What you need to know about the Government of Canada’s new prohibition on certain firearms and devices

mportant notice: Update on 10 and 12 gauge shotgun classification under the new prohibition

On May 1st, 2020, the Government of Canada announced that it had made amendments to the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and Other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited, Restricted or Non-Restricted (SOR/98-462) [Classification Regulations] prescribing certain firearms as prohibited. One of the categories of the newly prohibited firearms include “Any firearm with a bore diameter of 20 mm or greater” (s. 95 of the Classification Regulations).

The Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) of the RCMP adheres to the Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners’ (AFTE) definition for bore diameter measurements. “The interior dimensions of the barrel forward of the chamber but before the choke.” (Glossary of the Association of Firearm & Tool Mark Examiners by the AFTE Standardization Committee, 1st Ed. 1980). This is reflected in the RCMP’s Firearms Reference Table (FRT) which clearly states that “…in shotguns, diameter of the barrel forward of the chamber but before the choke.” The CFP also recognizes the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) standards regarding firearms and ammunition. The SAAMI chamber specifications for 10ga and 12ga shotguns do not include chokes therefore indicating that chokes are not part of the bore. Accordingly, it is the CFP’s view that, in accordance with acceptable firearms industry standards for shotguns, the bore diameter measurement is considered to be at a point after the chamber, but before the choke.

Further, in making classification assessments of firearms which are reflected in the FRT, the CFP relies on recognized industry standard measurements. With respect to 10ga and 12ga shotguns, the CFP recognizes the SAAMI standard specifications which establish that the nominal (i.e. standard) bore diameter measurements for 10ga and 12ga shotguns are below the 20mm threshold (19.69mm for 10ga, 18.42mm for 12ga).

On May 1, 2020, the Government of Canada has prohibited:

  • nine (9) types of firearms, by make and model, and their variants; and
  • firearms with a bore of 20 mm or greater, and those firearms capable of discharging a projectile with a muzzle energy greater than 10,000 Joules; and
  • the upper receivers of M16, AR-10, AR-15 and M4 pattern firearms.

Details on the announcement are available on the Public Safety Canada website.

list of newly prohibited firearms and devices is available online in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

On this page

Firearms and devices that are now prohibited

The following nine (9) types of firearms and their variants are now prohibited:

  • M16, AR-10, AR-15 rifles and M4 carbine
  • Ruger Mini-14 rifle
  • M14 rifle
  • Vz58 rifle
  • Robinson Armament XCR rifle
  • CZ Scorpion EVO 3 carbine and pistol
  • Beretta CX4 Storm carbine
  • SIG Sauer SIG MCX and SIG Sauer SIG MPX carbine and pistol
  • Swiss Arms Classic Green and Four Seasons series (as specified in former Bill C-71)

Also now prohibited are firearms with the following characteristics:

  • capable of discharging a projectile with a muzzle energy greater than 10,000 Joules
  • a bore of 20 mm or greater

Upper receivers of M16, AR-10, AR-15 and M4 pattern firearms are also now prohibited devices.

See the Canada Gazette, Part II for a list of newly prohibited firearms and devices.

Amnesty Order for newly prohibited firearms or devices

An Amnesty Order is in effect until April 30, 2022 to protect individuals who were in legal possession of one or more of these newly prohibited firearms or devices on the day the amendments to the Classification Regulations came into force (May 1, 2020), from criminal liability for unlawful possession. It also provides owners with the time to come into compliance with the law.

The Government intends to implement a buy-back program and is looking at a range of options. More information on the buy-back program will be available at a later date.

If you relinquish a newly prohibited firearm or device before the implementation of the buy-back program, you won’t be eligible for compensation once the program is announced.

More information on the buy-back program will be available at a later date.

How this prohibition affects owners of these firearms

Effective immediately:


  • Owners of newly prohibited firearms and devices are to keep them securely stored in accordance with their previous classification. The Display, Storage, Transportation and Handling of Firearms by Individuals Regulations (the Regulations) are available on the Department of Justice website.
  • Newly prohibited firearms and devices cannot be sold or imported.
  • Newly prohibited firearms and devices may only be transported under limited circumstances.*
  • Newly prohibited firearms and devices cannot be legally used for hunting unless allowed through the amnesty.**
  • Newly prohibited firearms cannot be used for sport shooting, either at a range or elsewhere.

*A firearm can be transported one time if, on the day that the prohibition of the firearm was announced, it was: (1) in the possession of a person who is not the lawful owner of the firearm; or (2) in the possession of the owner, but was not stored in the owner’s home at that time. In both circumstances, the firearm may be transported to return it to the owner’s residence.

**Exceptions are included under the Amnesty Order to allow for the continued use of the newly-prohibited firearms and/or devices (if previously non-restricted) by individuals who hunt or trap to sustain themselves or their families, and by Indigenous persons exercising Aboriginal or treaty rights to hunt. At the end of the amnesty period, all firearm owners must comply with the new law.

Other options are to have your firearm deactivated by an approved business or to legally export the firearm. You can also wait for further instructions to participate in the buy-back program.


This announcement may impact your business as you may have these newly prohibited firearms/devices in your inventory. While awaiting further details on the buy-back program, every effort should be made to return the inventory back to the manufacturer. Please note:

  • They may no longer be sold to individuals.
  • They can be transferred to another business with the appropriate licence privileges.
  • If firearms are taken on consignment, they must be returned to the owner.
  • If the appropriate activity and conditions are attached to the business licence for prohibited firearms, the business can act as an agent for export or deactivation for an individual or other business.

Businesses that are licensed to possess prohibited firearms will maintain this privilege, but should familiarize themselves with the list of newly prohibited firearms and devices.

Next steps

The Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) will be contacting all individual firearms license holders and firearms businesses in Canada to inform them of the new prohibitions.

If you have moved, please notify the CFP immediately of your new address, if you have not already done so.

More information on the buy-back program will be available at a later date.


Impacts on Canadian Firearms Program due to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Due to measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Canadian Firearms Program is currently experiencing significant impacts to our services, like many other service providers in Canada.

  • Clients may experience longer than normal wait times when calling the contact centre
  • The processing of applications for a new firearm licence is on hold until further notice
  • The production of firearms licence cards is on hold until further notice
  • The delivery of Firearms Safety Course (s) may be postponed due to social distancing protocols

Firearm licence expiry

  • As per the Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act, since October 2017, individuals have a six-month extension (grace) period past the expiry date printed on their firearms licence card to submit a renewal application online
  • Your firearms licence card will remain valid, with limitations, during this extension (grace) period
  • Individuals can check the status of their firearms licence application via Individual Web Services

Firearm licence renewal

  • The processing of firearms licence renewal applications submitted by mail have been significantly impacted
  • We recommend submitting your application to renew your firearms licence via Individual Web Services.
  • Individuals can check the status of their firearms licence application via Individual Web Services.

As this is an evolving situation, we will continue to provide updates on our website as required.

If you are looking for statistics on the Canadian Firearms Program, please visit the latest annual report.Share this page