Grace period for expired firearms licence holders
Earlier this year, the federal government announced its intention to end the current amnesty period for expired PAL holders as of December 31, 2017.
On November 30th a new provision, contained in Bill C-42, the Common Sense Firearms Act, which was passed by the previous government, will go into effect. Any licence holder whose licence expires AFTER November 30th will have six months from the date the licence expires to renew and come into compliance. PAL holders who have not submitted a renewal application on or before the end of the six months and who remain in possession of firearms will be in violation of the Firearms Act and Criminal Code and may be subject to penalties.
Holders of licences that have already expired, or will expire BEFORE November 30th are NOT covered by the extension period and have until December 31st to submit a renewal application to come into compliance.
During the six month extension or ‘grace’ period, both PAL and RPAL holders whose licences expire after November 30th and who have not renewed cannot use their firearms, cannot acquire any new firearms or purchase ammunition until their licence is renewed, and cannot transfer or register any restricted or prohibited firearms, but are not subject to a criminal charge for illegal possession of firearms and/or ammunition.
REMINDER: The six month extension or ‘grace period’ does not take effect until November 30th. If your licence expired prior to that date, you have until December 31st to start the renewal process, either online or by mail, or risk not being in compliance and possibly subject to charges under the Firearms Act and/or Criminal Code. If your licence expires after November 30th you have six months from the date of expiry to renew.