My thoughts on the Canadian (Restricted) Firearms Safety Course
I recently completed the education course required to apply for a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) from the RCMP. Non-restricted and restricted firearms are handled separately here in Canada, and you must complete a second course to apply for your Restricted or RPAL. If offered to you, it is well worth doing your CRFSC – restricted firearms safety course – at the same time as your CFSC.
The course that I attended took place over three evenings after work. Each session was four hours long. This method I highly recommend, since four hours is not too long or too much material for one sitting. I took my course through Silvercore Advanced Training Systems and I highly recommend checking them out if you are in Vancouver, the lower mainland BC, or Vancouver Island.
Safe Handling of Firearms is a priority and responsibility
The emphasis of the course is to teach you the safe handling and use of firearms. In my mind, you have no right to own or use a firearm if you do not intend to do so with the safety of yourself and others in mind. This is not an option – I believe that ‘cowboys’ having accidents while playing around with their guns is what gives us all a bad name.
After taking the CFSC you will be very confident in your ability to confidently handle a firearm and check that it is unloaded and in a safe condition. During a proper course, you should handle every type of firearm action, including:
- Semi-automatic rifle
- Bolt action rifle
- Lever action rifle
- Pump action shotgun
- Break action shotgun
- Semi-automatic shotgun
- Double action only pistol
- Double action + single action pistol
- Single action pistol
- Double action revolver
- Single action revolver
PROOVE and ACTS
Not to steal the thunder and excitement from your instructors, but the acronyms ACTS and PROVE are important themes throughout the CFSC.
A – Assume every firearm is loaded
C – Control the muzzle direction at all times
T – Trigger finger must be kept off of the trigger and out of the trigger
S – See the firearm is unloaded – PROVE it safe
P – Point the firearm in the safest available direction
R – Remove all cartridges
O – Observe the chamber
V – Verify the feeding path
E – Examine the bore for obstructions
Avoid tougher regulations later
Take the Canadian Firearms Safety Course now. In my opinion, it will never become easier to get your licence, to purchase a firearm, or to get your longterm authorization to transfer (ATT) for your restricted firearms. If you have the time and money, do it now. Take the CFSC & CRFSC, apply for your PAL & RPAL, get your licence, join a gun club, apply for a long term ATT, purchase some guns, take advanced training, get your hunting licence, support the CSSA & NFA, and protect our firearms rights here in Canada.
Once restrictive legislation has been passed, especially concerning firearms, it is very difficult to get it removed. The tendency of laws, regulations, and government policy is always towards more restriction and less liberty – the exact opposite of what we want. So I must highly recommend you get the licences and purchase the firearms you want before it becomes harder, if not nigh impossible.
In fact, if every member of your household understands safe firearms handling, then no accidental or negligent discharges will occur. With fewer incidents, there will be fewer calls for increased regulation.
Some short-form terms I used:
CFSC – Canadian Firearms Safety Course
CRFSC – Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course
PAL – Possession and Acquisition Licence
RPAL – Restricted Possession and Acquisition Licence
ATT – Authorization To Transfer
CSSA – Canadian Shooting Sports Association
NFA – National Firearms Association
Have you taken the Canadian Firearms Safety Course? How did it go?
I also recommend a day at a shooting range before taking the course.