What are the Classes of Firearms in Canada?

In Canada, there are three classes of firearms:

  • Non-restricted;
  • Restricted; and
  • Prohibited

Non-Restricted Firearms: any rifles or shotguns that are neither prohibited nor restricted.

Restricted Firearms include:

  • Handguns that are not prohibited firearms
  • Firearms that:
    • are not prohibited firearms
    • have a barrel less than 470 mm in length
    • are capable of discharging centre-fire ammunition in a semi-automatic manner
  • Firearms designed or adapted to be fired when reduced to a length of less than 660 mm by folding, telescoping or otherwise
  • Firearms of any other kind prescribed to be restricted firearms in the Regulations

Restricted Firearms can be used for the purposes of target practice or target shooting, as part of a collection, or in connection with one’s lawful occupation (in limited circumstances) or to protect life.

Prohibited Firearms include:

  • Handguns with barrels equal to or less than 105 mm in length
  • Handguns designed or adapted to discharge a 25 or 32 calibre cartridge
    • This does not include handguns for use in international sporting competitions governed by the rules of the International Shooting Union and where the handgun is prescribed to be restricted
  • Firearms adapted from a rifle or shotgun, whether by sawing, cutting or any other alteration, and that, as so adapted are:
    • less than 660 mm in length
    • 660 mm or greater in length and has a barrel less than 457 mm in length
  • Automatic firearms, whether or not altered to discharge only one projectile with one pressure of the trigger
  • Firearms prescribed to be prohibited firearms in the Regulations


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