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Old February 6, 2014, 11:55 AM   #1
lakeside
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Travelling to Canada with firearms

I'm not going to try and start a debate about gun laws in the US and those in Canada. But some recent incidents on the Canadian side the border have seen US citizens fined $10,000 and their firearms seized even though they could legally have and transport concealed weapons in the US.

In one case, a retired military member followed his GPS and landed up by accident on the Canadian side of the border. He forgot to declare a loaded pistol in his center console and ended up being jailed and fined.

To be fair though, as a Canadian citizen I'd expect to be arrested by CBP if I tried to enter the US without declaring a firearm.

Again, we may not agree with Canadian gun laws but there are BIG signs at the Canadian border telling travelers to declare all firearms. You can transit Canada with some weapons (say Washington State to Alaska) and you can also temporarily import some firearms to hunt with but you have to declare them and pay $25 for a transit permit.
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Old February 6, 2014, 12:10 PM   #2
Wallyl
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As a non-Canadian my "read" on this is that Canada has every right to enact & enforce Canadian gun laws. There are signs at the border with warnings. The fellow with the errant GPS apparantly was not allowed to turn around...as I understand it...apparantly he did not want to enter Canada in the first place. I should think that he should be given a pass due to that fact, if in fact that's what really happened. Does my logic make sense to you about this?
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Old February 6, 2014, 12:31 PM   #3
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
...The fellow with the errant GPS apparantly was not allowed to turn around...as I understand it...apparantly he did not want to enter Canada in the first place. I should think that he should be given a pass due to that fact, if in fact that's what really happened. Does my logic make sense to you about this?
I'm afraid that your logic is irrelevant. It's a matter that will be, and will properly be, decided in Canada under its laws.

Canada is a sovereign country with its own laws and its own form of due process. Anyone accused of a Canadian crime will have whatever opportunities Canadian law affords to mount a defense and/or seek to excuse or minimize his culpability.

That may sound harsh, but it's reality. And there are countries in which someone making a similar error would fare far worse than in Canada.
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Old February 6, 2014, 12:42 PM   #4
glh17
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I don't understand how he couldn't have known he was at a border crossing and I don't see how he could have been forced to cross the border unless he was actually in Canada and wanted to go back without answering border guard questions.

Be that as it may, I suspect the reason he got into trouble was that he wasn't truthful about having his Bursa 380 with him. Guy was probably totally innocent but there's some mistakes you can't afford to make, like telling a border guard you don't have a firearm when you really do.

Here's the account I read.
http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/02...rms-community/

Last edited by glh17; February 6, 2014 at 12:48 PM.
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Old February 6, 2014, 06:18 PM   #5
carguychris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glh17
I suspect the reason he got into trouble was that he wasn't truthful about having his Bursa 380 with him. Guy was probably totally innocent but there's some mistakes you can't afford to make, like telling a border guard you don't have a firearm when you really do.
Innocent of what? Crossing the border with contraband, or lying to the guard about it?

I would describe Mr. DiNatale as reckless or foolish, but not innocent, unless the border guard planted the gun on him.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Ettin
Anyone accused of a Canadian crime will have whatever opportunities Canadian law affords to mount a defense and/or seek to excuse or minimize his culpability... And there are countries in which someone making a similar error would fare far worse than in Canada.
+1.
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Old February 7, 2014, 12:56 PM   #6
g.willikers
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It's hard to imagine that he wouldn't have been allowed to just turn around and go back.
Maybe the border was quite a ways before where the guards were.
There must have been some place he could have turned around, while still on the US side.
There must be more to this story.
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Old February 7, 2014, 01:26 PM   #7
glh17
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"Innocent of what? Crossing the border with contraband, or lying to the guard about it?

I would describe Mr. DiNatale as reckless or foolish, but not innocent, unless the border guard planted the gun on him."

Innocent was not the best word. All I meant was that he might not have been up to no good. Of course, lying about the pistol was not innocent.
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Old February 7, 2014, 01:41 PM   #8
Grizz12
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I crossed the Canadian border on route to Ak back in 2001. I called ahead of time to check the laws regarding firearms while driving that route and was told NO WEAPONS in Canada unless they meet certain specs. (hunting, competition but not travel)

I had them shipped to Ak but took holsters and soft cases with me to save on shipping costs. At the boarder they pulled me over for inspection and noticed I had a holster. That led to 4 hours of interrogation and waiting for them to unload my 18' trailer searching for weapons. They found nothing because there was nothing to find and they let me re-pack my trailer by myself. I showed them my ferry tickets with date and time I need to be there but that did not mean anything to them.

I will never travel that way again
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Old February 7, 2014, 01:47 PM   #9
carguychris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g.willikers
It's hard to imagine that he wouldn't have been allowed to just turn around and go back.
As with many "Great Injustice to Hapless Gun Owner" news items, there's undoubtedly more to this story than what's been printed in the brief press reports.

My overwhelming suspicion is that Mr. DiNatale did not become adamant about his desire not to enter Canada until after it became clear that the Canadian authorities intended to search his vehicle.

However, all we can do is make guesses and assumptions; we likely won't know the facts until he gets his day in Canadian court.
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Last edited by carguychris; February 7, 2014 at 03:55 PM. Reason: minor reword...
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