Explosives Act

The legislative scheme set out in the Explosives Act itself does not appear to concern firearms owners. However, there are numerous important provisions contained within the Explosives Regulations (C.R.C., c. 599).

Specifically, the maximum amount of ammunition that may be stored by an individual in a dwelling home is addressed, albeit indirectly, in the Explosives Regulations. Under the Regulations, “ammunition” is defined as a Class 6 explosive:

13. (1) “Ammunition” means an explosive of any class when enclosed in a case or contrivance or otherwise adapted or prepared so as to form a cartridge or charge for small arms, cannon, any other weapon, or for blasting, or so as to form any safety or other fuse for blasting or shells, or so as to form any tube for firing explosives, or so as to form a percussion cap, detonator, shell, torpedo, war rocket or other contrivance other than a firework.

The term “safety cartridge”, which is generally interchangeable with “modern ammunition” appears in the Definitions at section 2:

“safety cartridge” means a cartridge for any shotgun, gun, rifle, pistol, revolver and industrial gun the case of which can be extracted after firing and that is so closed as to prevent any explosion in one cartridge being communicated to another cartridge but does not include tracer, incendiary, high explosive or other similar military type cartridges;

The Regulations address the storage of ammunition in Part XI (“Storage and Handling of Ammunition and Fireworks”). According to s. 125 of the Regulations, the maximum amount of “explosives contained in ammunition” that can be stored is 225 kg.

The Regulations also address the issue of reloading (or hand loading) cartridges at s. 35 (Part IV):

35. Any person may, in respect of safety cartridges, load at a place other than a licensed factory if

(a) the loaded safety cartridges are not for sale or for any commercial, industrial or business use;

(b) the explosive used to load the cartridges is kept or stored in accordance with the provisions of Part XIII;

(c) not more than two kilograms of explosives, other than safety cartridges, are kept in the place;

Accordingly, reloading is perfectly legal as long as the storage and handling requirements of the Explosives Act (and Regulations) are followed.

The complete Explosives Act can be accessed at the Justice Canada site. The Explosives Regulations are available here.

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