Canada Border Services Agency
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Fact Sheet

May 2012

Planning to Bring Firearms to Canada?

The Government of Canada is committed to effective firearms and weapons control. Firearms and weapons are high-risk commodities that can impact the safety, security and welfare of Canadians. It is the mandate of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to control the flow of firearms, weapons and other devices, in order to ensure compliance by all stakeholders with existing laws, regulations and orders. CBSA border services officers are authorized to search for and interdict the illegal and unjustified movement of firearms and weapons across the border, while also streamlining the process for low-risk and law-abiding persons travelling with firearms for legitimate purposes and with the required documentation.

Declare your firearms

All firearms and weapons must be declared to a border services officer when you enter Canada. Failure to do so could result in them being seized, and you may face criminal charges. In addition, border services officers have the authority to seize the vehicles used to unlawfully import goods, including firearms and weapons. The vehicles may be released on payment of a penalty – a single, prohibited weapon may incur a $1,000 penalty. The type of firearm or weapon seized will determine whether it will be offered for release back to the traveller upon payment of a penalty or whether it will be forfeit to the Crown – with no terms of release.

Most undeclared firearms seized by the CBSA at land border ports of entry are personal firearms belonging to travellers arriving from the United States. A CBSA seizure record, for any type of goods, may mean more detailed examinations on future trips to Canada. It may also affect existing membership or future eligibility for trusted traveller programs such as NEXUS.

Other resources

For more detailed information on importing a firearm into Canada, see the publication guide BSF5044 Importing a Firearm or Weapon Into Canada or call the Border Information Service at 1-800-461-9999, or 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064 if you are calling from outside Canada (long-distance charges will apply). Agents are available Monday to Friday (08:00 to 16:00 local time, except holidays). TTY is also available within Canada at 1-866-335-3237.

For information about applying for a Canadian firearms licence or a firearms registration certificate, or to obtain an application for an Authorization to Transport Restricted Firearms and Prohibited Firearms (CAFC 679) in advance, please contact the Canadian Firearms Program at 1-800-731-4000 (toll-free in Canada and the United States).