Bringing Your Firearms into Canada

How to get your Cowboy Guns into Canada


We hope you’ll find the following information and links to be helpful in bringing your Cowboy Shootin’ Irons to Canada to shoot with us next year. There are TWO basic types of paperwork you must have in order to enter Canada with firearms. The first is an “Authorization to Transport” (ATT) which will be issued to you by the RCMP Canadian Firearms Centre (CFC). The second is a completed, in triplicate, BUT NOT SIGNED form 5589/5590.


But before we go any further there are some important things you need to know about Canadian Firearms Legislation. Canadians cannot possess or acquire handguns in .25 or .32 calibre unless they have a Prohibited Possession and Acquisition license (PAL). Therefore American Cowboys and Cowgirls who have .32 calibre hand guns will NOT be able to bring them into Canada. Sorry, it doesn’t make sense and we don’t like it but it’s the law. You may bring in .25 and .32 calibre rifles, but not hand guns.


Hand guns with barrels shorter than 105mm or 4.1 inches are also prohibited and will not be allowed entry.


Form 5490e - Authorization to Transport (ATT)


Non-residents MUST get a short-term Authorization to Transport (ATT) to allow them to transport their firearms while in Canada. These ATTs will be issued by the Chief Firearms Officer for each province you wish to enter, i.e. Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. You can apply for a short-term ATT using Form 5490e. Fill in the ATT applications for each province and mail them to the relevent CFO. You will find their addresses at this link CLICK HERE.


You will be applying for an ATT under section (n): transport to and from a target shooting competition under the auspices of an approved shooting club or range. Once approved, an ATT will be issued to transport firearms within a defined area and within a defined time period. Because Canada has no Second Amendment equivalent no one can possess a firearm for self-defense so PLEASE do not even think about using that as a reason to enter Canada with your firearms. You will be refused entry.


When you register for any of the CAS events on the Great Northern Wagon Train,  the Registrars for each event will issue a "Letter of Invitation" which will contain all the information you will need to make an application for an ATT for that event. These events are the 2019 SASS Canadian National Championships “Bustup at Boomtown”, the 2019 SASS Canadian Wild Bunch Championships “North of the Border”, SAWWS “Last Gasp", SAWWS “2019 SASS Western Canadian Regional Championships", Porcupine Hills Ghost Riders' “Show Down on the Old McLeod Trail" and Victoria Frontier Shootists'  “HEADQUARTERS". For contact information for these matches click here

Great Northern Wagon Train


For fillable .pdf Forms 5490 Authorization to Transport, 5589 Non-Resident Firearm Declaration & 5590 Non-Resident Firearm Declaration Continuation Sheet CLICK HERE


Save the .pdf forms on your computer then open them in Adobe Acrobat.


You may contact the RCMP/Canadian Firearms Centre at 1-800-731-4000


Form 5589/5590 - Non-Resident Firearm Declaration & Continuation Sheet


You can get copies of these forms from the Canadian Firearms Centre (CFC) or from their website or you can click on the links below. If you phone the CFC at 1-800-731-4000 they will mail you 3-part NCR type forms. It’s faster to go to their website where you can download .pdf versions of the forms, fill them out and make copies. If you go to you can fill out a .pdf version of form 5589, then print off three copies. The form 5589 “Instructions for: Non-Resident Firearm Declaration” will capture all your relevant personal information and has space for the information about three of your firearms. If you have more than three firearms (and you do!) you will need to fill out the necessary number of form 5590s “Instructions for: Non-Resident Firearm Declaration Continuation Sheet”. Each of the 5590s has room for 4 firearms. When you’ve completed your form 5589/5590s DO NOT SIGN THEM! When you get to the Canadian Border the Border Agent must witness you signing your signature on the form 5589/5590. You will also have to pay a $25.00 fee per person (not per gun).


For fillable .pdf Forms 5490 Authorization to Transport, 5589 Non-Resident Firearm Declaration & 5590 Non-Resident Firearm Declaration Continuation Sheet CLICK HERE


Save the .pdf forms on your computer then open them in Adobe Acrobat.


You may contact the RCMP/Canadian Firearms Centre at 1-800-731-4000


The Border Agents may want to look at your firearms to verify that they are as described on your declaration so think about how you have them stowed. If you have them stowed behind a bunch of paraphernalia you will have to unload and then re-stow everything. Just make sure you are transporting them according to Canadian regulations. Scroll down to the next section for a good link to the relevant info on the RCMP/CFC website.


Storing and Transporting Firearms in Canada


For information on storing and transporting firearms in Canada go to the Storing, Transporting and Displaying Firearms page on the RCMP/CFC website. It’s pretty much common-sense; trigger locks on handguns, handguns locked in hard containers, etc.


For information on Storing & Transporting Firearms in Canada CLICK HERE


Importing Cartridge Ammunition and Powder/Primers


The Explosives Safety and Security Branch (ESSB) of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is responsible for administering the Explosives Act and regulations. No permit is required if you are bringing in less than the maximum amounts for personal use. These amounts include a maximum of 5000 rounds of small arms ammunition (under .50 calibre) and 5000 percussion caps and 8 kg. of black powder and 8 kg. of smokeless powder. Go to the NRCan website for more specific details. Store your ammo in appropriate containers.


It is recommended that you print off this page from the NRCan site and have it available when you get to the border. The Canadian Border Services Agency has very few of its own rules but it does enforce the laws and regulations of all the rest of the Federal and Provincial Government  departments. That’s a whole lot of laws. Some Agents may not be fully conversant with the Explosives Act so be kind and give them a break.


For information about Importing and Transporting-in- Transit Explosives & Ammunition CLICK HERE


To Summarize


You must already have your ATT before you get to the border in order to begin your travels in Canada. You won’t be allowed in with your firearms without it. The application process involves a bit of red tape and dealing with the bureaucratic mindset so the sooner you start the process the better.


You MUST make your Firearms Declaration as soon as you get to the kiosk. “Good morning, here is my passport and I am making a Firearms Declaration” The Border Agents will take it from there.


Fill out Forms 5589 and 5890 in triplicate. DO NOT sign them until you are standing in front of a Canadian Border Services Agent. He/she MUST witness your signature and then you will pay the $25.00 fee.


Store and transport your firearms and ammunition in compliance with Canadian regulations.


Stow your firearms and ammunition so they will be easy to access for inspection before you get to the border. You don’t want to have to empty out the RV so the Border Agent can verify them.


See you at the Range!


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