Reducing gun violence together

From Public Safety Canada

Violent crime involving firearms is a growing threat to public safety across Canada. The Government of Canada is taking action to address the issue — and you can, too. Together, we can keep guns out of the wrong hands.

Gun violence is on the rise

We all have a role to play in making Canada safer


Increase in violent offences involving guns since 2009Footnote 1


Break-ins to steal guns nearly tripled between 2009 and 2019Footnote 2

1 in 3

Homicides in Canada that are firearm-relatedFootnote 3

Taking action

Strengthening Canada’s gun laws

We are prioritizing public safety and effective police work, while respecting law-abiding firearms owners.

Banning assault-style firearms

These firearms (and variants) have been classified as prohibited under the Criminal Code as of May 1, 2020.

Updating firearms legislation

Changes to the Criminal Code and Firearms act impact background checks, transfer and transport.

Securing our border

Taking measures to help prevent firearms from coming into Canada illegally.

Tackling gun and gang violence

Supporting prevention, enforcement, intelligence and border security efforts.

Enforcing our laws

Supporting law enforcement and initiatives to reduce and prevent violent crime across Canada.

What Canadians can do to help keep our communities safe

Understand the ban and amnesty

Get the latest information for gun owners about the new prohibition on certain firearms and devices.

Store your firearms safely and securely

Prevent accidents and deter theft by properly storing, transporting and displaying firearms.

Report a public safety concern about firearms

If your concern is urgent or life threatening, call 911 or your local police emergency number.

Why has Canada banned assault-style firearms?

The ban was put in place to limit access to the most common assault-style firearms in Canada. These guns are designed for military use and can be used to injure or kill a large number of people quickly. The significant risk these firearms pose to public safety outweighs any justification for their continued use and availability in Canada.

The ban will freeze the Canadian market for these firearms, reduce the number and availability of assault-style firearms and lower the possibility of these firearms being sold into the illegal market. The ban took effect May 1, 2020.

See the full list of banned firearms.

What can you do with a newly banned firearm?

There is an amnesty period until April 30, 2022. If you are the lawful owner of a banned firearm, an Amnesty Order protects you from criminal liability while you take steps to comply with the law.

The Government of Canada has committed to a buy-back program that would allow you to return your firearm for fair compensation. Businesses would be able to either turn in the firearm to the Government or return it to the manufacturer for compensation.

Until the buy-back program is implemented, banned firearms must be securely stored to meet all requirements for that type of firearm. Banned guns cannot be legally used, sold or imported, and can only be transported or transferred within Canada under certain conditions.

Learn more about your options

What is straw purchasing and why does it matter?

Straw purchasing is when a firearm license-holder legally buys a gun and then illegally resells it on the black market. It is against the law and it contributes to gun violence by putting firearms in the wrong hands. Straw purchasers may not be involved in other crimes themselves, but the firearms they sell are used in all types of crime, including shootings, robberies, home invasions and murders.

While smuggling guns into Canada is decreasing, straw purchasing is on the rise. Individuals and retailers need to know that straw purchasing is illegal and you could face criminal charges if you are involved.

Additional firearms resources

Firearms regulations

Criminal Code regulations on prohibited or restricted firearms and other weapons.

Firearms Act

Requirements for licensing, transport, storage, display, shooting and more.

Gun licensing

Requirements for firearms licences for individuals and businesses.

Gun registration

Firearm registration requirements for restricted and prohibited firearms.

Gender-based violence

Information and support services for those affected by gender-based violence.

Crime Prevention Funding Programs

Programs to prevent and reduce offending among those most at-risk.

Firearms safety courses

Introductory safety courses for non-restricted and restricted firearms.

Firearm legislation for safer communities

Legislation that provides practical steps to help keep Canadians safe.

Types of guns

Information on non-restricted, restricted and prohibited firearms.

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