Congratulations on your success, you are now qualified to apply for a firearms licence!

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What is next?

1. Wait for your results in the mail. You need to wait for your course results to arrive in the mail (3-6 weeks). However, right now, while you wait – you can start filling out your PAL application so you are ready to submit it as soon as your results arrive in the mail. Your instructor will finish processing the course paperwork in the next day or two after the course finishes so that your course results can be promptly sent to the Firearm Safety Education Service of Ontario (FSESO) in Orillia ,Ontario for final processing, validation, and then subsequent mailing to you as soon as possible.

The FSESO will send you 2 copies of your course report in your self-addressed envelope that you filled out on the first day of class. If your results don’t arrive within 6 weeks – there is a problem and you need to contact the FSESO at to get new copies sent to you.

2. Send in your application. Once you have your course results from the FSESO, you can submit your PAL application. NOTE: If you filled out the PAL application while you were waiting for your results in the mail – you can just scan a copy of your course reports and add them to the application press the “submit” button immediately!

In detail

Your results, what is coming in the mail?

What if my CFSC results don’t arrive within 6 weeks of finishing my course?

You can now apply for your PAL online

Minors PAL Licence application

Check the status of your application

You can still apply with a paper application if you choose

Frequently asked questions

Common mistakes that cause delays

More info on the application process

Local Shooting Ranges

Local gunsmith

Some good gun stores

Contact info for the FSESO (lost course reports)

List of shooting organizations

Canadian Firearms Laws/Discussion


Entertaining firearms related online content

Your results, what is coming in the mail?

Remember, when you receive your results in the mail from FSESO (about 3-6 weeks after the course):

  1. You will receive two (2) copies of your course report – for each course you took. If you completed the Combo CFSC/CRFSC course, you will have four (4) reports.
  2. One (1) copy of your course results (for EACH course) is for your own records. Keep the results in a safe place, they are good forever. 
  3. One (1) copy of your course results (for EACH course) is for mailing in with your PAL application (or for scanning to add to your ONLINE application).

NOTE: no CFSC test results are sent to the Chief Firearms Officer of Ontario (CFO), so please do not call the CFO for the status of your test results. The FSESO is who to contact about your paperwork if it’s taking longer than 6 weeks: 

What if my CFSC results don’t arrive within 6 weeks of finishing my course?

If you have not received your stamped student course report after 6 weeks (or if you lost them) you can contact the FSESO to have the stamped report replaced. The FSESO is only able to provide replacement stamped reports if it has been less than a year since you completed your Canadian Firearms Safety Course (CFSC) or Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course (CRFSC).

To request a replacement stamped student course report please contact the FSESO at 1-877-322-2345 x101 and provide the following details:

Your First & Last name
Your date of birth
Start date of the course (day/month/year)
Course type (CFSC, CRFSC)
First & Last name of the course instructor: Bruce Macdonald (Licence# ON1268) 

Students who completed their CFSC/CRFSC course more than a year ago:

If you lost your results (or never received them) and it has been over a year since you took the course, you should contact the Chief Firearms Officer of Ontario at 1-800-731-4000 ext. 7503. There should be a record of it on file.

ONLINE application

Reduce processing delays by using the ONLINE application form – for first time PAL applicants only.

NEW! You can now submit your PAL application Online – but don’t submit until you have your course results! A profile can be created and an application partially completed and saved. 

You can even submit an electronic photo with your online application, much easier than submitting a hard copy!

The first page of the PAL application has explicit instructions – be sure to read the instructions to reduce delays. There is also a check list, go over it point-by-point to ensure it’s all correct.

 NOTE: The system is designed to automatically delete incomplete applications that have been stale (not touched or looked at) for 45 days.

  Here is what the Privacy Statement states: The information you provide in the online application for a PAL that you do not complete, or you abandon after 45 days is considered transitory, and will not be collected by the RCMP. In these situations, the RCMP will purge your partially completed or abandoned application after 45 days, after which you will not be able to access your uncompleted application. Applications remain in the system for 45 days after the last activity so, if you access it periodically, technically, it would be there forever as long as you are accessing it. You will also receive a notification before it is deleted if it has remained untouched for 45 days.

