Government of Canada implements new rules to better regulate non-restricted firearms 

News release

May 11, 2022
Ottawa, Ontario       

Canadians deserve to feel safe in their communities, and the Government of Canada is taking action to protect them from gun violence. From banning assault-style firearms to strengthening protections at our borders, the government is engaged in a wide array of efforts to fight gun crime. This includes new rules to better regulate sales and transfers of non-restricted firearms.

The Minister of Public Safety, the Honourable Marco Mendicino, today announced new, more stringent rules governing the sale or transfer of non-restricted firearms. Effective May 18, 2022, individuals and businesses transferring or selling a non-restricted firearm will need to confirm the recipient’s identity and check the validity of their firearms licence with the Registrar of Firearms prior to completing the transfer, including by providing the recipient’s licence number and any other information requested. The new rule will help prevent people who are not allowed to have a firearm from getting one.

Firearms businesses will also be required to retain sales and inventory records related to non-restricted firearms, as was the case until 2005. This will make it easier for law enforcement to trace crime guns. The records will be held by businesses — not government — and the police will need reasonable grounds to get access to them, often with judicial authorization.

No one initiative alone will solve the challenge of gun violence.  That’s why new rules to keep Canadians safe are one element of the government’s broad agenda to tackle this public health issue – which intersects with gender-based violence, racism and other systemic challenges. This ranges from investments in prevention and community programs, to action at the border that fights gun smuggling, to a ban on assault-style weapons, and a buyback program to get them off of our streets.


We are taking action to keep Canadians safe from gun violence. To that end, we are bringing into force common sense regulations that strengthen public safety through validated ownership, transparent business records keeping, and licence verification prior to purchasing a firearm. Today’s regulations under Bill C-71 will help ensure that firearms do not end up in the wrong hands, assist police in tracing guns used in crime, and are part of the broader strategy to keep communities safe.

- The Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety

Quick facts

  • Effective May 18, 2022, individuals and businesses will be able to confirm the validity of an individual’s firearms licence through the Canadian Firearms Program’s online portal seven days a week. 

  • Law enforcement will only have access to firearm business records of non-restricted transfers on reasonable grounds, and often with judicial authorization .

  • The regulations are part of former Bill C-71, An Act to Amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms, which received Royal Assent in June 2019.

  • Additional provisions under former Bill C-71 to expand background checks to cover an applicant's lifetime, and reinstate the requirement to apply for an Authorization to Transport restricted and prohibited firearms to locations other than a shooting range or home after a purchase, came into force on July 7, 2021.

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Audrey Champoux
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness  

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada

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