Gold Prospecting Forums - General => General Gold Prospecting Forum => Topic started by: coastalguy on July 10, 2007, 01:06:27 PM

Title: Firearms for prospectors
Post by: coastalguy on July 10, 2007, 01:06:27 PM
I had heard that prospectors are allowed to carry a sidearm into the bush in BC but that a prospector's license is required.  Is this true and secondly where does one apply for a prospector license for British Columbia (not because I require a sidearm) but would like to move into this field as a vocation.

Title: Re: License
Post by: mikeprospecting on July 11, 2007, 07:54:58 AM
Free miners certificate can be purchased from the gold commissioner. I never heard of anybody being able to pack a hand gun around this country for any reason, not without a huge amount of red tape. The permits required to transport from home to range is enough to make most enthusiasts give it up.
A quick call to the Gold commissioner should answer your questions, I personally have been going into the bush unarmed, for 25 years, who needs the extra weight. If your not a canadian citizen, you can probably forget it.
Title: Re: License
Post by: Tolly26 on July 11, 2007, 12:04:59 PM
Sorry Gary - a Free Miner's Certificate does not entitle you to carry a firearm I'm afraid. 

Regards, Don
Title: Re: License
Post by: coastalguy on July 13, 2007, 10:53:23 AM
Thanks MikeProspecting and Tolly (...Tolly refer to cruising boat?)....  I am in Grizz country and frequently in the coastal wilderness of Vancouver Island.  Last bear experience I had was being stalked in Algonquin Park with my brother by a big blackie few years back.  But like yourself have never gone armed into the bush but now that I am get older the thought has crossed my mind. 

In fact, I am relieved we have the controls on hand guns we have in Canada.

Keep well all...
Title: Re: License
Post by: mikeprospecting on July 13, 2007, 03:10:51 PM
hi coastal guy

Those encounters in ontario are different, I think those black fella's there are a little more assertive where humans are concerned, especially in the park. I think you would be better off worrying about cougars on the island. Lost a dog, too a young male, half starved, out in sooke a few years back. There everywhere and usually aggressive. The young hungry ones,anyway.

Find a partener who's not quite as fast on his feet.

Good luck

Title: Re: License
Post by: SnowSpider on July 13, 2007, 07:31:30 PM
I use to be a Range officer at a gun Range and had my  restricted weapons lic   for hand guns  and yes the BS you need to go thru is amazing just to convey from the house to the range thats why I gave it up myself  But if you have a FAC I know here in alberta you can carry a shot gun  and let me tell you from experience a pump 12 with 1 1/2 oz Poly slugs 3 inch magnum  will def make a Bear of any size stop a final charge if your cool while firing... Im a bow hunter and always have one on my back just in case... and in AB you dont need a lic to hunt Rabbits any time of year   there ya go protection and a good feed if ya catch Bugs

Title: Re: License
Post by: GPEX admin on July 17, 2007, 12:32:52 AM
Hi Gary.... and all...

Per the side-arm factor, yes, I do know for a fact that as a Free Miner or Geologist, you can carry a handgun during prospecting, provided you are permitted.  There "may" be a stipulation that prospecting is the main source of your livelihood... of that I am not certain.  However, the holding of a FMC, does not include such right to carry.

Title: Re: License
Post by: willy on September 08, 2007, 01:19:31 AM
 There's a simple solution... BEAR SPRAY!! $35 and no permit required. Up in Ak., I carried a 12 gauge pump and it was a 'bear' to haul around. Now I've got a can of bear spray secured in my chest pocket; ready to rock 'n roll in a split second. Having travelled down south a lot, I can say that a gun makes some people plumb crazy. There was this one guy that was scared of a snake and was blowing .44 rounds at it till he ran dry; he missed. The easy thing to do was walk away. Thing is, when you think like a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail. ..Willy.
Title: Firearms for prospectors
Post by: Golddigger on March 03, 2008, 03:00:49 PM
What are the current Canadian laws concerning carrying firearms for licensed prospectors for self defense against large predators?

I am interested in BC but any info would be nice. Thanx.

Title: Re: Firearms for prospectors
Post by: minkos61 on March 03, 2008, 04:56:10 PM
Golddiger of coarse no hand guns but as long as you have your P.A.L or P.O.L. you can pack your riffle or shotgun with you.

Title: Re: Firearms for prospectors
Post by: SnowSpider on March 03, 2008, 08:12:21 PM
Well the law of the land states that you must have a Fac and a permit to convey to and from a registered gun range that your a member of here in Alberta for a side arm...  but on the safety side one must follow the letter of the law to its fullest  thats why I DO NOT carry a 357 colt python with 158 grain hollow points with me when i go up into the mountains of alberta in Grizzly country The penalty for not carring such a side arm in the backwoods far out weighs the cost of losing a family member or having one to Identify me after i had to take on a large carnivoure with a stick or a knife . Do the research and get the lic for a long gun such as a 12 guage  with poly cor slugs Im a bow hunter and acually go after the big game with a sharp stick  but when your bent over a gold pan you dont hear nothing but the water a can of bear spray may be more on the legal side and save you and your familys life

Title: Re: Firearms for prospectors
Post by: shiver on March 03, 2008, 11:59:14 PM
I've merged the above 2 threads due to topic relevancy

Title: Re: Firearms for prospectors
Post by: Camman133 on March 04, 2008, 04:36:11 PM
i have heard of this before, im not sure if you can stll get a prospectors licence
Title: Re: Firearms for prospectors
Post by: Feldwebel Wolfenstool on March 30, 2008, 07:41:05 AM
In Ontario, prospectors can carry a hogleg.  First, visit your local constabulary, and apply for a restricted weapons permit.  If successful, then you must take the Wilderness Handgun Course.  Of course, this only allows you to pack in wilferness areas.  The gun can't be concealed, so get an air-force style holster...any time a C.O. or Bull shows up, in the bush, you immediately have to hand him your piece.
Title: The Latest on Sidearms
Post by: GPEX admin on April 08, 2008, 12:35:43 AM
Among the many agendas of the day was trying to track down a voice of authority on the carrying of sidearms for prospecting purposes.  In conclusion, the following is a partial printing of the applicable site, along with the site's link for further viewing.

