Firearms Buyback Program

Firearms Buyback Program

From: Public Safety Canada

Keeping communities safe

Canadians should feel safe in their communities. That is why the Government of Canada has been addressing gun violence with a plan that includes strengthened firearms legislation and regulations, investments in law enforcement and border operations, and providing funding for communities to tackle the root causes of violence.

A central part of this plan was the ban of assault-style firearms that pose a significant threat to public safety in our communities announced in 2020.

About the ban and buyback program

On May 1, 2020, the Government of Canada announced a prohibition on more than 1,500 models and variants of assault-style firearms, such as the AR-15. Since then, approximately 500 additional variants of these prohibited firearms have also been prohibited. These firearms can no longer be legally used, imported, or sold in Canada.

As of May 1, 2020 an Amnesty Order has been in place to protect lawful owners of the now-prohibited firearms. The amnesty period is currently in effect and will expire on October 30, 2025.

As part of the ban on assault-style firearms, the Government of Canada is developing a buyback program to provide fair compensation for eligible businesses and individuals who possess these prohibited firearms. Engagement on this program continues with provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous organizations, and a wide variety of stakeholders including industry representatives and police associations.

Timeline for the ban and buyback program


May 1, 2020

The Government of Canada bans 1,500+ models and variants of assault-style firearms.


May 1, 2020

The Amnesty Order protects responsible owners while they take steps to comply with the law

May 22, 2024

The Amnesty Order was amended and proposed shipping regulations were tabled under the Firearms Act in Parliament to create other secure pathways for affected businesses to deliver the prohibited firearms and prohibited devices for deactivation and/or destruction once the business phase of the program launches.

October 30, 2025

The Amnesty Order is currently set to expire on October 30, 2025. The Order will ensure affected firearm owners and businesses are protected from criminal liability for unlawful possession while they come into compliance with the law, including having the opportunity to take part in the buyback program.

How the program to buy back firearms will work

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For businesses and industry

Across Canada, firearms businesses have been safely storing their stock of now prohibited firearms since May 1, 2020. The goal of the buyback program for businesses and industry is to support the deactivation and/or destruction of prohibited firearms remaining in inventory with retailers, distributors, and manufacturers across Canada. The program will look to compensate businesses for the cost of the impacted firearms they have in their inventory and any eligible costs related to participation in the program. The Government of Canada has signed an agreement with the Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA) so that the program would be implemented more effectively and to help ensure a streamlined process for compensation to affected businesses.

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For individuals

Individuals in Canada who are in possession of now-prohibited firearms have been safely securing these firearms since May 1, 2020. Firearms owners will be contacted when the buyback program for individual owners will be ready to launch. Additional information about the timing, compensation models and other program details will be available on this website in due course.

Two-phase process for the program:

Phase 1: Buyback for Businesses and Industry

Program details for businesses and industry to buy back firearms

The Government of Canada is working with the Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA) who will represent firearms retailers, distributors, and manufacturers and help determine how each can participate in the program and benefit from the offered compensation. The CSAAA will help document inventory and provide information on the process for participating in the program.

The Government of Canada has made changes to the Amnesty Order and has tabled proposed shipping regulations in Parliament to create other secure pathways for affected businesses to deliver the prohibited firearms and prohibited devices for deactivation and/or destruction once the program launches.

More information on the methods affected firearms businesses can use to return their inventory and how they will participate in the program will be provided at a later date.

Phase 2: Buyback for Individual Firearm Owners

Program details for individual firearms owners to buy back firearms


The Program to buy back assault-style firearms for individuals will start after the business process begins. Compensation models and other program details will be finalized in due course. Information will be provided to owners and made public on how owners can participate in the program.


The Government of Canada will provide information to help individuals determine if a firearm qualifies for the program to buy back firearms. The list of prohibited firearms from the May 1, 2020 prohibition on assault-style firearms is available in the Canada Gazette, Part II.


Only individuals with a valid Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) (i.e., firearms licence) will be able to participate in the buyback program and receive compensation for their prohibited firearm(s):

Current Status

The program design for the Firearms Buyback Program is underway, including the development of an IT processing system. The Government continues to engage with provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous communities, police forces and private sector partners on the most efficient and cost effective options for the buyback program, and is taking the time necessary to ensure the buyback program prioritizes public safety.

Firearms prohibited on May 1, 2020, must be stored according to their classification prior to May 1, 2020.

Firearms must:

  • Be made inoperable by means of a secure locking device (e.g., a trigger lock); AND
  • Be in a locked display case or cabinet; AND
  • Not be displayed in a window.

For more information on secure storage, please visit the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) or Government of Canada Justice Laws pages on storage, display, transportation and handling of firearms.

More information will be posted on this website over the coming weeks.

Related information

An illustration of the scales of justice representing Canadian laws.

Firearms Act

Learn about laws governing requirements for licensing, transport, storage, display, shooting and more.

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RCMP firearms page

Get information on licensing, registration, safety, importing/exporting, buying/ selling firearms and more.

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Firearms legislation for safer communities

Learn more about the legislation, policy and regulatory changes supporting the ban.

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Prime Minister's announcement

Read the Prime Minister's May 1, 2020, announcement of the assault-style firearms ban.

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Canada Gazette

See amendments to regulations that prohibit assault-style firearms in Canada.

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Amnesty Order

Learn about the Amnesty that protects responsible firearms owners while they take steps to comply with the law.

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