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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

2016: 2,076,84012
2015: 2,026,01113
2014: 1,989,18114
2013: 1,960,38015
2012: 1,938,080
2011: 1,902,815
2010: 1,848,00015 16
2009: 1,843,91315
2008: 1,859,501
2006: 1,908,01116

Rate of Licensed Firearm Owners per 100 Population

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

2016: 5.876
2015: 5.77
2014: 5.9414
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

2016: 1,022,62817
2015: 978,34713
2014: 911,78914 18 19
2013: 847,31220 18 19
2012: 767,019
2011: 7,835,75320
2010: 7,646,69916 20 21
2009: 7,459,50420
2008: 7,313,247
2006: 7,102,46616

Rate of Registered Firearms per 100 Population

ChartThe rate of registered guns per 100 people in Canada is

2016: 2.896
2014: 2.7214 18 19
2013: 2.456 18 19
2012: 2.24
2011: 23.036
2010: 22.576 21
2009: 22.286
2008: 22.02
2006: 21.74

Estimated Number of Illicit Firearms

ChartUnlawfully held guns cannot be counted, and in Canada most firearms are unregulated, but the combined total is estimated to be

2011: 783,5752 22 4
2010: 762,115
2009: 745,950
2008: 731,325

Estimated Rate of Illicit Firearms per 100 Population

ChartUnlawfully held guns cannot be counted, and in Canada most firearms are unregulated, but the combined rate 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 233,94923 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Canada are reported to have 103,00024 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Total Number of Gun Deaths

ChartIn Canada, annual deaths resulting from firearms total

2012: 73025
2011: 679
2010: 778
2009: 735
2008: 747
2007: 744
2006: 798
2005: 839
2004: 767
2003: 813
2002: 827
2001: 86026 27 28
2000: 89826 27

Rate of All Gun Deaths per 100,000 People

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

2012: 2.1325
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: 68425
2011: 631
2010: 725

Total Number of Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn Canada, annual female deaths resulting from firearms total

2012: 4625
2011: 48
2010: 53

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Canada, annual homicides by any means total

2015: 60429
2014: 521
2013: 509
2012: 48825
2011: 521
2010: 515
2009: 61030 31 32 33 34 35
2008: 61130 31 32 33 34 35
2007: 59430 31 32 33 34 35 36
2006: 60630 31 32 33 34 35
2005: 663
2004: 624
2003: 549
2002: 582
2001: 553
2000: 546
1999: 53830 33
1998: 558
1997: 586
1996: 635
1995: 588
1994: 59637
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: 1.6829
2014: 1.46
2013: 1.44
2012: 2.1325
2011: 2
2010: 2.30
2009: 1.8130 32 33 34 35
2008: 1.84
2007: 1.8130 32 33 34 35 36
2006: 1.8630 32 33 34 35
2005: 2.06
2004: 1.95
2003: 1.74
2002: 1.86
2001: 1.78
2000: 1.78
1999: 1.7730 33
1998: 1.85
1997: 1.96
1996: 2.14
1995: 2.01
1994: 2.0630
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: 42938
2014: 371
2013: 358
2012: 35625
2011: 363
2010: 382

Female Homicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Canada, annual female homicides by any means total

2015: 17538
2014: 150
2013: 151
2012: 13225
2011: 158
2010: 133

Gun Homicides

ChartIn Canada, annual firearm homicides total

2014: 15613
2013: 13126
2012: 16125
2011: 139
2010: 172
2009: 18226 32 33 39
2008: 201
2007: 18826 32 33 36 39
2006: 19026 32 33 39
2005: 223
2004: 17326 33 39
2003: 161
2002: 152
2001: 171
2000: 18426 33
1999: 165
1998: 151
1997: 18633
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: 0.4725
2011: 0.41
2010: 0.51
2009: 0.546 33 39 35
2008: 0.61
2007: 0.576 33 39 35 36
2006: 0.586 33 39 35
2005: 0.69
2004: 0.546 33 39 35
2003: 0.506 33 39
2002: 0.48
2001: 0.54
2000: 0.59
1999: 0.546 33
1998: 0.49
1997: 0.633
1996: 0.7
1995: 0.6
1992: 0.7640

