Real Life

Gun Control In Canada vs The USA

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Many do not know this, but 95% of the guns used in the United States during a mass shooting can be legally purchased in Canada. It’s that simple to acquire a gun in that part of the world, or it used to be. Although one out of every three homes has registered guns in their possession, the rate of mass shootings isn’t as close as the US.

Now to the million-dollar question, are gun laws in both countries different? Yes, they are. Read on to see how!

Differences Between Arms Regulations In The USA And CA

As we look at the differences between the legal laws binding the use of firearms in both countries – have it at the back of your mind that Canada has stricter laws than the United States. Let’s get right to it. Shall we?

Obtaining & Possessing A Gun

In CA, the use of weapons is regulated at the federal level, while the US trusts each state to draft their laws. To get a registered firearm in CA, you’ll need to obtain a possession and acquisition license, after which you then get the restricted arms license. Once you have this paperwork checked out, purchasing arms is as simple as walking into a store. However, you’d have to wait a couple of days to walk away with your rifle.

Because gun laws are federally regulated in America’s hat, it becomes mandatory that every buyer waits for the 2-week window before getting their guns. This waiting period is when the arms store processes your paperwork on your behalf while you await approval from the CFO’s office. The province’s Chief Firearms Office then approves or denies your application to obtain a rifle.

In the USA, obtaining and possessing arms only require walking into a licensed store, tender your proof of ID, fill out the details of form 4473 (Firearm Transaction Record OTC) and walk out with your rifle. With these few steps, anyone above the minimal age requirement can purchase a gun on the same day. However, with the rifle regulations in CA, it’d take more than that to acquire arms.

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Background Checks In Both Countries

The process of gun ownership in Canada is a rather long and sometimes complicated one. To ensure gun restrictions for certain citizens, there’s a meticulous background check on every applicant. Before weapons of any kind can be approved for sale to any individual, the Supreme Court has to validate their background checks. Usually, it takes a 28-day period for the background check to be completed. After which, a third-party reference and safety test is done.

In the USA, background checks aren’t always a mandated factor before the purchase of a rifle. Even when they are done in most cases, they are considered superficial, and the approval process is swift. Typically, unlike with the CA background check waiting period, there’s none for obtaining a gun or permit in the US. Sadly, some guns are purchased and can be used for shooting without licensing at all.

You must note that these laws and regulations regarding background checks and rifle permits vary from state to state across the country.

Gun Lobbies In CA And USA

Being mobile with weapons in CA is only approved for individuals who require firearms for their job. However, in the US, every citizen has their constitutional right to be mobile with arms. Gun ownership in the USA is centered around every citizen’s fundamental rights. On the other hand, while Canadian citizens do not share a strong culture around the possession of arms.

Since the US is known for such a strong arms culture, the presence of arms lobbies is also profound. Arms lobbies like the National Rifle Association channels millions of dollars into political campaigns and support systems for selected candidates during the election. Once such a candidate assumes office after the election, the NRA gets a stronger voice. Canada’s gun laws give no room for such political influence over the affairs of the nation.

Firearms Capacity & Modification Control

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In CA, a random citizen is not allowed access to a 30, 50, and 100-round capacity arm. For automatic rifles and arms, the country limits its private citizens to a 10-round capacity magazine at the very most. However, the 5-round arms are the once easily approved, and since the province’s Chief office doesn’t give their reasons for denial, citizens do not know this fact. On the other hand, these capacity limitations aren’t included in arms possession in the US.

Unlike in the US, where a private citizen can decide to modify their rifles for no reason, arms cannot be modified in CA. Canadian citizens are given the option to select arms of their choice from a limited set of options. After which upgrade and modification decisions are denied by the province’s Chief Firearms Officer. Alternatively, arms in the US can be modified from round capacity to design upgrade and so on.


Gun control in the USA varies completely from gun control in Canada. You’d expect that the US subjects its citizens to stricter arms laws than CA due to the diverse factors surrounding the economy.

However, since the federal government has little contributions to the rifle laws in each state, the state government decides what regulations suit its people. On the other hand, CA operates on the regulations from the federal government, which makes their arms regulations more stable than the US.

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