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What prohibited firearms were grandfathered in Canada?

What prohibited firearms were grandfathered in Canada?

What prohibited firearms were grandfathered in Canada?

Prohibited Classes Of Firearms 12-2, 12-3, 12-4, 12-5, 12-6, 12-7 ( 12-9 ?)

Prohibited Classes Of Firearms 12-2, 12-3, 12-4, 12-5, 12-6, 12-7 ( 12-9 ?)


What’s included in this class

  • 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

Acquiring prohibited firearms

Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) allows you to acquire prohibited firearms only in the same categories as the ones currently registered to you, and only if the firearms you wish to acquire were registered in Canada prior to the specific dates set out in the Firearms Act.

As a general rule, a PAL will indicate what categories of prohibited firearms the licence holder is licensed to acquire by showing the section of the Firearms Act that grandfathers them, as follows:

  • s.12(2): full automatics
  • s.12(3): converted automatics
  • s.12(4): firearms prohibited by former prohibition order No. 12
  • s.12(5): firearms prohibited by former prohibition order No. 13
  • s.12(6.1): handguns with a barrel length of 105 mm or less or that discharge .25 or .32 calibre ammunition.
  • s.12(7): inherited handguns made prior to 1946 that fall under the s. 12(6.1) category

Eligibility to acquire a particular prohibited firearm will be confirmed during the transfer process. Grandfathered status allows the possession and acquisition of prohibited firearms that are already registered in Canada, but not the new importation of prohibited firearms into Canada.


Generally, you may have prohibited firearms only if you have been “grandfathered” under section 12 of the Firearms Act. Being grandfathered means that you can keep certain prohibited firearms that were registered to you on specific dates set out in the Act.

You can possess certain prohibited firearms if you had one registered in your name when it became prohibited, and you have continuously held a valid registration certificate for that type of prohibited firearm from December 1, 1998, onward.

It is important to note that both the owner and the firearm must be grandfathered for the same category.

To be able to hold a registration certificate for a firearm, you need a licence allowing you to possess that class of firearm. It is essential that firearms licences are renewed before they expire.

All registration certificates issued under the former law (prior to December 1, 1998) expired on December 31, 2002, so it was important to have re-registered the firearm(s) under the Firearms Act before the old certificate expired.


You do not need to be grandfathered to acquire a prohibited handgun if all of the following apply:

  • the handgun was made before 1946
  • the handgun is currently registered in Canada (under s.12(6.1))
  • you are the child, grandchild, brother, sister, or spouse / common-law partner of the lawful owner

Anyone who acquires a prohibited handgun under these circumstances will have 12(7) printed on their firearms licence. This means that you can lawfully possess a pre-1946 handgun passed on by a direct relative, but you are not authorized to acquire other prohibited handguns.

Any prohibited firearms that you acquire must have been registered in Canada on December 1, 1998. This means that even if a licence holder has grandfathered status, you cannot bring a prohibited firearm into Canada as a new import and you cannot acquire a prohibited firearm that has never been registered.

Selling, giving or lending prohibited firearms

You can lend a prohibited firearm to anyone with a valid PAL that authorizes them to possess that particular category of prohibited firearm.


If you lend a prohibited firearm, you must lend the registration certificate as well.

You can sell or give a prohibited firearm only to someone with a PAL valid for that category of firearm. When the prohibited firearm changes owners, it must be registered to the new owner. See Buying and selling (transferring) firearms.

Refer to the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited, Restricted or Non-Restricted for more information.

C.T. https://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/firearms/classes-firearms


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