Proportion of Homicides Committed With a Gun

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

2013: 27%26
2012: 33%26 41
2011: 27%26 32
2010: 39%
2009: 31%
2008: 34%
2007: 33%
2006: 32%
2005: 34%
2004: 28%26
2003: 31%
2002: 27%
2001: 31%
2000: 34%
1999: 31%
1998: 27%
1997: 35.6%33
1996: 36.0%
1995: 31.2%

Male Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn Canada, annual male firearm homicides total

2012: 13525
2011: 109
2010: 143

Female Gun Homicide Victims

ChartIn Canada, annual female firearm homicides total

2012: 2625
2011: 30
2010: 29

Handgun Homicides

ChartIn Canada, annual handgun homicides total

2013: 8626
2012: 107
2011: 9426 27
2010: 101
2009: 113
2008: 124
2007: 126
2006: 110
2005: 130
2004: 112
2003: 110
2002: 98
2001: 110
2000: 107
1999: 8926
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: 3926
2012: 48
2011: 4526 27
2010: 50
2009: 46
2008: 52
2007: 49
2006: 63
2005: 70
2004: 52
2003: 45
2002: 46
2001: 53
2000: 69
1999: 6426
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: 626
2012: 17
2011: 1926 27
2010: 20
2009: 23
2008: 25
2007: 13
2006: 17
2005: 23
2004: 9
2003: 6
2002: 8
2001: 8
2000: 8
1999: 1226
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: 3,92425
2011: 3,72631
2010: 3,948
2009: 3,885
2008: 3,70031 42
2007: 3,60831 42 43
2006: 3,511
2005: 3,741
2004: 3,613
2003: 3,764
2002: 3,648
2001: 3,68831 42 43
2000: 3,605
1999: 4,07428

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: 11.4425
2011: 10.95
2010: 11.69
2009: 11.60
2008: 11.146 42
2007: 10.956 42 43
2006: 10.75
2005: 11.55
2004: 11.24
2003: 11.80
2002: 11.53
2001: 11.75
2000: 11.59
1999: 12.9328
1992: 13.1944

Male Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Canada, annual male suicides by any means total

2012: 2,97025
2011: 2,780
2010: 2,980

Female Suicide Victims (any method)

ChartIn Canada, annual female suicides by any means total

2012: 95425
2011: 946
2010: 968

Gun Suicides

ChartIn Canada, annual firearm suicides total

2012: 54425
2011: 51827 45
2010: 58727
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: 1.5925
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 28
2000: 2.206
1992: 3.7246

Male Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn Canada, annual male firearm suicides total

2012: 52825
2011: 500
2010: 563

Female Gun Suicide Victims

ChartIn Canada, annual female firearm suicides total

2012: 1625
2011: 18
2010: 24

Handgun Suicides

ChartIn Canada, annual handgun suicides total

2011: 2527
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: 16627
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: 32727
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: 1725
2011: 1627 45
2010: 1127
2009: 10
2008: 20
2007: 17
2006: 17
2005: 17
2004: 23
2003: 27
2002: 31
2001: 2827 28
2000: 2027

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death per 100,000 People

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

2012: 0.0225
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 28
2000: 0.06
1992: 0.2247

Unintentional Male Gun Deaths

ChartIn Canada, annual unintentional male shooting deaths total

2012: 1425
2011: 16
2010: 11

Unintentional Female Gun Deaths

ChartIn Canada, annual unintentional female shooting deaths total

2012: 325
2011: 0
2010: 0

Unintentional Handgun Deaths

ChartIn Canada, annual unintentional shooting deaths by handgun total

2011: 027
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: 627
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: 1027
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: 825
2011: 627 45
2010: 827
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: 0.0748

Male Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2012: 725
2011: 6
2010: 8

Female Gun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2012: 125
2011: 0
2010: 0

Handgun Deaths from Undetermined Cause

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

2011: 027
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: 127
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: 527
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 licence49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62

Small Arms Manufacture - World Ranking

In a classification of the world's small, medium and major firearm manufacturers, Canada was ranked 'small'63

Home-made Guns

In Canada, the prevalence of illicit craft, or 'home-made' firearm manufacture is reported to be moderate64

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Firearm Exports

In Canada, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72

Firearm Exports (Number)

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

2017: 6,55373
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: 231,819,98774
2015: 177,032,418
2014: 153,708,623
2013: 172,621,977
2012: 165,880,13074 75 76
2011: 91,375,68577
2010: 84,000,00078
2001: 64,000,00075 79 80

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'81 82 80 83

Firearm Imports

In Canada, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law65 66 67 84 85 70 71 72 86 87

