June 9, 2020

What’s the difference between Non-Restricted and Restricted firearms?

Posted In
Information & Education | Regulations

Are you new to the gun world? If so, then you’ve definitely heard the terms Non-Restricted and Restricted flying around. But what do those mean and what is the difference?

Well, Non-Restricted and Restricted refer to the different classifications of firearms. There are actually 3 different classes of firearms Non-Restricted, Restricted and Prohibited. But for the sake of this posting, we’ll only be going over the first 2.


Non-Restricted firearms typically refer to long guns such as shotguns or rifles, but this is not always the case.

If a firearm is not Restricted, nor Prohibited, then it’s likely classified as Non-Restricted.

Sound confusing? Let’s discuss how a Restricted firearm is classified and things will make a bit more sense when it comes to how the Non-Restricted firearms are classified. 



These firearms are typically handguns. As per the RCMP’s website on firearms classifications, a Restricted firearm is classified in thew following way:

  • Handguns that are not prohibited firearms
  • Firearms that:
    • are not prohibited firearms
    • have a barrel less than 470 mm in length
    • are capable of discharging centre-fire ammunition in a semi-automatic manner
  • Firearms designed or adapted to be fired when reduced to a length of less than 660 mm by folding, telescoping or otherwise
  • Firearms of any other kind prescribed to be restricted firearms in the Regulations


Now let’s say you have a firearm which is Non-Restricted but you want to change the barrel. Well, if the barrel falls under the 470mm in length, then it would need to be reclassified as a Restricted firearm.

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