Doing the Paperwork

Process for Obtaining a Legal Handgun for Target Shooting

The process for legally obtaining a handgun for target shooting can be long and complicated. However, it is well worth the effort as once the process is in place. You will be able to enjoy a very rewarding, challenging and fun sport. Following is a brief description of the steps involved.

1. Obtain an application for a 'Possession/Acquisition License' - available at the post office.
2. Successfully complete the Canadian Firearms Safety Course and the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course (or challenge the exams).
3. Forward the License application with proof of Safety Course completion, passport photo and appropriate fees to the Canadian Firearms Centre in Miramichi, NB.
4. Police background checks will be completed as well as reference and spousal checks. If anything shows up on these checks, even if you were a victim of a criminal act (theft, assault, etc.), the application will be rejected and forwarded to the Chief Firearms Office (CFO) for further investigation.
5. If approved, license will be produced and mailed to the applicant (currently 4 to 6 months)
6. Join an approved handgun club.
7. Complete a mandatory Club level handgun safety course and serve a probation period.
8. Fill out an application for an 'Authorization to Transport (ATT)' - club executive will forward to the CFO along with their recommendation for processing.
9. Further police checks may be done along with a second computer record check.
10. If approved, ATT will be mailed to applicant.
11. At this point, you may purchase a handgun from a sporting goods store or an individual. The registration must be called in to Miramichi for approval. The information is forwarded to the CFO for final approval and issuance of an ATT for transport from the vendor to the purchaser.
12. Handgun cannot be moved from the dwelling until an ATT is received allowing for the transport to an approved firing range. The permit is valid for one to three years and must be renewed at the recommendation of the Club executive.
13. To transport the firearm to any location other than an approved range i.e. gunsmith, border point for competition in the US, etc., requires the owner to obtain another ATT from the Chief Firearms Office.

Courtesy of Canadian Shooting Sports

TargetShooting Canada - Copyright 2001: Patrick Haynes