Information for Americans

Note: This page contains information that is useful for any foreign visitor to Canada who wishes to temporarily import firearms into the country. It is titled “Information for Americans” simply to reflect the reality that the vast majority of such individuals are indeed visitors from the United States.

Do you want to bring your firearms with you when visiting Canada? Would you like to hunt or participate in a shooting competition?

Note that many firearms offences are punishable by mandatory minimum sentences of imprisonment. When in doubt, consult with the Canada Border Services Agency or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police before attempting to enter the country.

Temporarily importing a firearm into Canada

Follow these simple steps to so as not to run afoul of Canada’s stringent gun control laws.

  1. Determine which class of firearm you wish to temporarily import. Prohibited firearms cannot be imported under any circumstances.
  2. If you are a visitor and do not have a Canadian firearms licence, you must declare your firearm in writing prior to arriving at the Canadian border.
  3. This declaration can be done by filling out Form CAFC 909 Non-Resident Firearm Declaration and paying a CAN$25 fee. Once confirmed by a border services officer, it has the same effect as a temporary licence and registration and is valid for up to 60 days.
  4. If you wish to temporarily import a restricted firearm (e.g. a handgun), you also require an Authorization to Transport (ATT).
  5. You can get an application for an ATT by calling the Canada Firearms Centre at 1-800-731-4000. Normally, if you are a visitor declaring your restricted firearms in writing, you should plan to come to the CBSA office between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. in order to apply for an ATT, as you will need a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration confirmation number to apply. If you are unable to come to the office during these hours, please make arrangements in advance by calling the Chief Firearms Officer of the province you will be visiting, as listed in Appendix A.
  6. When in Canada, your firearm must be stored and transported in accordance with the relevant legislation and regulations.
  7. If you do have a Canadian firearms licence (see procedure below), you must show your licence and registration certificates to the CBSA agent at the border.
  8. Visitors who hold a valid Canadian firearms licence but do not have registration certificates for their firearms must also complete Form CAFC 909, Non-Resident Firearm Declaration and pay a CAN$25 fee. Once confirmed by a border services officer, the declaration has the same effect as a temporary registration certificate for the firearms for up to 60 days.

Obtaining a Canadian firearms licence

Foreign nationals and visitors to Canada can follow the same process as Canadians and obtain a Canadian firearms licence (Possession and Acquisition Licence). The process for doing so is outlined here.

If a non-resident holds a Canadian firearms licence and wishes to temporarily import firearms into Canada, he or she must show his or her licence and registration certificates to the CBSA agent at the border.

Other resources

Additional information about foreign visitors bringing firearms into Canada can be found at the following government sites: