POLS to become PALs in September

by Bill Hodgins | August 4, 2015

POLS - Bill C-42Beginning Sept. 2, Canadians with Possession Only Licences (POLs) for firearms will see their documentation converted to Possession and Acquisition Licences (PALs) thanks to a last-minute legislative change by the Canadian government.

The change was one of two firearms-related provisions – both contained in the Common Sense Firearms Licencing Act – made Friday after parliament met for the final time.

The other change makes it more convenient for qualified gun owners to transport restricted and prohibited firearms in Canada.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper met with the Governor General Sunday to dissolve parliament ahead of this October’s federal election.

“The ‘coming into force’ of these important changes under the Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act once again delivers on our government’s promise to support law-abiding firearms owners,” the Honourable Steven Blaney, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, said Friday.

“Together, these measures aim to streamline licensing and eliminate needless red tape. Our government will always stand-up for law abiding hunters, farmers and sport-shooters.”

“Together, these measures aim to streamline licensing and eliminate needless red tape. Our government will always stand-up for law abiding hunters, farmers and sport-shooters.”

The elimination of the POL provides roughly 530,000 holders of Possession Only Licences with acquisition privileges, currently available only to PAL holders.

The changes to the Authorization to Transport (ATT) legislation will especially benefit those looking to transport firearms for routine activities such as target shooting or going to a gunsmith or gun show.

Currently, firearms owners apply to a Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) when they wish to transport restricted and prohibited firearms, and they carry the ATT as a separate document.

The changes to the ATT provision mean that an ATT will be automatically attached as a condition on a licence.

These two additional provisions – part of Bill C42 – are now added to the ones that came into force last June under the Firearms Act and the Criminal Code.

These include:
– making classroom participation in firearms safety courses mandatory for first-time licence applicants
– strengthening the Criminal Code provisions relating to orders prohibiting the possession of firearms where a person is convicted of an offence involving domestic violence
– providing the Governor in Council with the authority to prescribe firearms to be non-restricted or restricted

Comments

  1. Ontario OUT OF DOORS wrote: I suggest you check with RCMP National Headquarters... Phone General Inquiries: 613-993-7267 TTY: 613-825-1391 Fax: 613-993-0260
    • John James wrote: called Friday, Sept. 2 , is the Date. POL merges to PAL.
      • The Wrench wrote: I wonder if the gun shops know of the change if you go to buy a gun with your POL
  2. Cam Haddow wrote: Bill: I have the same question as James. I'm sure all 530,000 of us POL holders do. Could you do us a favor and make the call to the RCMP for us and maybe update your report? I'm sure the phone Co. would be appreciative! thanks
  3. Ontario OUT OF DOORS wrote: We contacted the RCMP after we had a couple of comments. Here's what they say... "On September 2, 2015 the Possession Only Licence will be eliminated. All existing/valid POLs will be converted to Possession and Acquisition Licences (PAL). The POL will be recognized as a PAL. An actual PAL card will only be issued when you renew or if you request a replacement licence during the valid period of your licence." Hope that helps... Bill