The Department of Earth & Atmospheric Science is a field research intense depart­ment and many of our Researchers and Students have a need for carrying non-restricted firearms in the field.

All University personnel, when on university business, must comply with the Government of Canada; Firearm Act, (1995), and the University’s Firearms Policy, Firearms Maintenance Procedure, Firearms Issuance/Approval Procedures, Firearms & Ammunition Procedure and Firearms Incident Reporting Procedure, May 31, 2004. You must familiarize yourself with the U of A policies BEFORE considering the purchase or usage of a firearm before/while conducting research in the field.

Highlights of University Policies:

  • The policies apply to University owned and Personal firearms used for University business.
  • Approval by the Chair/Dean/Director of Protective Services is required for the acquisition/disposal and use of firearms
  • Ammunition consistent with the type of firearm must be purchased; no hand-loaded ammunition may be used.
  • Unspent ammunition must be given to Protective Services for storage, etc.
  • An incident report must be filed with Protective Services whenever the firearm has been discharged, lost or stolen or when firearm safety procedure has been violated
  • All firearms purchased from University funds or Grants held by Researchers must be stored at Protective Services.  You are responsible to understand the concepts of the University’s Policies and Procedures and to comply.

The following web-links are provided:

University of Alberta – Policies and Procedures Online:


Possession & Acquisition Licence (PAL Licence)

If you need to carry a firearm when you are out in the field, you will need to get your Possessions & Acquisition Licence or PAL licence. You will need to take a course from a certified Firearms Instructor. The course and the application for the PAL Licence must be done well in advance of field season. In order to get a firearms licence, the police will run a background and securities check on you; this can take up to 6 months. Therefore, if you are intending on doing field research next summer, take a PAL course in the fall.

There are several places in Edmonton you can go to take such a course.

The Alberta Hunter Education Instructor’s Association; Edmonton Conservation Education Centre for Excellence offers both the Non-Restricted and Restricted courses.  They are located at #88, 4003-98 St. Edmonton, AB.   Phone:  (780) 466-6682.  Please check their website for available courses:

Phoenix Gun Club: phone number 780-466-0307, 4706-76 Avenue, Edmonton. The Gun Club offers both the non-restricted and restricted weapons courses- on separate weekends. You will need to contact the Phoenix Gun Club yourself to see when they are offering PAL courses.

Foreign students are advised to take the PAL course and apply for the licence in the fall before field season. A background check, which can take up to 6 months for Canadian Citizens, is often much longer if you are a non-Canadian.