Non-Restricted ACRs Coming To Canada reports that a Bushmaster ACR-DMR is arriving to Canada and will be available as a non-restricted firearm. Canada requires its citizens to obtain a PAL (Possession and Acquisition License) to legally own firearms. It requires a mandatory two day safety class with a written exam. Then they can apply for a PAL. There are three classifications for firearms:

Non-restricted firearm:  any rifle or shotgun that is neither restricted nor prohibited. Most common long guns are non-restricted, but there are exceptions.

Restricted firearm* means:

  1. a handgun that is not a prohibited firearm,
  2. a firearm that
    • is not a prohibited firearm,
    • has a barrel less than 470 mm in length, and
    • is capable of discharging centre-fire ammunition in a semi-automatic  manner,
  3. a firearm that is designed or adapted to be fired when reduced to a length of less than 660 mm by folding, telescoping or otherwise, or
  4. a firearm of any other kind that is prescribed to be a restricted firearm in the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited or Restricted.

Prohibited firearm* means:

  1. a handgun that
    • has a barrel equal to or less than 105 mm in length, or
    • is designed or adapted to discharge a 25 or 32 calibre cartridge, but does not include any such handgun that is prescribed, where the handgun is for use in international sporting competitions governed by the rules of the International Shooting Union,
  2. a firearm that is adapted from a rifle or shotgun, whether by sawing, cutting or any other alteration, and that, as so adapted,
    • is less than 660 mm in length, or
    • is 660 mm or greater in length and has a barrel less than 457 mm in length,
  3. an automatic firearm, whether or not it has been altered to discharge only one projectile with one pressure of the trigger, or
  4. any firearm that is prescribed to be a prohibited firearm in the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles as Prohibited or Restricted.


Since the ACR-DMR will be made to be classified as Non-Restricted it is much easier to obtain for citizens in Canada. The only problem is the price. They will be sold for $3,400 CAD.

A few years ago Bushmaster and its Canadian representatives, Gravel Agency, promised the pending arrival of the Bushmaster ACR DMR; a factory longer-barreled version of the Adaptive Combat Rifle that would enter Canada as a non-restricted rifle.

Unfortunately, due to large volumes of military production orders and a relatively lukewarm reception in the US (largely due to the popularity of the FN SCAR and AR-15), the Bushmaster’s ACR lineup floundered and production run after production run of the DMR-format model were cancelled. This left Canadians with the sole option of finding and equipping their restricted-due-to-barrel-length ACR’s with aftermarket 18.5” barrel assemblies.

However, we learned today that Bushmaster has finally produced a contingent of ACR DMR rifles, and will be shipping them to Canada. As of right now, the first batch has been manufactured, and is expected to arrive in Canada on November 4, 2016. And the price? Well… if you want one, you’ll need to shell out somewhere around $3,400 to get one, so they aren’t cheap. But nonetheless, these rifles will be available in limited quantities, and we expect they won’t last long on retailer’s shelves.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at


  • AD

    Am I reading this right? .25 and .32 calibre handguns are prohibited? So that means .22 and .355 (9mm) handguns are fine, and even something like a .30 (like a TC in .308 or something) would be fine, just not those two specific calibres? I’m very curious about the reasons for this.

    • Gus Butts

      It dates from a long time ago because a lot of pocket handguns are chambered in these calibers. I guess they decided it was easier to prohibit entire calibers.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Ya. Same with the 104mm barrel length rules. Don’t want your hanguns to be less powerful now, that would be dangerous!

        • iksnilol

          Well it would since it’d be easier to hide on your body.

          Be honest now, if you were to kill somebody. Would you CC a small .32 or a big .357 to do the job?

          • Gus Butts

            If I wanted to really, really kill someone? The .357 magnum, of course!

          • iksnilol

            Yeeah, but which is more likely to be seen and get you caught by 5-0 before you can take out your target ?

          • Anonymoose

            .357 Mags are b& in Australia, “because Dirty Harry” or some BS. Of course you can have .357SIGs and cowboy guns in .44 and .45, even though the SIG is basically the same ballistically and most guns hold more SIGs than anything does Magnums.

          • Kefefs

            If the law was really aimed at prohibiting concealable handguns, like they claim, they would have restricted overall length, not barrel length.

