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How to get your Canadian Firearms Licence

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

So you're curious about getting your firearms licence in Canada and are wondering what the process looks like? We wanted to lay it out for you so you know what to expect! If you want to know more about the courses and licences, please visit

Non-Restricted Firearms Licence

To get your non-restricted firearms licence, otherwise known as the PAL or "Possession and Acquisition Licence" in Canada, follow these steps:

  1. Take your Canadian Firearms Safety Course from an approved trainer by Alberta Hunter Education Instructors' Association (or whichever organization is responsible for overseeing the education of the course in your province). Tip of Spear offers an approved course - please see details and training dates for more information.

  2. Pass your written (multiple choice and true/false) exam and hands-on practical exam with a grade of at least 80%. This is typically offered at the end of your course (which it is at Tip of Spear). Keep your copy of your Course Report in a safe place.

  3. Complete the Application Form completely, including references

  4. Get a passport photo taken

  5. Mail in your Course Report, photo and Application Form to the RCMP at the address listed on the form. Note that they will perform a background check on you.

  6. Wait up to 6 months for your licence. With COVID-19, the demand for licences has increased so the RMCP are behind in their processing.

Non-Restricted and Restricted Firearms Licence

If you are wanting to get your restricted firearms licence (otherwise known as the RPAL or "Restricted Possession and Acquisition Licence") at the same time as your non-restricted licence, you can apply for them together at the same time. You just need to make sure you take BOTH the Canadian Firearms Safety Course AND the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course.

Restricted Firearms Licence

If you already have your non-restricted licence and would like to also add on the restricted licence, the same steps listed above must be followed but you must take the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course. Please note that you cannot get your restricted licence by itself. You must have a valid non-restricted licence or have passed the non-restricted course before you can get a restricted licence.

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