Posted by Mian Atif (220.127.116.11) on March 29, 2015 at 13:26:39:
In Reply to: How to Start posted by Brum on March 29, 2015 at 11:42:10:
The following is a copy and paste of a template I created from a portion of a recent news e-mail sent by the CSSA.
Everytime someone asks me the startup question, I just send them this as an answer.
Obviously, some of the first paragraphs have already been completed by you but I hope the rest is useful.
To get started, a potential owner must first take the Canadian Firearms Safety Course, followed by passing a test to ensure that the applicant has absorbed the lessons contained in the course.
Once that threshold is met, you can then apply for a Possession and Acquisition Licence from the RCMP-operated Canadian Firearms Program.
As the name implies, you need a PAL in order to own an unrestricted firearm such as a hunting rifle or shotgun.
A PAL isn't authorization to buy or own a handgun though, but it is the first step.
To acquire a handgun, an applicant must then take a second course that pertains to restricted firearms, which include handguns, and pass the ensuing tests to be eligible to apply for your Restricted PAL, or R-PAL.
The costs of all tests, study books and application fees are borne by the applicant, totalling about $300.
The tests are typically given on weeknights and weekends in a classroom setting with the focus on how firearms work, how to safely handle, store and fire them, how to care for them and legally transport them.
The test is both written and practical.
There is no shooting test.
The courses are not terribly difficult for anyone with basic knowledge of guns but it takes months, most times, to get into one of the sessions.
Alternatively, an applicant can skip the course and challenge the test straight away.
Skipping the course is not encouraged as the lessons are packed with good information and even an experienced firearms owner might benefit from a refresher.
With that behind you, now comes the paperwork.
The firearms centre will want proof of your training, your personal information and the signature of your current or former conjugal partner.
If his or her signature isn't on the paperwork, the province's Chief Firearms Officer will have to notify them of your application, in which case the processing of your application could be delayed.
You also must supply a photo of yourself with a statement from someone who has known you for at least a year guaranteeing that it is you in the photo.
You must include a non-refundable cheque for $80.
You will be asked if you have been charged, convicted or discharged for a crime of violence, a gun crime or an offence involving selling drugs, or have been the subject of a peace bond in the last five years.
They also want to know if you've separated from a significant other in the past two years or been reported to any agency for violence or threats in a domestic relationship, among other similar questions.
Varying from the truth on any part of the forms is perjury and is subject to criminal charges with potentially serious consequences.
You must also provide two references - independent of your current conjugal partner - who have known you for at least three years.
You need a valid reason in order to be licensed to own a handgun.
There are few purposes for which individuals can be licensed to acquire or possess a restricted firearm, the most common being target practice or target shooting competitions, or as part of a collection.
To be authorized to have a handgun for target shooting, you must provide proof that you practise or compete at an approved shooting club or range.
Membership and attendance at the club or range is usually enough to pass muster.
To be authorized to have a handgun as a collector, you must know the historical, technical or scientific features of the handguns in your collection and consent to inspections of the place where your collection is stored to ensure they are properly stored.
It will typically take three months or more to receive your R-PAL in the mail, allowing you go to handgun shopping.
There is little sense hitting the gun stores before obtaining your R-PAL as no store will allow you to even touch a handgun until you can show them your R-PAL.
It is also a major criminal offence for anyone to sell a handgun to someone who doesn't have that licence.
Once you come to a satisfactory deal, the handgun then needs to be registered in your name.
This takes about 15 minutes via a phone call with the firearms' centre.
There is no fee for transferring ownership.
To take your gun anywhere out of the place where it is registered (usually your home) you then need an Authorization to Transport.
No handgun can be taken anywhere without an ATT which you may get by applying for one.
You'll need to inform the authorities why you need to transport the handgun, the exact time of day when you will be transporting it and the route you will take while transporting it, from which you cannot stray.
You cannot drive around or walk around with a handgun, even it is locked in a case.
You can't stop for an ice cream on your way to the range, nor at the store for a quart of milk on your way home from the gun club.
During transportation, the handgun must be locked in a container, in the locked trunk of the vehicle, with a trigger lock on the gun itself, and of course it must be unloaded.
Once home, the handgun must again be fitted with its trigger lock.
Then it must be locked in a vault, safe or room that was built or modified specifically to store firearms safely.
Ammo must also be stored separately.
The above is a general outline and not a comprehensive list of what it takes to own a handgun in Canada.
The full gamut of rules and regulations can be found on the detailed Canadian Firearms Program's website.
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