Saskatchewan Hunter Safety Course


Classes of Firearms

Firearms are classed as prohibited, restricted or non-restricted.


Prohibited firearms are illegal in Canada. Very few people including the military, police and some collectors may own a prohibited firearm. These include fully automatic firearms such as machine guns. 


Ownership of some types of firearms is restricted to people who require them for purposes of target shooting or collecting and who meet certain qualifications to own them. These include firearms such as handguns.

Non-restricted Firearms

Non-restricted firearms may be owned by anyone who meets the basic ownership requirements. These include most of the rifles and shotguns we use for hunting (long arms).

Examples of restricted and prohibited firearms: The examples below are listed as a guide only. If you are unsure as to the class of a firearm, please check with the Canadian Firearm Centre in Ottawa.


  • Handguns
  • Handguns manufactured before 1898 that use rim-fire or centre-fire ammunition that is commonly available in Canada.
  • Semi-automatic centre-fire firearms with a barrel less than 470mm (18.5 inches).
  • Certain military and paramilitary firearms prohibited by Order in Council, but registered to grand fathered owners (July 27, 1992).
  • Any firearms designed or adapted to be fired when reduced to a length of less than 660mm (26 inches) by folding, telescoping, or otherwise.
  • Fully-automatic firearms registered as part of a genuine gun collection on January 1, 1978.
  • Converted fully-automatic firearms registered as part of a genuine gun collection (October 1, 1992).
  • Other firearms not reasonable for use for hunting or sporting purposes declared restricted by Order in Council.


  • Fully-automatic firearms not registered to grand fathered collectors.
  • Converted fully-automatic firearms not registered to grand fathered collectors.
  • Sawed-off or otherwise altered rifles and shotguns with barrels less than 457 mm (18 inches), or overall length less than 660 mm (26 inches).
  • Silencers
  • Switchblade knives.
  • Large capacity cartridge magazines;
    • over 10 shots for handguns
    • over 5 shots for centre-fire semi-automatic rifles and shotguns and certain listed assault pistols.
  • Weapons, parts, components or ammunition declared prohibited by Order in Council, such as;
    • certain military and paramilitary firearms;
    • body-armour piercing handguns cartridges, incendiary and explosive projectiles and shotgun "flechette" cartridges;
    • "Bull pup" stocks for rifles or carbines;
    • devices that enhance the rate of fire;
    • stun guns, taser public defenders;
    • stinger and variants;
    • brass knuckles;
    • mace, tear gas, and certain martial arts devices