By James England via concealednation.org
Some of the very best hunting and fishing in North America can be found in Canada. However, our brother to the North does not have the same thoughts about firearms as we do. As a point of curiosity, we decided to investigate what it would take to bring our everyday carry (EDC) firearms across the border . . .
Fun Fact: There are over 1.9 million licenses to possess firearms and of those issued, only 22,000 have been revoked by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). For comparison, there’s an estimated more than 8 million concealed carry permit holders* in the United States.
Introduction To Canadian Firearms And Permitting
The majority of licensed firearms in Canada are predominantly hunting rifles and shotguns. For those few who own and operate full size handguns, those are generally classified by Canada as “restricted firearms”. Concealed carry permits are not issued to non-residents and it would be extremely hard to find a Canadian that’s not a member of a Canadian law enforcement agency who has one.
There are three basic types of permitting available to residents:
- PAL – Possession and Acquire License
- POL – Possession Only License
- Minor – For those under 18.
In both PAL and POL, the permit holder can legally possess a non-restricted firearm and ammunition. The PAL is the only permit, at this time, issued to first time applicants and can only be acquired after completing an approved Canadian Firearms Safety Course.
Notable conditions of a restricted firearm include:
- Handguns with barrels of a length equal or greater than 4.1″ (105 mm)
- Handguns that don’t use .25 or .32 caliber ammunition – with exceptions for competitive shooting models
- Semi-automatic, center-fire rifles and shotguns with a barrel shorter than 18.5″ (470 mm)
- Rifles and shotguns that can be fired when their overall length has been reduced by folding, telescoping, etc., to less than 26″ (660 mm)
Handgun magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and center-fire semi-automatic rifles that hold more than 5 rounds are prohibited by Canadian law.
Transporting Firearms Across The Canadian Border
For Non-Residents, it’s possible to not only transport firearms across the border but even acquire a 5 year Possession and Acquire License (PAL). A non-resident would have to complete the Canadian Firearms Safety Course prior to applying for his PAL.
For pistols that aren’t prohibited, a non-resident needs:
- Authorization to Transport (ATT, RCMP 5491)
This has to be approved by the Chief Firearms Officer (CFO) of the province in which the firearm will be located. The Canadian Embassy has repeatedly noted that “self defense” and “hunting purposes” will probably not be acceptable answers.
This is a form that HAS to be approved prior to transporting a pistol across the border.
At the border, you’ll need:
- Non-Resident Firearm Declaration (RCMP 5589)
- (For more than 3 firearms) Non-Resident Firearm Declaration Continuation Page (RCMP 5590)
- Properly authorized Authorization to Transport (ATT)
These forms should be filled out prior to arriving in Canada but should not be signed until under the supervision of Canadian authorities.
A Non-Resident Firearms Declaration covers you for no more than 60 days. It’s recommended that if you intend on staying in Canada with your firearm for longer than that, you should complete the Canadian Firearms Safety Course and then apply for a PAL.
Concealed Carrier Be Warned!
If you deny you have a weapon at the border or do not have authorization to transport into Canada – those weapons will be seized and permanently forfeited. And unlike the civil forfeiture proceedings in the United States, there is zero chance of ever recovering them again. The Canadian government may prosecute you and fine you heavily or worse – they send you back to the United States to face serious consequences.
The Canadians take gun control very seriously. Do not dink with them.
Driving Around With Firearms In Canada
If you have a restricted firearm (such as a handgun) in the vehicle with you, it must be unloaded and have an approved gun safety lock to ensure it cannot discharge. It should be stored in a lockable container and ammunition must be stored outside of the firearm. They can both be located inside the same lockable case.
If you exit the vehicle, that firearm needs to be locked and stored outside of plain sight.
If you leave the province where you received Authorization To Transport, you must have authorization from the CFO of the province you’re visiting in order to keep the firearm with you. And if you can’t take the firearm with you, you will need to store it in a gun safe.
“What If I’m Just Trying To Get To Alaska With My Conceal Carry Handgun?”
The Canadian Embassy strongly suggests you ship your firearms by an approved Firearms Act transport method to someone with a Federal Firearms License in Alaska. (We have a forthcoming article detailing how to mail a firearm.)
And the Canadian Embassy is right. It would be far simpler to mail your firearms to Alaska rather than transport them yourself. Plus, there are a lot fewer restrictions on what can be shipped versus what can be transported by you – a non-resident.
Brass Tax (TL,DR): If you’re a handgun owner in the United States and you want to bring your handgun with you to Canada, the biggest constraint is going to be getting ATT approval. ATT approval means coming up with a reason other than “self defense” and “hunting” – even though both are extremely valid reasons in the mind of any concealed carrier. Shooting competitions appear to be the most acceptable reason.
* Tabulated from numbers given by active permits in “States’ Laws and Requirements for Concealed Carry Permits Vary Across the Nation”, July, 2012, Government Accountability Office (GAO), Page 80.
