32. Firearms: PAL Licences

For the purposes of the EAS General Safety course – the active web-link for the University On-line Policies and Procedures is not supplied. The active web-links are located under the “Field Safety/Firearms” section on the EAS Safety Page.

The University of Alberta has created a Firearms Policy, a Firearms Maintenance Procedure, a Firearms Issuance/Approval Procedures, a Firearms & Ammunition Procedure and a Firearms Incident Reporting Procedure as of May 31, 2004. You must familiarize yourself with these policies BEFORE considering the purchase or usage of a firearm while conducting research in the field. Compliance is mandatory.

All U of A personnel must also comply with Canadian Firearms Act. Go to their website to reveiw the Federal Regualtions regarding firearms. (http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/F-11.6/index.html)

All personnel who carry an unrestricted firearm require a Possessions and Acquisition Licence – known as a PAL Licence.

Restricted weapons, i.e. handguns, require a separate Restricted PAL Licence. Handguns cannot be used for field work unless you obtain a special permit to carry restricted weapons.

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:  www.aheia.com

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.