What To Expect When You Get Your Possession And Acquisition License

Posted on: 25 June 2015

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Getting your Possession and Acquisition License (PAL) certifies you have the knowledge about firearm laws and firearm handling safety. Operating and handling firearms is a responsibility you should take seriously to prevent any firearm accidents, and the Canadian Firearms Safety Course can teach you what you need to know. Here are some basic requirements to get your PAL and a few firearm safety tips you will need to know to pass the PAL tests. 

Requirements to Get Your License

To qualify for a Possession and Acquisition License you need to demonstrate you have knowledge of firearm laws and how to safely handle and operate firearms. If you are under age 18, you need to take a Canadian Firearms Safety Course (CFSC) and pass the written test and practical test with an 80 percent score or better. 

If you are 18 year of age or older, you can forego the Canadian Firearms Safety Course and take the written and practical tests if you feel you already have the knowledge. If you do not pass these tests with 80 percent or better, you should take the CFSC, then retake the tests again. There is no time limit during the testing, so you can take as much time as you need to confidently complete it.

Know the Vital Four A-C-T-S

During the Canadian Firearms Safety Course, you will learn about the vital four ACTS of firearm safety. These ACTS help you to remain safe while you are handling and using firearms. Any time an accident occurs with a firearm, it was most likely because the individual was not following the ACTS.

  • Assume every firearm is loaded. You don't want to run the risk that a firearm is loaded when you think it is not, so this is a smart mentality to have to keep you and others around you safe from an accidental discharge.
  • Control the muzzle direction at all times. When you are holding a firearm, always determine the safest direction to point the muzzle, just in case the firearm goes off. Then, keep the firearm's muzzle pointed in this safe direction. Never point the muzzle at yourself or another person.
  • Trigger finger must be kept off the trigger and out of the trigger guard. When you pick up a firearm, resist the urge to put your finger on or next to the trigger. Because this is a quick way for an accidental discharge to happen, keep your fingers around the grip or barrel.
  • See that the firearm is unloaded and prove it is safe. Whenever you handle a firearm, always check that the chamber and magazine are empty of ammunition. Then, you know you can safely handle the firearm when you see it is unloaded. Develop the habit of only accepting and handling firearms that are open and unloaded.

How to Handle Ammunition Misfires 

It is important that you learn and know the correct ammunition to use in your firearm to avoid a misfire, but sometimes misfires happen even when you use the right ammunition. A basic type of misfire is when the cartridge does not fire and remains in your firearm. It is important you don't reuse misfired ammunition because it can cause an injury.

A hangfire is a delayed fire when the pin strikes the primer and not enough flame is created to ignite the powder. In this situation, the ammunition will fire from the muzzle unexpectedly, which is why you should always determine a safe direction at which to point your muzzle. Wait 60 seconds before you remove the cartridge from the chamber, because the cartridge can rupture and injure you. 

A primer pop can happen when the cartridge doesn't have any gunpowder to fire the ammunition. The cartridge may remain in the barrel because it does not have enough force to push it out. You can recognize this occurrence as the firearm won't have the usual noise or recoil. It is important to remove the bullet from your firearm after waiting 60 seconds. This will ensure another bullet does not cause injury when you fire it.

This information will help you to prepare for and take your PAL tests.