More than forty years ago on a family vacation in Michigan, Dad decided he would drive into Canada, just so we could say we’d been there.
The nice man at the border asked very few questions, but he did ask if there were any firearms in the vehicle. As a child, I wondered why they would even care about such things. I still wonder.
The problem with Americans packing heat for ‘self defense’ is that, rather than defending themselves with proportional use of force, they will nessesarily quickly escalate all arguments/fights to murder. You punch an American (with a concealed carry weapon) in the face cause he slapped your gf’s ass, he will then pull out his gun and kill you in ‘self defense’. Your dead, he’s in jail for 25+ years.
It’s essentially cowardice to resort to a gun, unless of course you are faced with the same. Again, there lies the main problem. If everyone has a gun, all fights will lead to one murdering the other. You’re all a bunch of paranoid cowards, really. And if your the guy who wouldn’t draw his weapon in a simple fist fight, then your an idiot for getting into a physical altercation while packing heat; the other guy can easily grab your own weapon and use it on you. Americans just want to feel tough, knowing that they could shoot and kill any passer by. Stay the hell out of my country, coward.
Anyone who has gone through the process to get a concealed carry permit knows that everything you posted is complete bunk. Being an aggressor and escalating a fight eliminates the self-defense argument. The only time deadly force can be justified in a court of law is if *innocent* life is at risk. The overwhelming number of gun deaths in America are suicide, and the overwhelming number of murders are gang-related. The scenario you described is an extreme boundary case, if it even exists.
Well, my idiotic Canadian friend, you are entitled to your opinion! And being me, being from the greatest country on Earth in nearly every meaningful and measurable way, am entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Go cry like a baby when faced with a life or death situation, an American will protect you (and fight your wars for you, and bolster your economy, and give your citizens wonderful paying jobs and amazing top-notch health care. Go suck a caribou, Canuck.
Ehh. If I ever go into Canada I’ll probably be in a tank of something. Gotta get them back for 1812 and all. |3
No you dont. Remember, the United States attacked Canada… for no reason. We repelled 3 armies invading, and burnt down the white house. It was Canada that needed to ‘get back’ at the U.S.A. (and we did just that 😉
“There are over 1.9 million licenses to possess firearms… For comparison, there’s an estimated more than 8 million concealed carry permit holders* in the United States.
Setting aside for the moment that 1) your data is outdated, and 2) you’re comparing apples to oranges, it is worth noting that Canada has only about 11% of the population of the US.
Apples to Apples would be there are 1.9 millions license to OWN firearms in Canada, compared to approximately 103 million Americans who choose to OWN firearms under the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution. Comparing to CCW licenses would be Apples to Oranges.
Been there, did all that. Had the I’s dotted and the T’s crossed, had all the paperwork ready to travel through Canada and still got denied.
Made a note to self. Never go to or through canada again.
I have been to Canada. A family member on one trip to the Boundary Waters area (more than 25 years ago) may have even had a .38 Special revolver in his/her possession on that trip, gasp!
I will never visit Canada ever again. Nothing there is worth being unarmed if a 2-legged or 4-legged predator attacks. I wonder if Canada really cares about alienating something like 33 million* would-be tourists?
* I estimate 33 million tourists based on 11 million concealed carry licenses in the United States and an average family or travel party of 3 people.
If the various left-wing parties in Canada don’t care about the large majority of law-abiding gun-owners who live here, why would they care about them from any other country?
(Also, the ATT thing is about to be scrapped thanks to bill C-42)
The Defenders Team said:
“…This is what the government people in your country fail to have: empathy for the victims they themselves helped create by denying the right to self defense. As you say the actual availability of permits tells us they also think only a few “deserve” to have this right and it’s an outrageous slap in your face.”
I have been analyzing this aspect (“empathy”) for a while now and have come to the sad conclusion that the human race has become desensitized to the deaths of others, whether it be by plane or car crash, earthquake/landslide/tsunami, single or multiple homicides. Generally speaking, we tend not to let the news of these mass deaths affect us as though it would in the 1960s, when earlier in the decade some of us were building bomb shelters due to the very real threat of nuclear war.
The point I’m trying to make is that we (as gun owners) have allowed the minority in the US who have become indignant that so many deaths have become the norm and the public doesn’t react violently to these events. The “moms against drunk driving” fad was the first effort that grew out of this indignation. It contributed to lessening our rights by way of the “sobriety checkpoint”, for which there are legal methods to reject on a personal basis, but rarely has this been challenged in court on Constitutional terms to the point of changing any state laws – pretty much how 2A Rights have been incrementally improving. But not enough of course.
The moms against gun(s) violence are picking on the wrong part of the population because they aren’t brave people; after all, they shirk their duty to protect themselves and their innocent families. They go after law-abiding citizens because they don’t know how to go after criminals. So they criminalize us instead. I’m not a psychologist, but I’m pretty sure that this is called “transference”, when someone has so much emotional frustration or are deluded to the breaking point that they place the blame for certain events on the wrong party because they are unable to find a tangible responsible party to blame.
