The Firearms Safety Education Service of Ontario (FSESO) is an association of firearms safety instructors. In 1993 a group of firearms enthusiasts got together and started the organization to support the Chief Firearms Office with the delivery and management of the Canadian Firearms Safety Course. Over the years, we’ve grown significantly, from one administrative employee working in a basement to a modern head office facility in Orillia with multiple administrative departments and over 300 active instructors. With our commitment to public safety and providing a positive learning experience for every student, the FSESO has earned a positive reputation across Ontario, throughout Canada, and beyond.
Our instructors are passionate professionals and safety training enthusiasts with backgrounds in military, policing, security, sports shooting, and hunting. Before being designated by the Chief Firearms Officer of Ontario, all new instructors must successfully complete our comprehensive onboarding program. This includes a train-the-trainer session, with practical and hands-on components, a post-train-the-trainer coaching program, and the successful completion of an audit. Our ongoing professional development program ensures new and existing instructors continue to teach professional, effective, and consistent firearms safety courses. Public safety is our number one priority. We believe that firearms safety is everyone’s responsibility.
We operate under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of the Solicitor General, authorizing the organization to manage the delivery of the Canadian Firearms Safety Course and the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course in Ontario. The FSESO remains the sole service provider for the Canadian Firearms Safety Courses (CFSC)/Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Courses (CRFSC) for the Province of Ontario. Our instructors are designated by the Chief Firearms Office of Ontario to teach and examine the CFSC and/or the CRSFC in Ontario.
Vision, Mission & Values
The FSESO strives to be the premier provider of safety education, training, and services, ensuring public confidence, best practice, and enjoyment.
We work with our instructors, the public, government, and partners to deliver the most advanced safety training programs and services. Championing education, knowledge, and integrity, we strive to continually improve public safety, trust, and confidence.
- We are community-focused
- We champion knowledge
- We hold integrity high
- We act apolitically
|Kevin Culhane||Executive Director|
|Vacant as of October 9th, 2021||Manager, Training & Development|
|Shelly Batten||Manager, Operations|
|Tracey Mellersh||Manager, Communications & Community Engagement|
|Rhyan Fenton||Operations Specialist|
|Sara Cahill||Communications Specialist|
|Julie Walker||Customer Service Specialist|
|Hallie Bilyk||Customer Service Specialist|
|Bill Nelson||IT Specialist|
|Lance Troian||Shipping Coordinator|
Board of Directors
|Nick Bartzis||Vice–President (Region 6)|
|Marc Rockburn||Secretary (Region 3)|
|Ben Prince||(Region 1)|
|Roger Vienneau||(Region 2)|
|Art Hawes||(Region 4)|
|Bill Arnot||(Region 5)|
|Tony Cooper||(Region 7)|
|Martin Featherston||Independent Director|
|Firdos Somji||Independent Director|
|Paul Thomas||Independent Director|
|Rebecca Thompson||Independent Director|
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I find a course in my area?
You can search for a course on our website using the Find a Course function.
How long are the CFSC and CRFSC courses?
- The CFSC course includes a minimum of 8 instructional hours.
- The CRFSC course includes a minimum of 6 instructional hours.
Note: The above timeframes do not include breaks or the time to complete the written and practical exams and most courses run longer than the minimum hours.
Students taking the CFSC and CRFSC together in a back-to-back course, may attend a modified version of the CRFSC, which includes a minimum of 4 instructional hours. Please speak to your instructor to determine if you are eligible for this program.
Can I complete a challenge test instead of taking the CFSC or CRFSC?
No. Challenge tests are no longer permitted. You must attend the full course and pass the written and practical exams.
Can I take the CFSC or CRFSC courses and exams in another province?
Yes, you can take the CFSC and CRFSC from a designated instructor anywhere in Canada.
I just completed my course. How long will it take to get my paperwork?
You will receive your paperwork within 6 weeks of completing your course.
Can I apply for my PAL without my paperwork?
No, you must submit your stamped paperwork with your PAL application.
Where can I download the PAL application form?
You can download a copy from the RCMP’s website.
Where can I find more information about a minor’s licence?
What do I do if my PAL has expired?
What is a non-restricted firearm?
A non-restricted firearm (often described as a long gun) is an ordinary rifle, shotgun or combination gun that is not prescribed as being restricted or prohibited.
What is a restricted firearm?
A restricted firearm is:
- handgun that is not a prohibited firearm;
- a semi-automatic, centre-fire rifle or shotgun with a barrel length less than 470 mm (18.5 inches) that is not prohibited;
- a rifle or shotgun that can fire when its overall length is reduced by folding, telescoping or some other means to less than 660 mm (26 inches);
- any firearm prescribed as restricted (including some long guns).
What is a prohibited firearm?
A prohibited firearm is:
- a handgun with a barrel length of 105 mm (4.1 inches) or less;
- a handgun designed or adapted to discharge 25 or 32 calibre ammunition;
- a rifle or shotgun that has been altered to make it less than 660 mm (26 inches) in overall length;
- a rifle or shotgun that has been altered to make the barrel length less than 457 mm (18 inches) where the overall firearm length is 660 mm (26 inches) or more;
- an automatic firearm and a converted automatic firearm;
- any firearm prescribed as prohibited.
I would like to take the firearms safety course, but I require accommodation for the course and/or exam. Can I still take the course?
Can a minor use a handgun?
The Minor’s Licence is only valid for non-restricted rifles and shotguns. Licenced minors can use a handgun if they are under the direct and immediate supervision of someone licenced to have that class of firearm.
What ID is valid for a minor?
The current list of acceptable photo ID for taking the CFSC/CRFSC course:
Any recognized government identification (Military, Ministry etc.)
- Passport (any Country)
- Driver’s Licence (any province)
- Ontario Photo Card (or other government-issued provincial photo identification such as Health Card with picture)
- A letter from the bishop of the Mennonite community can also be accepted as identification
For students under the age of 18 (Minors) without any of the identification listed in section 5.1, the following list of acceptable identification for the CFSC/CRFSC course report and examination forms are:
- Birth Certificate and a valid School Photo ID
- Birth Certificate and the Parent or Guardian’s acceptable government identification
My son/daughter passed the course, can they hunt with a copy of their course report?
A minor can still use firearms of any class without a licence if they are under the direct and immediate supervision of someone who is licensed to have that firearm. The licenced person should be near enough to the minor to take immediate action to prevent any unsafe or illegal use of the firearm. For hunting, they would still need to take the Hunter Education Course, see One Stop.
Can a minor buy a firearm and/or ammunition?
A minor’s licence allows purchasing ammunition (unless there is an age restriction under provincial or territorial law).
I took a CFSC course when I was a minor and never got my PAL, can I still apply?
Your CFSC and CRFSC reports do not expire. If you have a copy of your course reports you can use them in your application. If you need a copy for your application please see Replacement Student Course Report.