            All they did by outlawing handguns with barrels shorter than 4.14″ was get rid of most common pistols and revolvers, of which 4″ is the most common barrel length.

          • iksnilol

            Well, prohibiting handguns in general does mean prohibiting concealable ones, right ? 😉

      • Kefefs

        The whole “we’re banning .25 and .32 to get rid of pocket pistols” justification was a load of crap, just like the barrel length restrictions.

        All they had to do was restrict overall length, and bam, pocket pistols are gone. Even with the inane 4.14″ barrel length minimum, pocket pistols would have already been covered. All banning .25 and .32 did was remove what would otherwise be perfectly legal long-barreled pistols from Canadian shooters’ collections.

        • nick

          its hard to get laws off the books once written here, the handgun laws date back to the early 1930’s , so that may have a bearing as to why these were specified

    • Wetcoaster

      We’re only scared of small guns up here

      • Just say’n

        Hey hoser, Is that a small gun in your pocket or are you just sorta’ happy to see me – eh?

    • Joshua

      as I understand the law and the history behind it, it was intended to target gang members without being seen to be targeting them, as I understand the law, it’s the same reason why switchblades and brass knuckles are prohibited.

      At the time the laws were passed we had some issues with gangs and gang violence, and in a bid to curb the violence the most commonly encountered weapons for the combatants were prohibited, this being small “saturday night special” type pistols: which were most commonly in .25 or .32 calibre, and almost always had barrels of 4″ or less. The result was an interruption of the supply of cheap arms for criminals, and allowed police to tack on additional charges to arrested criminals.

      Did it work? that’s a great topic for a Canadian gang violence historian’s dissertation. unfortunately I am not such a person.

  • Gus Butts

    I am fairly certain that most ACRs in the country here have aftermarket 18.6″ barrels with non-restricted status already. This usually means shelling out hundreds and hundreds of dollars more to turn your newly acquired restricted ACR into a NR long gun but the NR status is the selling point for many shooters and getting the conversion is done is easy (albeit costly). Having an actual non-restricted ACR-DMR straight from the factory will mean that the ACR sales will go way up now that people do not need to pay $500 to get a new barrel fitted. This means even more firearms in people’s hands.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Which is great, it’s just funny to me that they’re looking to canada and not even pretending to try and market the gun in the USA anymore let alone improve it.

  • RSG

    I guess if you have money to burn, the ACR would be fine, but for that price, why would anyone make that purchase over a NR Tavor in Canada. If I was looking for a fighting rifle there, that would be my first choice.

    • Anonymoose

      Well, you’ve got an adjustable stock, familiar conventional layout, bipodability, and it can be switched to other calibers fairly easily with AR15 barrels (assuming one has all the tack for an ACR barrel and a stripped carbine-gassed AR barrel; bolt heads and trigger groups on the ACR are shared with the AR15).

    • AHill

      Not a fan of Tavors or bullpups in general. I actually sold my T97 to buy an SU16FX, all for the conventional layout. Bullpups are overrated in my personal opinion and preferred use. They do have their place and I probably will buy another T97 (this time in flattop) but I am not a fan.

  • Daniel

    Too much $$$$$$$. That’s what talked me out of it. And I waste money all the time.

  • Kefefs

    Not to mention typical Remington bottom-barrel quality control. Couldn’t the first rifles not function reliably with 5.56mm? Then there was the recall.

    Really, competition with the SCAR and AR-15 were the least of its concerns.

  • Sledgecrowbar

    “due to a relatively lukewarm reception in the US (largely due to the popularity of the FN SCAR and AR-15),”

    Actually, it was due to Freedom Group making what should have been a profitable rifle at $600, three times that. The SCAR only sells because of video game fanboys who spend twice the money on Chevy’s with Cadillac badges on them.

    No, I don’t want an updated AR for several hundred dollars more than it would cost to build a literally updated AR.

    • Nick

      This is not accurate. The ACR is a very expensive firearm to manufacture for a multitude of reasons. I will not defend their decision to not support the platform with accessories and continued development, but the gun is expensive to make.

  • Holdfast_II

    Unless things have changed in the last year, you only need a one day course to get an Unrestricted PAL. The second day gets you Restricted.

    There are a lot of advantages to having a rifle classified as Unrestricted – looser storage requirements, the ability to hunt with it, the ability to plink out in the woods and the ability to have it delivered to your door via Canada Post.