How to Become a Professional Firearm Collector

Are you looking to go from one gun to a whole gun collection? Or maybe you’d like to start collecting firearms professionally?

No matter the reason, owning a professional firearm collection can be a source of pride and joy for many. Just like collecting hockey cards as a kid, it can be incredibly exciting when you finally hunt down a super rare piece!

But before you start buying up all kinds of firearms to add to your collection, you need to make sure you’re doing it legally.

Confirm That You Have a Valid Licence

First things first! If you want to acquire firearms for a collection (other than antiques which require no licence), you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) for the class or classes of firearms you’re collecting.

The three classes of firearms are:

  • Non-Restricted (Ordinary Rifles and Shotguns)
  • Restricted
  • Prohibited

To ensure your firearm collection is legal, you must always keep your PAL current by renewing it before it expires. Renewing a firearms licence is also important to preserve any grandfathering privileges you may have for your prohibited firearms.

Make Sure You Have the Proper Registration Certificate

Once you’re all set with a valid PAL, you’ll need to confirm that each restricted or prohibited firearm in your collection has a valid registration certificate.

Your firearms licence is required for you to register a firearm, as well as to be able to possess or acquire a restricted or prohibited firearm for collection purposes. What’s more, when you’re registering a firearm for collection purposes, you’ll need to know the historical, scientific, and technical features of each piece.

The Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) of your province or territory is in charge of deciding whether you’re eligible to have a firearm for a collection when you apply to register it.

It is important to note that a registration certificate issued under the former law (before December 1, 1998) is no longer valid. If you happen to possess a restricted or prohibited firearm that has not yet been registered, or any restricted or prohibited firearms that were registered under the former law but not re-registered under the Firearms Act, then you’re currently in illegal possession of those firearms.

To minimize the risk of penalties, take immediate steps to register these firearms or dispose of them lawfully – for example, you can bring them to GTA Guns where we can auction them off for you legally! This way, you won’t be in trouble with the law, and you’ll also receive the cash value of what your firearm is worth.

Be Aware of Inspections

The Firearms Act also states that periodic inspections of firearms collections may occur. The primary purpose of this inspection is to ensure that all firearms in a collection can be accounted for and that they are stored safely, following the rules of the Storage, Display, and Transportation of Firearms and Other Weapons by Individuals Regulations.

Don’t worry; an inspector must give reasonable notice and obtain consent or a warrant before coming to inspect your firearm collection in residence.

Determine What Kind of Collection You’d Like to Have

So now that we have the technical requirements of becoming a professional firearm collector, what else do you need to know?

Well, it’s a good idea to know what interests you and what sort of gun collection you’d like to have.

For instance, some professional firearm collectors collect historical pieces while others prefer to have a collection that fills different shooting niches.

There are five factors that collectors tend to look for, and which help ascertain the value of collectible guns:

  • Rarity
  • History
  • Art
  • Make and Model
  • Condition

Which factor is most important depends on your taste and the type of collection you’d like to own.

Specialization Vs. Broad Collections

Some collectors pick a specialization, opting to collect a particular type, make, or model of firearm. One advantage to becoming a specialized collector who concentrates their efforts on specific types of firearms is that you’ll be able to develop a level of expertise that will enable you to make smart purchases with an understanding of the market value of each item.

It’s also important to recognize that more generalized gun collecting can be a worthwhile pursuit. An eclectic firearm collection that houses many types and eras of guns can be more interesting to a broader audience as opposed to a tightly focused group. This can also make it easier to eventually sell your firearm collection at a better price than a specialized grouping that appeals to a limited part of the gun-buying market.

GTA Guns Auctions Can Help

Once you have a valid gun licence and an idea of the type of collection you’d like to own, come on down to GTA Guns or visit our online auctions to start adding the perfect pieces to your collection.

GTA Guns auctions feature collectible, working, and curio guns that are perfect for any professional collector. We also offer one-of-a-kind guarantees to make sure the firearm you purchase meet all your expectations. Plus, we handle all of the paperwork for a hassle-free, streamlined buying experience.

We even have secure storage facilities if you’d like peace-of-mind knowing your firearm collection is being stored safely in an optimal, controlled environment.

So don’t hesitate to call us today to find out how we can help you get your professional gun collection started!


January 8th, 2019

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