Public Safety Canada is responsible for developing the legislative, policy, and regulatory requirements for the safe and legal use of firearms and firearms-related operational policing issues; and policy expertise on guns and gangs and the administration of the Firearms Act. Working with portfolio partners, Public Safety engages with the community through stakeholder consultations in order to manage and implement the Government’s firearms commitments and other proposed firearms-related measures.

Bill C-21: An Act to amend certain Acts and to make certain consequential amendments (firearms) and regulatory amendments, to advance the national 'freeze' on handguns, are part of a comprehensive strategy to address gun violence and strengthen gun control in Canada.

Prohibition on assault-style firearms

As of May 1, 2020 the Government of Canada has prohibited over 1,500 models of assault-style firearms and certain components of some newly prohibited firearms (the upper receivers of M16, AR-10, AR-15, and M4 patterns of firearms). New maximum thresholds for muzzle energy (greater than 10,000 Joules) and bore diameter (20 mm bore or greater) are also in place. Any firearm that exceeds them is now prohibited. A Criminal Code amnesty period is currently in effect to October 30, 2025. The amnesty is designed to protect individuals or businesses who, at the time the prohibition came into force, were in lawful possession of a newly prohibited firearm from criminal liability while they take steps to comply with the law.

Former Bill C-71, An Act to Amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms (S.C. 2019, c.9)

This legislation, An Act to amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms (former Bill C-71), which received Royal Assent in 2019, provides practical, targeted, and measured steps to help keep Canadians safe. The law prioritizes public safety and effective police work, while respecting responsible firearms owners.

Additional Regulations for licence verification and business record-keeping for non-restricted firearms came into force on May 18, 2022. Regulations to expand background checks to cover the lifetime of an applicant and re-instatement of a requirement to apply for an Authorization to Transport to some places came into force in July 2021.

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