Firearm Imports (Number)

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

2017: 12,28473
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: 296,000,00088 89 90 91
2011: 274,795,49377 92 93
2010: 172,000,00094
2001: 69,000,00088 95

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Canada is moderate96 97

Regulation of Arms Brokers

In Canada, the activities of arms brokers and transfer intermediaries are not specifically regulated by law98 99 100 101 102

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Canada include66 103 85 104 105 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

2018: 13.50106
2016: 11.25107
2014: 10.25108
2013: 11.75109
2012: 12.25110
2011: 11.75111
2010: 12.25112
2009: 12.25113
2008: 12.00114
2007: 11.25115
2006: 10.25116
2005: 11.50117
2004: 11.50118

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Canada is categorised as restrictive119

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Canada includes the Firearms Act,120 Authorizations to Transport Restricted and Prohibited Firearms Regulations,121 Firearms Licences Regulations,122 Conditions of Transferring Firearms Regulations,123 Firearms Marking Regulations,124 Firearms Records Regulations,125 126 127 Criminal Code,128 129 Export and Import Permits Act,130 the Defence Production Act,131 132 and United Nations Act133

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Canada are regulated by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Justice,120 the Department of Public Works and Government Services,134 Chief Firearms Officers49 135 136 and the Firearms Registrar67

Right to Possess Firearms

In Canada, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law137 138 136

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Canada, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic firearms except those registered before 1978,139 140 handguns with a barrel of 105mm or less in length, specifically modified handguns, rifles or shotguns,140 141 53 and certain types of ammunition142

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Canada, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited, except those registered before 1978139 140 41

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Canada, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is permitted under licence140 143

Regulation of Handguns

In Canada, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is permitted under licence139 140 144 145 41

Law Regulates Long Guns

In Canada, civilian possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated by law140 41

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Canada, only licensed gun owners136 146 147 41 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 prohibited139 and restricted firearms148 144 140

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Canada is 18 years or 12 years, with limitations149 150

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 violence136 151 41 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Canada, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are required152 151

Partner to be Advised or Interviewed

In Canada, licensing authorities are required152 151 153 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 stipulates136 152 154 155 153 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 required143 156 157 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Canada, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every five years158 159

Licensing Records

In Canada, authorities maintain a record67 160 161 157 162 163 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 firearms100 101 102 164

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Canada are permitted to possess any quantity of ammunition100 101 102 164

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Canada, the law requires (for prohibited and restricted firearms only140)165 127 166 167 168 67 160 161 169 170 171 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 required172 67 173 174 175 62 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 required67 174 62 176 177 163 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Canada, State agencies are required178 157 162 52 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 firearms172 173 175 174

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Canada, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful49 172 173 174 175

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales

The buyer of a firearm in a private sale in Canada is not obliged172 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 obliged172 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 acquisitions179 172

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Canada, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are regulated180 181 182 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Canada include183 184 185 186 187 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 include188 189 190 191 187 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 include192 187 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Firearm and Ammunition Transport Regulations

Regulations in Canada include182 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 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 law201 202 203 204 61 205

Firearm Tracing

In Canada, state authorities carry out206 176 177 207 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 not208 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.148 144 145 41 Such permits are rarely granted

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Canada, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm209 is five to 10 years in prison210 211 212 154 213 214 215 50 216 217 218 219 220

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Canada are known to have221 222 223 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Surrendered in Gun Amnesty

ChartIn Canada, the number of firearms voluntarily surrendered in recent arms amnesty and collection programmes is reported to be

2015: 15,119224
2014: 14,865

Firearms Surrendered and Seized

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

2016: 25,123225
2015: 26,528226
2014: 36,842
2013: 30,877227
2012: 32,063228
2011: 48,904223 229
2010: 45,550223 230

Small Arms Destroyed

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

2015: 29,685224 231
2014: 21,558
2011: 32,267232 223
2010: 35,592
2009: 20,557233 234

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Canada, it is state policy235 236 232 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 ratified237 238 239 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, lists240 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 2006241 by Canada.

Arms Trade Treaty

The Arms Trade Treaty has not been signed242 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 ratified243 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 Aspects244 237

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. 20245 246 247 248 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 reports249 250 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 designated251 250

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Canada, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated251

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 apparent251 250

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been donated250 by Canada to other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Canada has declared252 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 1945253

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies lists254 237 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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