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Shooting a Firearm

You need a valid PAL any time you are shooting a firearm unless you are under the direct supervision of someone who has a valid PAL.

Some clubs have non-member drop-in fees or guest fees. It is a good idea to call ahead to find out what is required before you go to a gun club.

A restricted firearm may only be discharged on a federally approved range. For a list of ranges in Alberta visit:

In general terms, you may discharge a firearm on private or public land providing there is no local by-law or restrictions. There are also many ranges located across the province. A list of ranges in Alberta can be found at

You need to carry your valid firearms license with you at all times when you are doing anything related to firearms and ammunition or be accompanied with someone with a valid firearms license.

As set out in Criminal Code Regulations, some large-capacity magazines are prohibited regardless of the class of firearm to which the magazines are attached. As a general rule, the maximum magazine capacity is:

  • 5 cartridges for most magazines designed for a semi-automatic centre-fire long gun; or

  • 10 cartridges for most handgun magazines

A large-capacity magazine is not prohibited if it has been permanently altered so that it cannot hold more than the number of cartridges allowed by law. Acceptable ways to alter a magazine are set out in the regulations.

There is no limit to the magazine capacity for semi-automatic rim-fire long guns, or for other long guns that are not semi-automatics, with some exceptions. See also Special Bulletin for Businesses No. 72, Maximum Permitted Magazine Capacity.


In general, the only firearms allowed for wilderness protection are non-restricted rifles and shotguns. The following individuals, provided they are Canadian residents and have a licence that allows them to possess restricted firearms, may be authorized to carry a handgun or restricted long gun for wilderness protection:

  • licensed professional trappers, and

  • individuals who need protection from wild animals while working at their lawful occupation, most often in a remote wilderness location.

To be authorized to carry a handgun or restricted long gun for a lawful occupational purpose, such as trapping or working in a wilderness area, an individual must be a Canadian resident, have a firearms licence with restricted privileges and obtain an Authorization to Carry (ATC) permit from the CFP. To apply for an ATC permit, form RCMP 5491, Application for Authorization to Carry Restricted Firearms and Prohibited Handguns, must be submitted. There is a non-refundable fee of $40 to apply for an ATC.


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