Firearms: PAL Licences

Using Firearms for Field Work

Before using firearms in the field it is mandatory that you:

  1. Take a Canadian Firearms Safety Course
  2. Apply for your Possession and Acquisition License (PAL) for the type of weapon you will be carrying; e.g. Restricted versus Non-Restricted
  3. Read through the Field Research Office: Firearms website
  4. Read the universities firearms policies
  5. If using departmental firearms and you must get approval from the Dean of Science or Unit Director and Protective Services
  6. If using personal firearms you must get approval from Protective Services
  7. Contact the Field Research Office for advice if you are using firearms in a different country

All U of A personnel must also comply with Canadian Firearms Act

Possession & Acquisition License (PAL License)

If you need to carry a firearm when you are out in the field, you will need to get your (Non-)Restricted Possessions & Acquisition License (PAL). You will need to take a course from a certified firearms instructor. The course and the application for the PAL License must be done well in advance of field season. If you are doing field work in the summer it is recommend you start the process in the fall. Getting your PAL license requires getting a background check which can take up to 6 months or even longer if you are an international student.

Non-restricted PALs: Allows you to use and carry non-restricted firearms such as shotguns and rifles

Restricted PALs: Allows you to use and carry restricted firearms such as revolvers and handguns

Canadian Firearms Safety Course Instructors

The Alberta Hunter Education Instructor’s Association

  • Address: #88, 4003-98 St. Edmonton, AB
  • Phone:  (780) 466-6682.
  • Website:

Phoenix Gun Club