Use the newly released ONLINE application form here:

Old School – paper PAL application (mail-in)

If you have previously submitted a PAL application or if you prefer to submit a paper application by mail here is an electronic copy of the latest PAL application form:

Minors application form

To apply for a minor’s licence in Ontario, please contact the Chief Firearms Office of Ontario at 1-800-731-4000 ext 7548.They will send you a package for the minors licence application.

You can now apply for a minors licence using the same PAL application Online portal used for grownups!

More info about the minors licence:

Frequently asked questions about the application form

1. How do I fill outPart Gof the form? This section always causes confusion: only answer “Yes” to the CFSC and CRFSC courses, say “No” to the other options.

2. How much do I pay? There is only one amount you pay:

If you want a PAL for only Non-Restricted firearms the amount is: $64.54 for 5 years.

If you want a PAL for both Non-Restricted and Restricted Firearms (what everyone calls an RPAL) the amount is $86.06 for 5 years.

(These amounts change by a couple dollars each year – make sure you pay the current year amount).

3. What is my instructors number? Bruce Macdonald’s Instructor Licence number is “ON1268

4. How long will my application take? Based on feedback from previous students, the ONLINE application process is presently taking 2 to 3 months from the time the application has been submitted. The PAPER application is taking 4-12 months. (There is a mandatory 28 day waiting period for all applications). If there is a problem with your application and you do not follow-up, it can take over a year.

Common delays with PAL applications

The first page of the application has explicit instructions – be sure to read the instructions to reduce delays. There is also a checklist, go over it point by point to ensure it’s all correct.

Common mistakes leading to delays:

1. Paying with a debit Visa. Apparently, their system doesn’t accept it.
2. Paying the wrong fee (ie. using last years amounts – even if only off by a few cents).
3. Signature dates have to be less than a year old, same goes with your photo
4. Not providing details if you answer yes for personal history (they need dates as well, not just underlined in application)

5. Missing signatures, addresses, phone numbers etc.
6. Providing an initial for the first or middle name, they need the full name.
7. Sending in POOR QUALITY PHOTOS or dated more than a year ago (or photos printed on regular paper for paper applications – they are apparently only accepting photos printed on photo paper like passport photos). UNSUITABLE / OUTDATED PHOTOS ARE THE #1 REASON FOR PROCESSING DELAYS.

Photo requirements (click for the list)

The photograph must meet the following criteria:

  • Show a full front view of the head and shoulders.
  • Use a plain, contrasting background without shadows.
  • Do not wear a hat or sunglasses. The eyes should be clearly visible and should not appear to be red.
  • The photo should have been taken within the last twelve (12) months.
  • Size: The photo should be no larger than 45 mm x 57 mm (1 3/4 in. x 2 1/4 in).
  • The head in the photograph must be at least 30 mm (1 3/16 in.) high.
  • The photo must be original, not taken from an existing photo. Digitally produced photos are acceptable provided all other requirements are met and printed on photo quality paper.
  • must be in focus, with no red-eye and no reflected light on the face
  • must have your eyes open, no hair across your face or eyes, no sunglasses or hat
  • must be showing eyes clearly through glasses, with no reflection
  • must not be altered in any way
  • must be a photo of you only (no group photos)
  • must not be a photo of another photo or another piece of government photo ID
  • You can submit an electronic photo with your ONLINE application, much easier than submitting a hard copy!

You can take the photo yourself, as long as it meets the above requirements. However, we are hearing about so many applications being declined due to poor quality photo’s that we now recommend that you get a professional photo. We have never had a professional photo declined so far. Make sure you get a digital copy from the photographer to make it easier to add it to your ONLINE application.

Michael Willems photography is setup in Orleans to provide exactly what you need for your application (they will also provide digital copies of your photo’s). Tell them you are from my class and you get a 10% discount:

How to deal with delays

Any of the above administrative errors are going to stall your processing. They do not contact you, they wait for you to contact them to find out why it is taking so long. It is difficult to get in contact with someone at CPS (Central Processing Miramichi, New Brunswick) 1-800-731-4000, but worth the effort.

