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Old 02-26-2013, 05:27 AM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 920

Well, we actually DO have laws with regard to barrel length. They're just alot more complicated than yours. Our laws in general are complicated, actually.

We have firearms liscensing in Canada, to own or purchase a firearm or ammunition you need a PAL, a Possession and Acquisition Liscense. There is such a thing as a Possession Only Liscense, which allowed you to keep the firearms you owned before the current laws came into effect, but not buy new ones. They've been trying to phase out the POL for years, but there's still some out there. There are 4 basic classes of firearm in Canada, Non-Restricted, Restricted, Prohibited and Antique. There used to be a registry for all firearms, but that was repealed last year so now only Restricted and Prohibited guns are registered.

Non-Restricted firearms are anything that doesn't fall into the other classes, which means most basic manually operated rifles and shotguns, and most hunting semi-autos. You just need the basic PAL for them. One thing you might find interesting is that any air rifle over 500 FPS or post-1898 muzzle-loader is a non-restricted firearm over here. Non resticted guns have to be stored and transported unloaded, either in a locked container OR with a trigger lock.

Restricted firearms are large handguns, AR-15s (specifically named in the law), manually operated centerfires which can be fired when their overall length is under 26", and semi-auto centerfires with a barrel under 19". This last one was written specifically to make the M1 Carbine restricted as they were the weapon of choice for the Hell's Angels during the Montreal biker wars in the 90s. Restricted guns can only be shot at a range, and require an ATT (Authorisation To Transport) when you want to take them out of the house. Most provinces will give you a long term ATT to take them from your house to the range and back, with a one-time ATT to move it anywhere else. They have to be stored unloaded, in a locked container, AND trigger locked. These require a restricted class PAL, which anyone who passes the background check can get.

Prohibited is complicated. There are actually 6 classes of Prohibited firearm. The largest one is handguns with a barrel under 4.2" or in .25 or .32 caliber. Also full autos, full autos converted to semi-autos, certain guns designated as Prohibited (AKs, FALs, basically anything available in 1995 that looked scary), sawed off rifles or shotguns with an overall length under 26" or barrel length under 19" (but if they were manufactured that way by the factory they're restricted and non-restricted, respectively.... I don't know why). You can only own a Prohibited firearm if you've had once since that class of firearm was prohibited (1978 for FA, 1997 for everything else). Prohibs cannot be imported. ATTs are only issued to shoot Prohibited handguns, Prohibited long guns cannot be shot. Storage and transport is as per Restricted.

Antiques are exempt from liscensing and registration (including antique handguns), but have to be stored as if they were non-restricted firearms. Antique rifles are any rimfire other than .22 or single-shot centerfire larger that .32 caliber, made before 1898. Antique handguns are any ( including short-barrelled and .32s) made before 1898 that don't shoot a commonly commercially available caliber. Antique shotguns are anything pre-1898 that's not centerfire. Any flintlock rifle or shotgun, regardless of age, is an antique, but post 1898 flintlock handguns are still Restricted.

Supressors are completely illegal. Armor piercing ammo is illegal. Carrying a handgun is illegal (well, for all intents and purposes anyways). Handguns have a maximum magazine capacity of 10 rounds. Centerfire semi-auto rifles and shotguns have a maximum magazine capacity of 5 rounds. Higher capacity magazines have to be pinned so they comply - there are very limited exceptions to this, for rifles impossible to pin (M1 Garand) or for very rare historically significant magazines (Luger snail drum). No magazine capacity restriction on rimfire rifles or manually operated centerfires. Unlike the US, no upper limit on caliber - I have a 14.5mm anti-tank rifle, and there are even 20mms out there, and they're just Non-Restricted Firearms. We also don't have that only shipping between FFLs foolishness - firearms can be shipped from individual to individual, no problem. Canada Post doesn't accept ammo so it has to be couriered, but as long as they're sent signature required, no issue with guns.

That's the Cliffe's Notes version. If anyone is still interested, I'm alot more well-versed in ours laws than most and can probably answer any questions you can think to ask.

Last edited by Nyles; 02-26-2013 at 05:53 AM.
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