Selling Firearms by Auction in Alberta - Cody Hayes


Selling Firearms By Auction in Alberta – Cody Hayes

One of our primary mandates for the Auctioneers Association of Alberta in 2016 (and beyond) is to really focus on professionalism and what that looks like in the day to day operations of our businesses. It has been brought to my attention that there may be some confusion as to what the proper regulations are for selling firearms by auction in Alberta. As an attempt to hold our Association to the highest level of professionalism and accountability, I spoke with the Chief Firearms Office (CFO) to find out exactly what is required of our members in order to be considered legally selling firearms by auction.

The following is the result of said conversation and should act as a blueprint for any auction company that wishes to sell firearms in Alberta.


  • In order to sell firearms in the province of Alberta, whether they are Non-Restricted, Restricted, or Prohibited, the auction company MUST possess a valid Business Firearms License. This process, while not difficult, is extensive and does require businesses to satisfy many conditions. Examples of these conditions are:
    1.   a.  All employees who handle firearms must have a valid Possession and Acquisition License (PAL). If the business is licensed to handle Restricted or Prohibited firearms, then the employees are required to hold the same valid PAL in order to handle them.
  2.   b.  The business must pass inspection for safe storage of firearms and ammo that includes, but is not limited to; a separate Electronic Security System, locks on all cabinets and windows, separate storage for Ammo and more, depending on the scope of the business license.
  4.   c.  There is a fee required with the application that varies depending on the scope of the business license.
  6.   d.  And other requirements such as sending in copies of your business license, etc. [1]

2)  When the auction company is conducting the firearm auction, all firearms must be sold in accordance to proper storage, display and handling regulations of firearms, ammo and other weapons. [2]

3)  Auction companies that sell firearms in the province of Alberta must verify that the buyers are in possession of both a valid and appropriate PAL. 

  a.  For Non-Restricted firearms, simply verifying the PAL is enough; though recording the buyer’s PAL is something that is recommended as part of best business practices. 

  b.  For Restricted or Prohibited firearms, the auction company must initiate the Transfer Notification process with the CFO (Chief Firearms Office in Mirimichi, NB). The auction company cannot release the firearm until the Transfer Notification process is completed and the buyer is able to show their copy of the Transfer Notification. (Note: this process may take 1 day or upwards of 8 weeks depending on the buyer and whether they have all the requirements in order to own and possess the firearm.)

  b. i.  Each Restricted or Prohibited transaction must be recorded in the Firearm Register for Businesses Log Book. At any time, the auction company should be able to produce the information contained within the log book (IE. Serial Number, Model, Calibre, Buyer’s PAL number, Firearm Registration Certificate Number, etc.)

  b. ii.  As with all customer information, any recorded or photocopied PAL information must be kept in strict accordance with current FOIP Act Regulations. [3]

c.  When the buyer of a firearm comes to pick up the firearm they purchased, they must adhere to the rules and regulations of properly handling and transporting firearms (IE. Needing a locked box for restricted or prohibited firearms, trigger locks, etc.)[4]

Again, this is just an overview of the main points on selling firearms in Alberta. As the Association continues to advocate for the highest levels of professionalism within its membership, it is important to understand the steps that are required by law to sell firearms so that we all may adhere to the same rules and regulations that not only the law requires, but also of what our customers expect. Wishing a prosperous and exciting 2017 to each of you!

Cody Hayes

If you have any questions or comments regarding this article, do not hesitate to contact me directly at 403.669.1109.

[1]  It is important to note here that these are highlights of the process a business must go through to be approved for a Business Firearms License. There are additional requirements that must be satisfied before a business is licensed and these can be found on the Business Firearms License Application, which may be obtained by contacting the CFO directly at 1-800-731-4000.

[2]  This information can be found on the government website: This information may also be obtained by calling the CFO at 1-800-731-4000. [3]  Freedom of Information Protection of Privacy. 

[4]  This information may also be explained in further detail by contacting the CFO directly at 1-800-731-4000.

Emily B