Of course, anyone carrying a firearm in Canada needs to be permitted, and being able to carry a sidearm is not applicable to everyone who has a FMC or does prospecting.  The handgun also needs to be registered and permitted.  Fully explained, within...... other clickable links as well, including a fill-in application form.

Link: Using a Firearm for Wilderness Protection (

Using a Firearm for Wilderness Protection

If you wish to use a firearm for protection against animal predators in wilderness areas, here is some information you should know.

Note: This information applies only to the rules under the Firearms Act. Other laws and regulations may apply. For example:

National Parks Regulations generally restrict the use of firearms in national parks.
There may be provincial regulations or municipal bylaws that restrict the use of firearms in a particular area.
Provinces may have restrictions on firearms usage outside hunting season to prevent poaching.
Standard provisions in the Aeronautics Act that apply to people who pilot an aircraft in wilderness areas continue to apply.
The Firearms Act does not apply to devices that were designed exclusively to shoot flares and intended to be used exclusively for that purpose by the person in possession of them.

Classes of Firearms
As a general rule, the only firearms allowed for wilderness protection are non-restricted rifles and shotguns.

Only the following individuals are allowed to carry a handgun or restricted long gun for wilderness protection:

professional, licensed trappers, and
people who need protection from wild animals while working at their lawful occupation in a remote wilderness area.
Licence and Registration Requirements
All firearm owners and users need a valid firearms licence and all firearms must be registered. When you are in possession of a firearm, you need to be able to show your licence and registration certificate to a peace officer, which may include some wildlife conservation officers, on demand. There is an amnesty until May 17, 2008 which may protect Canadian residents from penalties under the Criminal Code for possessing a non-restricted rifle or shotgun without a valid licence or registration certificate in certain circumstances.
Firearms Licences
If you are a Canadian resident aged 18 or older and you do not have a licence, or your licence has expired, the only licence currently available you is the Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL).

If you are a non-resident aged 18 and older, you may also apply for a PAL. Alternatively, a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration that has been confirmed by a customs officer has the same effect as a temporary licence.

If you are between the ages of 12 and 17, you can apply for a Minorís Licence, which will allow you to borrow a non-restricted firearm. Call your Chief Firearms Officer at 1 800 731-4000 to get an application form.

To be eligible for a PAL or Minorís Licence, you must meet specific safety-training requirements.

Firearms Registration
You must be at least 18 years old and have a valid licence to be able to register your firearms. You also need to have your firearms verified by an approved verifier before you register them. For help to verify your firearms, call 1 800 731-4000 (Canada and the U.S.) or 1 506 624-5380 (outside Canada and the U.S.).

To register a firearm, you can apply online or submit a paper application (form CAFC 998).

A Non-Resident Firearms Declaration that has been confirmed by a customs officer has the effect of a temporary registration certificate for firearms brought into Canada.

If you borrow a firearm that is registered to someone else, you must also borrow the registration certificate.

The initial fee for a PAL is $60 for non-restricted firearms only, or $80 for any combination of non-restricted, restricted and prohibited firearms

A Minorís Licence costs $10 for up to one year, $20 for up to two years, or $30 for more than two years.

Exceptions :

If you need to hunt or trap in order to sustain yourself or your family, you may not be required to pay a fee for a licence to possess non-restricted firearms.

The fee to renew a POL, PAL or MinorísLicence is waived until May 17, 2008. However, once you turn 18 and apply for your first PAL, you would have to pay the $60 or $80 fee, depending on licence privileges.

There are no fees to register or transfer a firearm.

Carrying Handguns
To be able to carry a handgun or restricted long gun for a lawful occupational purpose, you must be a Canadian resident and you must obtain an Authorization to Carry from the Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) of the province where you will be using the firearm. To apply, complete form CAFC 680, Application for Authorization to Carry Restricted Firearms and Prohibited Handguns and submit it to the applicable CFO. You may contact any of the CFOs by calling 1 800 731-4000.

Safe Transportation
If you leave a firearm in an unattended vehicle, you must lock it in the trunk or in a similar lockable compartment, or put it out of sight inside the locked vehicle. The firearm must be unloaded.


In a remote wilderness area, if your vehicle does not have any place in which to lock the firearm, a firearm may be left unattended if:

the firearm is non-restricted; and
it has been made inoperable by means of a secure locking device (unless you need the firearm for predator control); and
it is put out of sight.
Safe Storage
All firearms must be unloaded for storage.

Ordinarily, non-restricted firearms must either be made inoperable or locked in a sturdy cabinet, container or room that cannot easily be broken into. The ammunition must be kept separate unless it is locked up.

However, in a remote wilderness area, non-restricted firearms do not have to be made inoperable or locked up. They must be unloaded, but the ammunition can be kept handy.

Additional requirements apply to the safe storage and transportation of restricted and prohibited firearms.

For more information, contact us.

This fact sheet is intended to provide general information only. For legal references, please refer to the Firearms Act and its regulations.

Provincial, territorial and municipal laws, regulations and policies may also apply.