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Firearms Licensing & Safety Training

I have a disability. Can I still take the firearms safety courses?

Yes. Depending on the nature of the disability. Accommodations can be made at the instructors' discretion. It is advisable to inform the instructor of the exact nature of the disability well in advance of any course date

What languages are the firearms safety courses available in?

Currently English and French are the recognized official languages, however, if an instructor can teach in another language he can do so. All testing is only allowed in English or French. There are no translators allowed unless a person is hearing impaired.

Can I acquire a permit to carry a handgun?

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 license with restricted privileges and obtain an Authorization to Carry (ATC) permit from the CFP. To apply for an ATC 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.


A student is not permitted to attempt the practical component of the firearms safety course examination unless they pass the written component, meaning they score a grade of 80% or higher. If a student does not pass either the written or practical component of the examination, instructors will often offer opportunity to rewrite. Some may charge a fee to re-write the examination.

There is a Chief Firearms Officer for each Province and Territory. The Chief Firearms Officers are responsible for the decision-making and administrative work related to licences, authorizations to transport and authorizations to carry, transfers of firearms by individuals and businesses, and gun show sponsorship approvals.

This involves determining an applicant’s eligibility and either issuing, refusing to issue, renewing or revoking the licence, authorization to transport, carry, transfer or sponsor. It also involves setting conditions on these documents.

The Chief Firearms Officers also designate instructors for the Canadian Firearms Safety Course and Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course.


How do I become a firearms safety course instructor in Alberta?

The current method to become a firearms instructor in Alberta is to speak with Robert Gruszecki, 403-252-8474 or There is an application process which unfortunately can take some time to complete but it is relative to the number of instructors that are currently instructing in the area that you may be living in. In essence demand will dictate the speed of the process. Once an area and potential instructor is identified, the Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) will review the application and once approved the applicant will be put into a three day course. Once the course is completed, documentation will be sent to the applicant by the CFO which will then form the contract between the applicant and the CFO. Once the designation is complete, then the instructor can teach within the province of Alberta.

To replace a lost, stolen or destroyed licence, individuals should submit a Firearms Documents Replacement Request (form RCMP 5515). The replacement fee is $25 for a Possession-Only Licence or Possession and Acquisition Licence, or $10 for a Minor’s Licence.

There is a legal obligation to report the loss of a firearms licence to the police of local jurisdiction and to the Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) of the province or territory where the individual lives.


On turning 18, individuals can apply for a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) by completing and submitting form RCMP 5592. This form can be filled out electronically, then printed and mailed to the Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) with a photo and original signatures. Individuals who cannot download the form from the CFP web site should call 1-800-731-4000 and have one mailed to them. The fee must also be paid at the time of application.

Since individuals had to pass the Canadian Firearms Safety Course to get their Minors’ Licence, they do not have to pass it again to get a PAL for non-restricted firearms. However, if they want to be licensed for restricted firearms, they will have to pass the tests for the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course before applying.

Once individuals have a PAL, they can acquire firearms of their own. Any restricted or prohibited firearms will be registered during the transfer process.


To obtain a minors’ licence to borrow/use non-restricted firearms, an individual must be between 12 and 17 years of age. To obtain this licence, you will have to successfully complete the CFSC and pass the tests unless:

  • you have already taken the CFSC and passed the tests; or

  • you are applying as a minor sustenance hunter in which case you are not required to take the course and pass the tests. This type of licence has no minimum age. You should contact your Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) to see if you meet the requirements for “sustenance hunter” in your province or territory.

All licences will be subject to conditions, which may include supervision. You and/or your parent or a person who has custody of you will be interviewed by a firearms officer. Your parent or guardian must agree to the conditions under which you may use firearms and must give their consent before a minors’ licence will be issued to you.

A minors’ licence will not permit you to possess restricted or prohibited firearms, or to acquire (buy, inherit, receive as a gift or take in trade) firearms. You must be 18 years of age or older to acquire and register restricted or prohibited firearms.

Your minors’ licence will expire on the earlier of:

  • the day you turn 18 years old, or

  • the expiry date shown on your licence.

If you have a minors’ permit now, you may continue to use it until it expires. Check with your CFO for local age requirements.


In Alberta, a student must be at least 12 years old to take the Canadian Firearms Safety Course and must be at least 18 years old to take the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course.

A minor’s licence permits the borrowing of non-restricted firearms (ordinary rifles and shotguns) for the following activities:

target practice
organized shooting competitions
being instructed in the use of firearms

A minor’s licence also permits the acquisition of ammunition, unless there is an age restriction under provincial or territorial law.


There is no requirement to resend safety training information when renewing a PAL with the same acquisition privileges. When applying for a licence with new privileges — for example, someone currently licensed only for non-restricted firearms but wishing also to be licensed for restricted firearms — proof of having met the additional safety training requirements is required.

If you have a valid Possession-Only Licence (POL) or a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) you will be sent a notice to renew at least 90 days before your licence expires. If you did not receive an application renewal notice, you should call 1-800-731-4000 to confirm that the Canadian Firearms Program (CFP)

Effective June 18, 2015 Bill C-42 made changes to the firearms act and criminal code eliminated the ability to challenge the firearms safety course. Everyone applying for a firearms licence must take the firearms courses in their entirety.

For more information visit:

The cost for the PAL/RPAL is an $80 fee to the Federal Government which will be over and above what an instructor will charge for the course. Average fee for these courses is $95.00 per course but may vary due to expenses that the instructor may have to pay for a teaching facility.

It takes on average, 45 days for you to receive your PAL back from the RCMP in the mail. If it has been longer than this, it is recommended that you contacted the Canadian Firearms Program at 1-800-731-4000.

You can also check the status of your application online by visiting:

A PAL must be renewed every 5 years.

A PAL, Minors Permit and a POL allow the licence holder to acquire ammunition. You must present your license to the retailer at the time of purchase.

You may shoot a firearm without having a firearms license of your own if you are in direct supervision (within arms reach) of someone who does have a PAL of the class of firearm you are shooting.

You do not need to retake the CFSC/CRFSC if your PAL expires but you will need to submit the full PAL application form again instead of the abbreviated renewal form. This form can be found here: . Attach a photocopy of your expired PAL as proof that you have completed the CFSC/CRFSC.

Course Reports from taking the CFSC or CRFSC do not expire. You may send in your PAL application with the Course Reports at any time after completing the course.

You can first ask the instructor you took your course from to see if they still have your course reports on file. If they have already forwarded on their paperwork to AHEIA, you can contact the AHEIA Calgary office to receive a copy or certificate number: 1 – 866-852-4342. You will need to provide your full name, date of birth, instructor and year taken.

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