Bill C-42 Receives Royal Assent


Bill C-42, known as the Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act, is now law after receiving Royal Assent in late May. Enacted to simplify and clarify the firearms licensing regime for individuals, to limit the discretionary authority of chief firearms officers and to provide for the sharing of information on commercial importations of firearms, the bill will have an immediate impact on the firearms community in Canada. For example, classroom participation in firearms safety training is now mandatory for first time licence applicants.

It also amends the Criminal Code to strengthen the provisions relating to orders prohibiting the possession of weapons, including firearms, when a person is sentenced for an offence involving domestic violence. Lastly, it defines “non-restricted firearm” and gives the Governor in Council authority to prescribe a firearm to be non-restricted and expanded authority to prescribe a firearm to be restricted.


Along with the above changes, will come into effect immediately, the following legislative amendments will come into force three months after Bill C-42 receives Royal Assent:

Streamline the licensing system by eliminating the Possession Only Licence (POL) and converting all existing POLs to Possession and Acquisition Licences (PALs).

Then, nine months after Bill C-42 receives Royal Assent, the following legislative amendments will come into force:


  • Provide a six-month grace period at the end of the five-year licence period; and
  • Make Authorizations to Transport (ATTs) a condition of a licence for certain routine and lawful activities.
  • Finally, 21 months after the bills passes, the following legislative amendment will come into force:
  • Authorize firearms import information sharing when restricted and prohibited firearms are imported into Canada by businesses.

For more information, call the Canadian Firearms Program toll-free information line at 1-800-731-4000 or visit online.