You got your PAL, along with your rifle and all the accessories you need to stay safe and keep your firearms in tip-top condition. You also got that special feeling, the one that says: “lets go shooting!” You open your gun safe and attempt to choose which rifle you’re going to take out. It feels like a parent trying to pick a favourite child. But today is different. Today you’re feeling a tingle. A tingle you’ve never felt before. It’s the craving to shoot a pistol. Well, hold onto that feeling, because it’s going to be a while before you’re able to acquire, possess, and shoot one. Here are the three things to know about getting an RPAL in Canada.

  1. More waiting

If you thought it took forever to get your PAL, take a deep breath, because you basically have to do the process all over again. Take a restricted firearms RPAL course, pass a test, pay some money, submit your paperwork and wait. If you know right from the get-go that you want to acquire and possess pistols, or any other restricted firearm for that matter, take your PAL and RPAL course together. This will save you a whole lot of time in the application and waiting period process.

  1. More Rules

Getting your RPAL and acquiring restricted firearms comes with its own set of rules and regulations, above and beyond your PAL license and is very tightly controlled by the RCMP. Depending on what province you live in, this can even include having to be a member of a gun range or club for the authorization to purchase a handgun. And that’s just the first authorization you require. Every time you buy (or sell or lend) any handgun, you will need explicit permission from the police. You also have to register your firearm and get permission to transport it —also known as an ATT. When it comes to storage, there are once again rules above and beyond your standard PAL. This includes only storing at your main residence, and in most cases, storing the firearm and ammunition separately.

  1. More Fun

Getting your RPAL opens you up to a whole new class of firearms in Canada (mainly handguns) —and a ton more fun. Many firearm sporting events and competitions are based around pistols and they are a completely different shooting experience from rifles. Since you can only shoot them at licensed ranges and clubs, you are also going to find yourself making a whole lot of new friends.

We hope this article helps guide your gun ownership journey in Canada. From your first rifle to your first handgun, shooting sports and pastimes are a quintessential part of our Canadian Culture. This is the fourth and final blog in our How To Buy A Gun In Canada series. If you’d like to learn more about the steps, costs, and best practices for everything firearms in Canada, be sure to check out the rest of the series:

Part 1 – Getting Your PAL

Part 2 – Buying Your First Firearm

Part 3 – Safety and Maintenance

Happy shooting and stay safe!

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