At the federal level, firearms are regulated primarily by the Firearms Act and by Part III of the Criminal Code. The Firearms Act and its supporting regulations set out the rules for possessing a firearm. The Criminal Code and its supporting regulations identify the various firearms, weapons and devices regulated by the Firearms Act.

Both the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act contain offences and penalties for illegal possession or misuse of a firearm. For example, a person who has failed to register a restricted or prohibited firearm or who has used a firearm to commit a crime could be charged under the Criminal Code.

Provinces, territories or municipalities may have additional laws and regulations that apply in their jurisdiction. For example, provinces are responsible for regulating hunting. They may put restrictions on where hunting can take place and on the caliber or gauge of firearms that may be used for hunting particular game.