1,049
2012: 1,233
2011: 3,562
2010: 5,505
2009: 801
2008: 1,989
2007: 4,319
2006: 1,640

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

ChartThe annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Canada is reported by Customs to be US$

2016: 231,819,98771
2015: 177,032,418
2014: 153,708,623
2013: 172,621,977
2012: 165,880,13071 72 73
2011: 91,375,68574
2010: 84,000,00075
2001: 64,000,00072 76 77

Small Arms Exports - World Ranking

In a comparison of the world's major/mid-level/minor/unknown small arms exporters, Canada was categorized as 'major'78 79 77 80

Firearm Imports

In Canada, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law62 63 64 81 82 67 68 69 83 84

Firearm Imports (Number)

ChartThe annual number of firearms imported to Canada is reported to be

2017: 12,28470
2016: 3,632
2015: 7,141
2014: 7,149
2013: 31,692
2012: 5,933
2011: 6,305
2010: 7,340
2009: 13,669
2008: 8,548
2007: 12,238
2006: 11,532

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

ChartThe annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Canada is reported by Customs to be US$

2012: 296,000,00085 86 87 88
2011: 274,795,49374 89 90
2010: 172,000,00091
2001: 69,000,00085 92

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Canada is moderate93 94

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Canada, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law95 96 97 98 99

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Canada include63 100 82 101 102 certification of the intended end user of any small arms or ammunition transfer, and/or a written declaration of its intended end use

Transparency of Small Arms Transfers

ChartIn its annual Small Arms Trade Transparency Barometer, the Small Arms Survey compares public reporting among major arms exporting nations on a scale from strong to weak (25 to zero). In recent years, Canada scored

2016: 11.25103
2014: 10.25104
2013: 11.75105
2012: 12.25106
2011: 11.75107
2010: 12.25108
2009: 12.25109
2008: 12.00110
2007: 11.25111
2006: 10.25112
2005: 11.50113
2004: 11.50114

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Canada is categorised as restrictive115

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Canada includes the Firearms Act,116 Authorizations to Transport Restricted and Prohibited Firearms Regulations,117 Firearms Licences Regulations,118 Conditions of Transferring Firearms Regulations,119 Firearms Marking Regulations,120 Firearms Records Regulations,121 122 123 Criminal Code,124 125 Export and Import Permits Act,126 the Defence Production Act,127 128 and United Nations Act129

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Canada are regulated by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Justice,116 the Department of Public Works and Government Services,130 Chief Firearms Officers47 131 132 and the Firearms Registrar64

Right to Possess Firearms

In Canada, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law133 134 132

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Canada, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms except those registered before 1978,135 136 handguns with a barrel of 105mm or less in length, specifically modified handguns, rifles or shotguns,136 137 51 and certain types of ammunition138

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Canada, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited, except those registered before 1978135 136 39

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Canada, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted under licence136 139

Regulation of Handguns

In Canada, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence135 136 140 141 39

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Canada, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law136 39

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Canada, only licensed gun owners132 142 143 39 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Canada are not required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm except when the licence concerns prohibited135 and restricted firearms144 140 136

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Canada is 18 years or 12 years, with limitations145 146

Gun Owner Background Checks

An applicant for a firearm licence in Canada must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental health, addiction and domestic violence132 147 39 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Canada, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are required148 147

Partner to be Advised or Interviewed

In Canada, licensing authorities are required148 147 149 to conduct interviews with, or to advise an applicant's spouse, partner, or next of kin before issuing a gun licence

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Canada stipulates132 148 150 151 149 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Canada, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is required139 152 153 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Canada, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every five years154 155

Licensing Records

In Canada, authorities maintain a record64 156 157 153 158 159 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Number of Guns

Licensed firearm owners in Canada are permitted to possess any number of firearms97 98 99 160

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Canada are permitted to possess any quantity of ammunition97 98 99 160

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Canada, the law requires (for prohibited and restricted firearms only136)161 123 162 163 164 64 156 157 165 166 167 that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register

Gun Dealer Record Keeping

In Canada, licensed firearm dealers are required168 64 169 170 171 60 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In Canada, licensed gun makers are required64 170 60 172 173 159 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Canada, State agencies are required174 153 158 50 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In Canada, the private sale and transfer of firearms is permitted for non-restricted firearms and prohibited, without authorisation from the chief firearms officer, for restricted or prohibited firearms168 169 171 170

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Canada, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful47 168 169 170 171

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm in a private sale in Canada is not obliged168 to pass official background checks before taking possession

Background Checks for Dealer Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm from a licensed gun dealer in Canada is not obliged168 to pass official background checks before taking possession

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Canada, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is 28 days on first application for a licence, but none for subsequent acquisitions175 168

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Canada, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are regulated176 177 178 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Canada include179 180 181 182 183 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition by licensed gun owners

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Dealer

Firearm regulations in Canada include184 185 186 187 183 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Canada include188 183 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Canada include178 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition while in transit

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Canada, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law197 198 199 200 59 201

Firearm Tracing

In Canada, state authorities carry out202 172 173 203 recognised arms tracing and tracking procedures

Ballistic Record of Firearms and Ammunition

In Canada, the ballistic characteristics of each civilian firearm and its ammunition are not204 recorded in a register

Carrying Guns

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Canada, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit.144 140 141 39 Such permits are rarely granted

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Canada, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm205 is five to 10 years in prison206 207 208 150 209 210 211 48 212 213 214 215 216

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Canada are known to have217 218 219 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Firearms Surrendered and Seized

ChartIn Canada, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered, bought back or seized by authorities is reported to be

2014: 27,989220
2013: 30,877221
2012: 32,063222
2011: 48,904219 223
2010: 45,550219 224

Small Arms Destroyed

ChartIn Canada, the number of firearms destroyed following amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be

2011: 32,267225 219
2010: 35,592
2009: 20,557226 227

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Canada, it is state policy228 229 225 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

Organization of American States

On 14 November 1997, as a member of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Canada adopted the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Explosives, Ammunition and Other Related Materials (CIFTA), a legally binding multilateral treaty of which the OAS is depository. The CIFTA Convention has since been signed, but not yet ratified230 231 232 by Canada

United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

The UNCCPCJ, a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council mandated to promote action to prevent national and transnational crime, lists233 Canada as an elected member

Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development

The Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, a diplomatic initiative aimed at addressing the interrelations between armed violence and development, was signed in 2006234 by Canada.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed235 by Canada

United Nations Firearms Protocol

The United Nations Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition has been signed, but not yet ratified236 by Canada

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Canada committed to a consensus decision of the United Nations to adopt, support and implement the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects237 230

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Canada against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 20238 239 240 241 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Canada has submitted one or more national reports242 243 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Canada, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated244 243

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Canada, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated244

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Canada submitted to the UN from 2001 to 2010, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities was apparent244 243

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been donated243 by Canada to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Canada has declared245 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Canada has been a Member State of the United Nations since 1945246

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies lists247 230 Canada as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

For a profile of conflict in Canada, select the Link icon to open an external web page from the UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia at Uppsala University

Global Peace Index

To see where Canada ranks, select the Link icon to open an external web page at the Global Peace Index


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