Canada Law on Air Rifles
Canada’s law on firearms are far stricter compared to other countries. Licensing of any gun will take a series of steps before obtaining one. Yes, that includes ownership of air rifles. Applicants must do the following: attend a safety course, background check – must not have any criminal record, and finally, they should be certified by a firearms officer – so more or less the final decision of obtaining an air rifle lies on the perception of a person. Have I mentioned that this is only for obtaining a license? Another series of procedures should be undertaken before obtaining a license to hunt. Personal ownership is restricted to recreational and sporting purposes only. However, guns can be acquired for self-defense in rare circumstances. The law on guns is federally mandated, thus it applies in all parts of Canada. So, if you happened to be in any part of Canada, and decided to purchase a new Ruger Air Rifle, here are the three classifications you must know:
Entitles you to a rifle or a shotgun with the following categories:
- Barrel must be 18.5” or longer
- Length must be 26” or longer
- Magazine capacity limited to 5 rounds for semi automatics, 10 rounds for bolt or other action and 3 shells for a shotgun
- Keep gun with trigger locked in your home and stored out of sight, ammunition should be in a separate locked container in a separate room.
Entitles you any gun in the non-restricted category plus a rifle or a shotgun with the following categories:
- Barrel length less than 18.5”
- Handguns: must have a barrel length not less than 4.25”
- Any caliber is accepted except .28 and .32 caliber guns
- Gun should have trigger lock and must be kept in a locked box or a safe.
- Ammunitions must be locked up and kept in a separate room.
- Specific ATT (authorization to transport) should be obtained every time you wish to transport your riffle.
Of course no one gets a prohibited license. These are fully automatic weapons and specific hand guns. Only certain law enforcements are allowed to have one. Most of prohibited weapons are displayed at the museum for historical purposes only.
In addition to this, air rifles that replicate firearms counterpart are included in the prohibited category even though these rifles are not powerful enough to cause a serious injury or death. Furthermore, air rifles that are neither firearms nor replicas, just plain plastics and obviously a child’s toy belong to “imitation firearm” and may be subjected to penalties under Canada’s Criminal Code if used to commit a crime.
I must say that Canada’s Gun Law is unreasonably strict. What’s the point of obtaining a license if anyone can commit a crime with anything besides a gun anyway, maybe they should also ask for a license for the use of knives or prohibit them as well. The law is not hard to understand but it is not the best law. But what can we do, it’s the law, we cannot do anything about it but to abide.