If you have been following the news recently, you might have heard that on March 27 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered its decision to side with the Federal Government in their decision to destroy all records that were collected under the Long-Gun Registry since its inception in 1993.
However, this does not mean that you can freely go to any hunting store in Ottawa and purchase firearms without obtaining appropriate licensing before you hunt!
So, what does this Supreme Court decision mean to the loyal customers of a gun store in Ottawa, or even elsewhere in the National Capital Region?
While this Supreme Court decision means the RCMP branch that managed the Long-Gun Registry—the Canadian Firearms Program—will no longer accept or process registry applications for non-restricted arms in Quebec, you are still required to obtain a Possession and Acquisition License (otherwise known as PAL) to hunt.
In order to obtain a PAL for the first time (or if yours has expired), you must apply for your license by filling out and mailing this form (along with all required attachments) to the RCMP. If for any reason you cannot download the form on your computer, you may always call the Canadian Firearm Program’s toll-free number (1-800-731-4000) to have a form mailed to you.
If you have already purchased a firearm from a gun store in Ottawa and your PAL is still valid, the Canadian Firearms Program offers an online renewal process as well. You will be sent a renewal notice 90 days before your current PAL will expire, provided the RCMP has your most up-to-date address on file.
You should also be aware that PAL applications, renewals, or changes of address are services that can only be obtained through the RCMP: no hunting store in Ottawa, or elsewhere, can provide those services for you at this moment.
If you plan to visit a hunting store in Ottawa in the coming weeks in order to purchase a firearm, you should also be aware of the following rule: it is obligatory to produce your license for any peace officer if he or she requests to see it. Failure to produce obligatory licenses can result in a seizure of the firearm in question.
While all of your questions regarding your PAL can be addressed by the Canadian Firearm Program division, you can also count on the expertise of the employees at the best gun stores in Ottawa. They will always be happy to point you in the right direction!