Canada Gazette, Part I, Volume 146, Number 36: Regulations Amending and Repealing Certain Regulations Made Under the Firearms Act

September 8, 2012

Statutory authority

Firearms Act

Sponsoring department

Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness


(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

1. Background

Developed in 1998, but not brought into force, the Gun Shows Regulations (the Regulations) outline requirements for individuals and businesses wishing to sponsor and participate in gun shows (e.g. approval of location security measures by a Chief Firearms Officer [CFO] and securing firearms to a display table). Gun shows are occasions or events, generally sponsored by firearms businesses or associations, where individuals and businesses display their firearms, often for the purpose of sale.

Between 1998 and 2008, the Gun Shows Regulations were deferred on nine occasions for reasons which include amending the Regulations to reduce administrative burdens for individuals and sponsors participating in gun shows. The deferral of the Regulations also allowed government officials time to review the appropriateness of the proposed standards and approvals for those wishing to sponsor a gun show, including the requirement for sponsors to obtain the approval of a CFO in order to host such an event. Gun show sponsors often include local firearm businesses and associations.

In 2010, the Regulations were deferred for a tenth time, until November 2012, to allow officials time to consult with stakeholders in order to determine the need for, and the content of, the Regulations. Officials consulted with members of the Minister’s Firearms Advisory Committee and CFOs from across Canada.

In Canada, there are approximately 300 gun shows held annually. While the Regulations are not in force, general provisions exist under the Firearms Act (the Act) which relate to storage and display requirements. From a risk management perspective, gun shows are not a significant public safety concern, as law enforcement in Canada has recorded only two incidents where the activities at such events could have endangered public safety due to unsecure display practices.

2. Issue

The proposed Regulations repeal the unproclaimed Gun Shows Regulations.

The Regulations are unnecessary as

  • The storage and display of firearms at gun shows are already governed by the general Storage, Display, Transportation and Handling of Firearms Regulations (businesses and individuals);
  • Gun shows are not considered a public safety concern as, of the 300 gun shows held annually, law enforcement has recorded only two incidents where the activities at a gun show could have endangered public safety; and
  • Firearm advocates, including the Minister’s Firearms Advisory Committee, have suggested that the majority of gun show sponsors and exhibitors generally meet safety requirements set out in the Regulations and most sponsors voluntarily inform law enforcement that a show is taking place.

3. Objectives

Repeal the Gun Shows Regulations under the Firearms Act.

4. Description

The Gun Shows Regulations require (i) the sponsor of a gun show to secure the approval of the CFO and notify local law enforcement at least seven working days prior to an event; (ii) the sponsor to ensure the security of the location and firearms therein, and that the gun show will not endanger the safety of any person; and (iii) exhibitors to ensure the security of their table and the firearms therein.

Absent the Regulations, the storage and display of firearms at such events are regulated by the general Storage, Display, Transportation and Handling of Firearms Regulations (business and individual) under the Act. While these Regulations are enforced on a risk managed basis at gun shows, they require, among other things,

  • Businesses to either ensure that the premises where they are storing and displaying their firearms have both an electronic security alarm and locks on all windows and doors, or, alternatively, have security measures in place that are approved, in writing, by the CFO; and
  • That firearms displayed by a business be unloaded and, except when being handled under the direct and immediate supervision of an employee or owner of the business,
  • attached to a permanent structure fixture or wall,
  • rendered inoperable and displayed in a locked display case, cabinet or location readily accessible only to owners or employees of the business, or
  • secured by an equal or better method approved by a CFO.

Following the repeal of the Regulations, the storage and display regulations for businesses and individuals will continue to be applied at gun shows.

5. Consultation

The Minister’s Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee (CFAC) has been consulted regarding the Regulations on a number of occasions, including most recently in March 2012. The CFAC is of the view that the majority of gun show sponsors and exhibitors generally comply with the Regulations. The CFAC has suggested that the Regulations should not be brought into force as they serve no demonstrable purpose not already served by the general Storage, Display, Transportation and Handling of Firearms Regulations, which are currently in force.

The CFO community is supportive of implementing the Regulations and has stated that bringing the Regulations into force would contribute to the promotion of public safety by regulating venue security and providing clear storage and display requirements designed for the unique context of a gun show. At the same time, the CFO community has acknowledged that the number of recorded incidents at gun shows is very low and that such events do not pose a significant public safety risk.

6. Rationale

The Regulations, if implemented, would impose requirements on those wishing to sponsor, or exhibit at, a gun show. As there have only been two recorded incidents where activities at a gun show could have had a public safety implication, and given that the storage and display of firearms is governed by existing regulations (the general Storage, Display, Transportation and Handling of Firearms Regulations), the Gun Shows Regulations are unnecessary.

7. Implementation, enforcement and service standards

The RCMP Canadian Firearms Program and CFOs across Canada will inform gun show sponsors and exhibitors of the repeal of the Gun Shows Regulations.

8. Contact

All public enquiries should be directed to

Lyndon Murdock
Law Enforcement and Policing Branch
Public Safety Canada
269 Laurier Avenue W
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0P8
General inquiries: 613-944-4875
Fax: 613-954-4808
Email: firearms/


Notice is given that the Governor in Council, pursuant to paragraphs 117(g) to (i) and (o) (see footnote a) of the Firearms Act (see footnote b), proposes to make the annexed Regulations Amending and Repealing Certain Regulations Made Under the Firearms Act.

Interested persons may make representations concerning the proposed Regulations within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. All such representations must cite the Canada Gazette, Part Ⅰ, and the date of publication of this notice, and be addressed to Lyndon Murdock, Director, Firearms and Operational Policing Policy Division, Law Enforcement and Policing Branch, Public Safety Canada, 269 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0P8 (tel.: 613-944-4875; fax: 613-954-4808; email: firearms/

Ottawa, August 20, 2012

Assistant Clerk of the Privy Council



1. Section 4 of the Storage, Display, Transportation and Handling of Firearms by Individuals Regulations (see footnote 1) is repealed.


2. Section 3 of the Storage, Display and Transportation of Firearms and Other Weapons by Businesses Regulations (see footnote 2) is repealed.


3. The Gun Shows Regulations (see footnote 3) are repealed.


4. These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.