Firearms marking regulations coming into force June 1, 2017

Firearms markings regulations

Under the new firearms marking regulations, all firearms imported or manufactured after June 1, 2017 will be required to be marked with a stamp including year of importation and manufacturer name.


As of June 1, 2017, all the new firearms marking regulations will require that all firearms imported into or manufactured in Canada are marked. The regulation, however, does also provide exceptions to firearms of historical significance/rarity, high value firearms that would lose the value if visibly marked, and protected firearms. It will be a criminal offense to remove the markings, which include “CA” or “Canada”, year of importation, manufacturer name, and serial number.

The intent of the markings is to help police trace the origins of firearms used in the commission of an offense, and was an election campaign promise of the Liberal Party of Canada.


  •  (1) The following definitions apply in these Regulations.

    Act means the Firearms Act. (Loi)

    specially imported firearm means a firearm imported on a temporary basis by a business that holds a firearms licence, as a good under tariff item No. 9993.00.00 of the List of Tariff Provisions set out in the schedule to theCustoms Tariff. (arme à feu d’importation spéciale)

  • (2) In these Regulations, agency firearm, protected firearm, public agent and public service agency have the same meaning as in section 1 of the Public Agents Firearms Regulations.

  • (3) For greater certainty, in these Regulations, transfer means transfer as defined in subsection 84(1) of theCriminal Code.

Marking of Manufactured Firearms

 Every individual or business that manufactures a firearm shall ensure that the firearm is marked, at the time of manufacture, in accordance with section 4.

Marking of Imported Firearms

  •  (1) Every individual, business or public service agency that imports a firearm shall ensure that the firearm is marked in accordance with section 4 before the 60th day after its release as defined in subsection 2(1) of theCustoms Act or before transferring the firearm, whichever occurs first.

  • (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to

    • (a) a firearm imported by an individual under section 35 or 35.1 of the Act;

    • (b) a specially imported firearm;

    • (c) a protected firearm;

    • (d) a firearm that was initially exported from Canada by an individual or business if the individual or business retained ownership of the firearm while the firearm was outside Canada; or

    • (e) a firearm that was initially exported from Canada by a public service agency and that was retained by that agency as an agency firearm while the firearm was outside Canada.

Manner of Marking

  •  (1) The firearm shall be marked by permanently stamping or engraving on the firearms’s frame or receiver the word “Canada” or the letters “CA” and

    • (a) in the case of a manufactured firearm, the name of the manufacturer and the firearm’s serial number; and

    • (b) in the case of an imported firearm, the last two digits of the year of the importation.

  • (2) The markings shall

    • (a) be legible;

    • (b) have a depth of at least 0.076 mm and a height of at least 1.58 mm; and

    • (c) subject to subsection (3), be visible without the need to disassemble the firearm.

  • (3) In the case of an imported firearm, the Registrar, on application by the individual, business or public service agency that is importing it, shall grant the applicant an exemption from the requirement set out in paragraph (2)(c) if

    • (a) marking the firearm in a place that is visible only by disassembling the firearm is consistent with the current practices of the manufacturer of that model of firearm;

    • (b) the firearm does not provide a visible space suitable to stamp or engrave the markings;

    • (c) the firearm is rare;

    • (d) the firearm is of a value that is unusually high for that type of firearm and that value would be significantly reduced if the markings were visible without disassembly; or

    • (e) the firearm is imported by a business that holds a licence for the purpose of using the firearm in respect of motion picture, television, video or theatrical productions or in publishing activities.

Tampering with Markings

  •  (1) No person shall knowingly remove, alter, obliterate or deface a marking on a firearm.

  • (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a public agent acting in the course of their duties or for the purposes of their employment.


Full text of the Regulations can be found here:

  • Georges Giguere

    Well, thanks for the heads-up. This is the stupidest thing I’ve heard from the Liberals so far. Watch for more!

  • Dave

    Just another example of the liberals harassing gun owners

  • Brett

    Oh boy , that will stop the unmarked black market fire arms !! NOT ! there are already firearms meant for the Canadian market , being marked as such ! Some companies that mfg , firearms that would be prohibited here , make them specifically to adhere to Canadian laws , and mark them as such ! Bit of a redundant law , that looks to make criminals out of law abiding citizens , this law will not stop the criminal , because most of it already exists ! altering a firearm in these ways , has been illegal for many years !

  • Chad

    I wonder how much extra this will cost gun owners……?

  • D

    Has anybody ever explained how this or current serial numbers help police in investigations? And considering more people were killed last year by knives or ways other than firearms (70% of 516-ish), why are firearms targeted? Govt harassment, plain and simple!