If these errors can be fixed at the CPS (Central Processing Site, Miramichi, NB) and there are no other fails, your licence will be approved at the CPS.

Other causes of delays (does not mean that your application will be rejected):
  1. If any police service in Canada has your fingerprints on file.
  2. If you answer “yes” to any of the personal history questions.
  3. If you have your name on a police report involving: drugs, alcohol, mental health or criminality and you weren’t the victim or witness etc. (Prior to C-71, these “hits” expired in 5 years now they last forever).

While it is a Federal Program, its delivered at the provincial level. Each province has a Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) and investigators who conduct eligibility investigations. If you fail background screening, your application gets sent back to your province for further screening and investigation. Each province has different assets, staffing and abilities to process applications. You would be screened there and at this point your application/renewal would be assigned to an investigator. Depending on their caseload there is no set timeline.

Target Shooting

Local shooting ranges / clubs

– Eastern Ontario Shooting Club
– RA Gun Club (has handguns/rifles to use)
– NCRRA: The National Capital Region Rifle Association
– DCRA: Dominion of Canada Rifle Association
– Arnprior Shooting Range
– Grenville Fish and Game Club

– Cornwall Handgun Club
– Stittsville Shooting Ranges

– Smiths Falls Fish and Game Club

– Brockville District Fish and Game Club

– Golden Triangle Trap and Skeet Club (Brockville)

– Loyalist Shooting Club (Brockville)

– Eganville & District Sportsmans Club

– Kingston & District Trap Skeet and Sporting Clays Club

– Frontenac Rifle & Pistol Club (Kingston)

– Pembroke Outdoor Sportsman’s Club

– Vankleek Hill Gun Club

– Club de Tir de l’Outaouais (Gatineau) (also rents handguns)

– Alymer Rod & Gun Club

– Club de Tir de Montreal

– Centre de tir Granby

More Archery and shooting ranges (Eastern Ontario)

Shooting Organizations

CSSA Canadian Shooting Sports Association (This is for Insurance and legal assistance)
CCFR (also provides insurance and legal assistance)

NFA National Firearms Association

– Shooting Federation of Canada

CUSF Canadian University Shooting Federation

– Canadian Trapshooting Association

– International Practical Shooting Confederation Canada

Canadian Firearms Laws/Discussion

Some firearm businesses with good reputations

Local shops:

Used Firearms


An excellent gunsmith here in Ottawa:

Jason Spencer is a very talented gunsmith who can fix anything. He also has many very good used firearms on consignment. Best to contact in person or by phone:

190 Colonnade Rd, Nepean, ON K2E 7J5
(613) 224-6266

Contact info for the FSESO (lost course reports)

The FSESO is who to contact about your paperwork if it’s taking a long time (longer than 6 weeks):

The Firearms Safety Education Service of Ontario
3 Progress Dr. Unit 2,
Orillia, ON L3V 0T7
1-877-322-2345 x101

Your exam results should arrive by mail within 6 weeks. 4 to 6 weeks is the FSESO service standard so do not contact them if 6 weeks have not passed.

Note that no safety training exam results are sent to the CFO of Ontario, so please do not call the CFO for the status of your exam results.


After you have sent in your PAL application package with your course results to the Canadian Firearm Program (CFP), you can check on the status of your PAL application by contacting the Canadian Firearms Program (CFP):

  1. Call the RCMP Canadian Firearm’s Program (CFP) at 1-800-731-4000, or
  2. Check on the status using their ONLINE service: 

Note: The CFP phone lines are very busy. It will likely take a long wait, and you may even get disconnected and have to try again. Be patient – it is worth it to speak to a person, especially if your application is taking longer than expected. Put the call on speaker phone and have something to do while you wait. (Some students are contacting their Member of Parliament to address the problems with contacting the CFP by phone – perhaps if enough people complain, it will eventually get fixed).

For more info on the application process

We hope that you decide to join a local club and take it to the next level, it really is the best way to hone and maintain your skills!

Entertaining firearms related online content

Interesting YouTube content (Canadian)

Popular YouTube content (USA):

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