Importing or Exporting a Firearm

Importing or Exporting a Firearm

The offence of importing or exporting firearms is outlined in section 103(1) of the Criminal Code.

A person commits the offence of importing or exporting firearms when they import or export a prohibited firearm, restricted firearm, non-restricted firearm, prohibited weapon, restricted weapon, prohibited device, prohibited ammunition, or any component that could only be used to create an automatic firearm.

For the purposes of the Criminal Code, the definition of firearm includes items other than a pistol, handgun, or rifle.


Person A orders a case of 12 .22 Calibre handguns from a firearms manufacturer in Russia and has them shipped to Canada.

Person B travels across the Untied States boarder into Canada with 80% Pistol Frame Kits.


R. v. Mbuyamba and Anderson, 2022 ONSC 2491 (CanLII)

In R v Mbuyamba and Anderson, the two accused were charged with 23 counts of importing firearms after they imported 9 handguns and 14 high-capacity detachable box cartridge magazines by boat from New York to Ontario.

R. v. Brown, 2019 ONSC 6690 (CanLII)

In R v Brown, the accused was charged with one count of conspiracy to import firearms into Canada after several phone calls were intercepted by police. In these phone calls, the accused discussed the quantity and resale value of firearms in Canada with his co-conspirator, who also called the accused periodically to update him each time he was able to purchase a handgun in Florida.

Offence Specific Defence(s)

Authorized by Law

The Firearms Act authorizes the export and import of firearms under certain conditions by individuals and businesses. Where a person or organization is acting in compliance with the Firearms Act or any other legislation when importing or exporting a firearm, they will not have committed the offence of importing or exporting firearms.

Definition of Firearm

If the person is in possession of an object that does not fall under the Criminal Code’s definition of a “firearm” then they have not committed the offence of importing or exporting firearms.