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Section 91(1) of the Criminal Code criminalizes possession of a prohibited firearm, a restricted firearm or a non-restricted firearm without a licence or registration certificate. Prohibited firearms include certain types of automatic firearms and short-barreled handguns. Restricted firearms include handguns and certain other firearms that are subject to stricter regulations. Non-restricted firearms are typically long guns, such as rifles and shotguns, that are not considered prohibited or restricted. Non-restricted firearms are subject to specific storage and transportation requirements.
To legally possess firearms in Canada, individuals must obtain a Possession and Acquisition License (PAL) from the RCMP Canadian Firearms Program. The license is issued following a background check, safety training, and other requirements.
Firearms, whether non-restricted or restricted, must be stored securely and safely in accordance with specific regulations outlined in the Firearms Act and its associated regulations. Failure to do so can result in criminal charges.
Firearms must also be transported in a safe and secure manner, typically in locked containers, and following specific transportation regulations.
A conviction for firearm possession carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment.