The Road to RPAL, Part 1

The Road to RPAL, Part 1

I decided that this was the year I was going to get my Restricted PAL, using my income tax refund. This is sort of a complicated and expensive process in Canada, so the first thing I had to do was figure out an order of steps I would need to take.

The first step is figuring out what all needs to be done prior to applying for the license. In this case, I already have my Non-restricted PAL, which allows me to buy and use most long guns, so I'm familiar with that process, which is quite simple:

  1. Take safety course
  2. Submit application
  3. Wait several months
  4. Receive PAL, buy all the guns

The Restricted PAL, however, is a little different. You have to provide a valid reason for wanting to own a restricted firearm. There are very few reasons considered "valid" for your average citizen, but fortunately, one of those reasons is "target shooting." Blowing holes in safe targets with high-powered guns is pretty fun, so that's the reason I provide. Nevermind my philosophical and political reasons for wanting to own guns as an exercise in liberty and freedom not afforded to citizens of other countries - I just wanna shoot holes in paper. 

Because Restricted firearms can only be used at approved ranges, this means I have to join one. The rod-and-gun club nearest me has a fairly high membership cost, so that's what my tax return is being spent on this year. Here's a breakdown of the costs before I start spending all the money I don't have on guns: 

  • Club membership: $405 ($200 annual dues, plus one-time $205 administration fee)
  • RPAL safety course: $175
  • RPAL application fee: $80 (possibly less because I already have the PAL - I may only have to pay the difference, which is $20)
  • Criminal record check: $25

That's $685 (roughly 70% of my tax return) just to be able to own one handgun. The cost of the actual gun is extra, and if I want a LTATT for it so I can take it to the range without filling out a bunch of paperwork in advance every time, that's a further cost. 

In order to join the gun club, I need to get a criminal background check and then meet the board and get approved. The background check takes 2 weeks to process, but the board is having its monthly meeting this coming Sunday. I have the receipt from the police saying that I have applied for a background check, and my record is clean (except for some old speeding tickets and that one time I was driving around with expired plates and forgot to bring my wallet, which had my insurance slip and drive'rs license), but they may decide to wait for the thing to clear so they can read it, in which case I have to wait until April. 

Hopefully I don't have to wait another month, because I have poor impulse control and very little money. I already spent money I shouldn't have on a new guitar and a sweet Darth Malgus action figure. And I had to renew my driver's license and plate sticker, which was another fairly significant expense - because of that, I'm gonna have to sell some shit to be able to pay for the RPAL safety course later this month. 

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