It is time for me to get a PAL
Yes I could use more friends, but that isn’t what I meant. No, the PAL is the Possession and Acquisition Licence and you require this to purchase firearms or ammunition in Canada.
Formerly know as the FAC (Firearms Acquisition Certificate), obtaining a PAL is an involved process. Here I will outline what I know of it before going through. Later I will write the definitive process for you to also get your licence.
I would like to encourage all Canadians interested in personal sovereignty to obtain their PAL. First, because it will never get easier than it is today – the government will make it progressively more difficult. And second, because more people with licences, and hopefully also purchasing firearms, shows to the government that we choose to exercise our right to firearms and do not want any more interference in this. If you don’t use a right, you are more likely to loose it.
Even though it should be a given that anybody purchasing a firearm would first ensure that they know how to safely handle and operate it, this isn’t always the case. So there are many places for you to first receive training in safe firearm handling. In fact, successful complete of the exam is a requirement for obtaining your PAL and your certificate will be submitted to the RCMP.
I am choosing to do a two day combined course for restricted and on-restricted firearms. Actually I am doing it in the evening and it will take up three evenings, four hours each time.
The courses are call the CFSC (Canadian Firearms Safety Course) and CRFSC (Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course).
Course content typically includes:
- History or firearms
- Types of firearms and actions
- Firearm Safety
- Operating various firearm actions
- Safe handling
- Firing techniques
- Safe care and cleaning of firearms
- Storage and transportation of restricted and non-restricted firearms
- Responsibilities of the firearms owner/user
Cost of the course is typically $200 to $250
Application to RCMP
Once you have completed the safety course and have your certificate, you send in an application to the RCMP.
They ensure that you have passed the safety requirements, perform a background check, check your references, and probably more.
Here are the links I used on the RCMP website:
At this time it looks like the application fee is $80
Just like when applying for a passport or anything else of significance, you have to provide references. These are people who have know you for at least 1 year, are over 18 and can verify that the information you provided on the application is true. Also, they should not have any reservations to you owning firearms.
You have to provide passport photos, and one of your references should be your photo guarantor.
Also, if you are married or have a live-in conjugal partner, you must fill in their info. For the sake of safety, you must have them sign the application. Otherwise they will be contacted anyways and informed of your application. We can all see the logic in this.
As with all government and bureaucratic processes, now the waiting game starts.
It will likely take much longer than you want, and you will definitely see time-sensitive sales on firearms that you want to even better deals on ammo. Well that is the way it is and you will wish you did this PAL application six months ago.
But now is the time to go to the range and try out various firearms, do your research, watch YouTube videos, talk to your friends, get prices, visit stores, etc. Firearms can be expensive and you want to be sure you are purchasing the correct one for your needs.
Also, you can typically take further training if you can certify that you passed the safety course. Shotgun, rifle, or handgun training is what I am referring to. But any training that has you actually handling and firing a firearm is better left until after you have your PAL and you have purchased a firearm. This is because you may as well spend this time operating your own firearm, rather than a loaner or rental unit.
You can always do more research, watch another YouTube video, and save up more money. Because soon your shiny PAL will come in the mail.
Ahh the day has come and your PAL has arrived. Hopefully you have been doing your research and have decided on the first few guns for you.
If you’re a hunter, you likely want a rifle and a shotgun. If you’re a collector you may want to add in a handgun. If you’re a farmer, a .22 and a 12 gauge is likely the choice.
Don’t forget to buy a safe, ammo, travel cases, cleaning kits, and other accessories.
Oh and don’t forget to take your hunting course and get your hunting licence.
Also, joining a shooting range is a requirement for owning and transporting a handgun.
This is how I see the PAL application process happening. I will make updates on it as I go.
Hopefully I will start my safety course tomorrow.
How did you get your PAL? Was it simple enough?