A firearm is any device that can be used to discharge projectiles through the use of an explosive force. This includes everything from pistols and rifles to machine guns and grenade launchers. Firearms typically use either a lead bullet or a shotgun pellet as their ammunition and are operated by either a manual mechanism (e.g. a trigger) or an electronic one (e.g. a solenoid).
A restricted firearm is any firearm that is regulated by law and requires a license or permits to possess. Restricted firearms typically include handguns, certain semi-automatic firearms, and other weapons that are capable of causing serious harm. In many jurisdictions, restricted firearms must be stored in a locked case and may only be used under specific circumstances.
A Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) is required in order to legally possess a firearm in Canada. Individuals applying for the first time must pass the Canadian Firearms Safety Course, which involves in-class instruction, as well as a written and practical test. If you wish to possess or use restricted firearms, you must pass the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course, which will a allow you to obtain a PAL with restricted firearm privileges.
Your firearms must be stored in a safe, dry and secure location, such as in a gun safe. Most gun safes come with pre-drilled mounting holes so they can be securely affixed to the floor or wall of your home. If you choose to keep your firearm(s) locked in a case, be sure to use a high-quality lock that cannot be easily picked or bypassed. Never store your guns loaded – always keep them in an unloaded state and store ammunition in a separate, secure location.
A prohibited firearm is a type of firearm that is illegal to own, possess or use.
A non-restricted firearm is a type of firearm that is not restricted under the National Firearms Act in Canada. Non-restricted firearms include rifles and shotguns.
The offence of possessing of a restricted or prohibited firearm (s. 95) is hybrid. If prosecuted by indictment, the maximum penalty is 10 years incarceration. If prosecuted by summary conviction, the maximum penalty is 12 months incarceration.
If you are convicted of storing a firearm or ammunition unsafely, you could be fined up to $5,000 and/or imprisoned for up to 2 years. Additionally, your firearms may be confiscated and your license could be pursuant to a Firearm Forfeiture Application.
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