Several provisions in the Firearms Act directly affect hunters. Here is a summary, for information purposes, of the main rules concerning the firearms used to hunt pursuant to the federal statute and its regulations.
It is prohibited to:
According to the statutory regulations of the Criminal Code, certain high-capacity cartridge magazines are prohibited, regardless of the class of firearm to which they belong. Most cartridge magazines designed for semi-automatic, centre-fire shoulder arms contain a maximum of five cartridges. There is no limit on the capacity of a cartridge magazine for semi-automatic rim-fire shoulder arms or other shoulder arms that are not semi-automatic.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, anyone who legally possesses a firearm may lend it to a person who does not hold a possession-only licence or a possession and acquisition licence, provided that the person uses the firearm accompanied by the lender or legal owner and under his direct, immediate supervision.
To obtain a possession and acquisition licence, an individual must be at least 18 years of age and prove that he has passed an examination or successfully completed an approved course concerning firearms legislation and safety rules pertaining to the handling and use of firearms. To obtain additional information on the courses, please contact the Fédération québécoise des chasseurs et pêcheurs at 1 888 523-2863, by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or through an affiliated association.
To purchase or receive ammunition, an individual must present his possession and acquisition licence. A minor must present a minor licence.
A firearm may only be loaded or handled loaded in a location where firing such a firearm is legally permitted.
Since January 1, 2001, to carry a firearm without restrictions, a non-resident must possess a firearms licence or a 60-day possession licence or a customs declaration in lieu of the possession licence and the registration certificate in the case of non-residents who enter Canada with their own firearms (fees apply). A non-resident may obtain ammunition with these documents.
Certain specific conditions apply when an individual crosses the Canadian border with a firearm.
The following provisions do not apply to an individual who uses or handles firearms within the framework of hunting activity when the activity is legal, nor to an individual who hunts at a given location on a vehicle when it is legal to do so from the vehicle and at the location (see the section entitled "Vehicles, aircraft and boats").
Definition: The Storage, Display, Transportation and Handling of Firearms by Individuals Regulations defines a vehicle as "any conveyance that is used for transportation by water, land or air." The definition also therefore includes non-motorized vehicles. It applies to the three following paragraphs of the Regulation, which concern this publication:
A stored firearm must comply with the following conditions:
Note: A wooded area located on the outskirts of a city or town is not deemed to be a wilderness area.
A firearm that is displayed must comply with the following conditions:
To obtain additional information on firearms legislation in general, please consult the Firearms Act or contact the Canada Firearms Centre at 1 800 731-4000. You can also contact an office of the Sûreté du Québec.
Hunting is practiced with arms designed to properly kill game. The arms must be handled very cautiously to reduce the risk of accidents. For example, the telescopic sight of a firearm should never be used to locate or identify a target. Instead, binoculars, which are designed for this purpose, should be used. Moreover, bear in mind that the most basic safety rule is to never point a firearm in another person's direction, even at a distance. Pointing a firearm at a person may lead to judicial proceedings.
The Act to protect persons with regard to activities involving firearms affects hunters. The Québec legislation covers, among other things, the possession of firearms on the grounds and in the buildings of an educational institution and a day care centre and on public transit or school transportation, except taxis. Consequently, hunters must become acquainted with the legislative and regulatory provisions and ensure that they abide by them.
To obtain additional information, please contact an office of the Sûreté du Québec.