  • Gee

    Part of the problem is gun ownership in Canada is not looked at as a sport. It is looked at as a criminal activity by anti government type people. For the most part this is not true. As a firearms enthusiast I am not a supporter of this current government but I am not against them either. They needed to do something (campaign promises) so if this silly requirement is it and will hold them over for a few more years until Canada can see the light and vote them out then so be it. We need to make every interaction regarding firearms ownership positive with everybody and embody that will listen. WE the gn owners need the support of the non gn owning public to help remove gn ownership from every political agenda

  • Lawrence Dolha

    This is just a political ploy by the UN to control countries. The marking will make no difference to crimes committed with a firearm by criminals, wither marked or not. If the criminals feal it is detrimental to their occupation , which I highly doubt, they will just smuggle unmarked guns in find someway to remove it so it can’t be detected. They already in some cases remove serial numbers. This is just another Liberal joke to appease the UN. The UN is controlled by despots. We have to take the Gov’t back, from the left wing pot heads and the other fools!

    • Anthony Holowachuk

      Couldn’t of said it better myself.

  • Craig

    What’s next? When are Canadians going to get a guy like “Trump” to vote for. Iam not into politics much but fr what I’ve seen firearm owners in the US relate to his no BS attitude. I voted for Harper , why – the cons were the only ones who aligned with firearm owners ( to a certain degree). Tredeau’s promise also is to get handguns and assault rifles off the streets! Decifer that one? Will he beef up the polices gang units or drug units nation wide , probly not. He will probly want to take my T97 and my even scarier AR from me so as a free man I won’t be able to enjoy my passion of firearms. Canadian firearm owners need to all belong to the same association ( NRA) eg. We need to unite under one umbrella only then will we be able to push the Gov back. Strength in numbers, look at the NRA for the perfect example. Having 3 diff associations and many firearm owners not belonging to any we will never have enough strength. Makes me very angry !

    • Brett

      Absolutely Craig !

    • Ernie

      There is more then one gun organization in the US, a quick search will show many, Gun Owners of America, National Association for Gun Rights, National Gun Association plus many state organizations. The NRA just happens to be the largest. The key detail you mentioned is that many firearms owners in Canada don’t belong to any. What might help is semi-annual meetings of all gun organizations in Canada to find some common ground and fight with one message on a few topics.

  • David

    Maybe it’s me, but I don’t see this as being to big of a deal. I’m a currently serving member of the military and our weapons are marked much the same already. For example, 89AA04562, where the first two digits are year of manufacture.
    All current guns are already marked with the manufacturer name and on average have a 5 digit serial number. All that would need to be done is add the two digit year and CA at the start of the serial number. This would cover all right checks and not be to obtrusive as it would simply blend in with a typical serial number.

    • Brett

      Yes David ! also thank you for your service ! I purchased a miniature revolver in Canada ,about a year and a half ago , made by a U.S. company , they make mostly miniatures , which would be prohibs here ! but they made this for the Canadian market , and the serial no. even starts with CA ! It shoots both .22 lr , and .22WMR , The barrel is 4.25″ , making it pretty much the smallest legal handgun , without a prohib licence , in Canada !

    • ethan sanford

      These liberals are scaring me. They said they wouldn’t touch our guns. Seems like they are handing over the power to the UN to do so.

  • Laird

    This is the kind of redundant legislation one gets when non gun owners make firearms law. This one is a regurgitation of a UN movement that is supposed to help stop the proliferation of illegal firearms. It’s a pipe dream.

    Why is this redundant? modern firearms all bear the name of the manufacturer, the country of origin and a serial number on them. If one contacts the manufacturer or googles it on line they can find the code to read the serial number they will then know the year, month, and plant, that manufactured the firearm. Proof marks will let you know where the barrel was pressure tested, if it was issued to the military, recertified for the public use, if it is an arsenal rebuild etc. proof marks are the history of a firearm. Most gunsmiths and firearm verifier’s know this, its unfortunate the lawmakers don’t consult with firearms experts before they create these silly laws.
    Another hoop to jump thru.

    • Bruno

      they want to mark them to be able to follow the trail after a crime ?

      then criminal will use a file and remove the trail XD like they already do with finger print, i mean how about raiding criminals hideout instead

  • SteveT

    June 1, 2017 is when I stop buying guns.

    • Brian

      More for everyone else then, I suppose.

    • Bruno

      meh keep buying, just get used ones XD

    • ethan sanford

      When the government decides to take your guns its because they know you are going to need them. This a precursor to allowing the UN to take over control of our guns and disarm the population.

  • Echo

    The only benefit this might have is that long term it will be very hard to blame law abiding firearms owners when guns pulled from crime scenes have no import markings.

    This is just to boost Trudeau’s ego of being a global player and bringing Canada into the realm of “civilized nations”.

    It’ll be sad to see what firearms we lose off the market from this. And any firms making a good chunk of their revenue through individual importations are going to get crushed.

  • Mr Wolf

    Yep, this should slow down the bangers from killing each other in the GTA lol!!!

  • Geoffrey Campbell

    do you think that a criminal who got a firearm illegally would give a shet about the law that says not to tamper with the markings on the said firearm ?? come on….stupid is what stupid does