What Guns are Antiques in Canada?

The Canadian Criminal Code definition of an antique firearms, since December 1, 1998,  has very little to do with the dictionary definition of an antique.  For most types of firearms the critical thing is whether or not the firearm was made prior to 1898.  After the date criteria is met the calibre of the firearm can still keep it from being an antique under our regulations. If a gun meets the definition of an antique, you do not need a firearms licence to possess or acquire it, nor does the gun need to be registered. A paradox in this is that if you have an antique that shoots cartridge ammunition, you will need a firearms licence to buy the ammunition. If your only firearm is an antique and you apply for a Possession Only Licence, your application will be refused as antique firearms are not subject to registration and licencing, forcing you to get a PAL in order to buy ammunition. (This makes you wonder how many licence refusals that the Minster of Justice likes to hold up as examples of C-68's effectiveness are the result of people trying to register great-great-grandpa's musket...)

The firearms listed below are antique firearms for the purposes of the definition antique firearm in -->subsection 84(1) --> of the Criminal Code. An antique used in the commission of some criminal offence will count as a firearm for any weapons charges.

MUZZLE LOADING RIFLES & SHOTGUNS

1. A flintlock, wheel-lock or matchlock firearm, other than a handgun, regardless of when it was manufactured.

8. Any long gun manufactured before 1898 that uses percussion caps.

RIFLES

3. A rifle manufactured before 1898 that is capable of discharging only rim-fire cartridges, other than 22 Calibre Short, 22 Calibre Long or 22 Calibre Long Rifle cartridges.

3. A rifle manufactured before 1898 that is capable of discharging centre-fire cartridges greater than 8.3 mm or .323 calibre, with the exception of a repeating firearm fed by a magazine.

SHOTGUNS

4. A shotgun manufactured before 1898 that is capable of discharging only rim-fire cartridges, other than 22 Calibre Short, 22 Calibre Long or 22 Calibre Long Rifle cartridges.

5. A shotgun manufactured before 1898 that is capable of discharging centre-fire cartridges, other than 10, 12, 16, 20, 28 or 410 gauge cartridges.

HANDGUNS

6. A handgun manufactured before 1898 that is capable of discharging only rim-fire cartridges, other than 22 Calibre Short, 22 Calibre Long or 22 Calibre Long Rifle cartridges.

7. A handgun manufactured before 1898 that is capable of discharging centre-fire cartridges, other than a handgun designed or adapted to discharge 32 Short Colt, 32 Long Colt, 32 Smith and Wesson, 32 Smith and Wesson Long, 32-20 Winchester, 38 Smith and Wesson, 38 Short Colt, 38 Long Colt, 38-40 Winchester, 44-40 Winchester, or 45 Colt cartridges.

8. A handgun manufactured before 1898 that is a muzzle loader.


This page last modified on January 11, 2001. Used with permission of www.FirearmsTraining.ca

EOHC Home Page