Transference is apparently supposed to be a natural process among humans: “…is normal and does not constitute underlying pathology in itself; it is only inappropriate when patterns of transference lead to maladaptive thoughts, feelings or behaviors.” I think we can all agree that the last part is exactly what we are seeing from the MDA mob.
So now we have a scientific diagnosis of the reasons why we are putting up with this shit, what are we going to do about it? Point out how the human race has become jaded to death? That gun-grabbing is accomplishing the opposite effect as an unintended consequence of gun control? I say All of the Above – at the very least.
Mark, RE “I’m not a psychologist, but I’m pretty sure that this is called “transference”, when someone has so much emotional frustration or are deluded to the breaking point that they place the blame for certain events on the wrong party because they are unable to find a tangible responsible party to blame.”
You are correct about “Transference” as a recognized process. An important detail: psychologist recognize this as a problem because most often people use transference (of negative personal values) because they can’t “afford” to see that their own failures at such things as self defense are the result of what they believe to be unacceptable personal failures. They know (or assume automatically) that others will judge them as weak and cowardly. So they then start pointing fingers at those who are competent, claiming they are NOT competent but over-reactive (instead of being well prepared and able). So it’s not a psychosis but IS a neurotic behavior pattern.
I’ve come to call these people either neurotic / gun phobic or simply “Gun Grudge People.”
Such people also can’t afford to recognize empathy for others because they figure out that when a competent, empathetic person acts to defend them, they are shown up as “week and cowardly.
That’s call “paranoia”, Son. As for 33 million Americans NOT coming to Canada because you can’t pack heat here…their loss, not ours. We have an incredibly beautiful country, and you’re missing a lot not coming to see it. If you’re truly that paranoid, it’s not just Canada you’ll be missing out on; almost nowhere in the western world are you able to carry a firearm as a US citizen; forget about going to Europe, Australia, anywhere in central or South America….isn’t going to happen. In any event, your numbers are off, badly. there are millions of concealed carry permit holders who DO come to Canada annually to explore our country & leave their guns at home. Our crime rates quite a bit lower, you don’t need them as badly as may think
Personally I think Canada needs to set up reciprocity with the US with CCW holders and setup CCW that their citizens can apply for, Most countries have some sort of CCW in place but very few qualify for it, I never knew in my home country (the Netherlands) you can apply for a CCW but of course they are only rarely granted to powerful and politically connected people…It’s a form of elitism to only allow certain ‘classes’ of people to carry a weapon for self defense, most western countries don’t even allow you to carry non lethal weapons like pepper spray or a taser…While I was in Canada (been there twice) I felt perfectly safe, Don’t get me wrong, But in a bigger city in Canada you would stand a good chance of getting robbed…And there is virtually nothing you can do to defend yourself…
Wesley, I was thinking of the mother who survived a shopping mall shooting. She and her teenage daughter went shopping at the mall when they were both shot. As the mother tells it, she was on the floor and talking with her terrified daughter when the gunman walked up and shot her daughter again. Right before her eyes. I believe that was the ultimate sadistic act and it horrifies me. To be in such a helpless position is something I can never tolerate. My empathy is what tells me what that mother must now live with forever. She was unable to fight back and defend her daughter and herself. The really stark horror is that a segment of our society thinks being defenseless against such acts is “sane” and that they will never need a gun (equal force) because such events “can’t happen.”
This is what the government people in your country fail to have: empathy for the victims they themselves helped create by denying the right to self defense. As you say the actual availability of permits tells us they also think only a few “deserve” to have this right and it’s an outrageous slap in your face.
If you remove Chicago (a gun control area) and compare area’s with similar populations, most Canadian cities actually have a higher violent crime rate then most American cities.
I’ve been to Canada for purposes of fishing, business or vacationing many times (don’t ask how many because I lost count). IMO, the Canadian border people are pretty decent, and the US border people are nasty pr1cks.
been to canada to hunt and fish. absolutely agree 100% . the hunting and fishing are both worth it. go if you get a chance.
Absolutely. I fished in Northern Manitoba a couple of times for pike, lake trout and grayling. Fantastic fishing! Although the time I stepped into still-warm bear scat reminded me of how much I might need a rifle.
I used to fish the Rideau waterway for largemouth bass, pike and occasional walleye. I don’t know how the fishing is now, but when I was fishing it, after a few excellent years it suddenly became completely unproductive due to acid rain. Sad.
Having absolutely no self-respect or common decency tends to make one a nasty douche/prick.
I don’t know why, but getting into Canada is a lot easier and nicer than returning to the USA.
I’ve had the opposite experience. Canadian border officials have been real hard-asses when I’ve traveled there (which is often) in the past two or three years. USA border security is relatively easy-going. Nothing beats the EU border officials for laid-back attitude, however.
+1, especially regarding the difference between US and Canadian Border Inspectors.
I’m 20 minutes from the border, and I’ve only ever fished in Canada. The licensing process is reasonable.
I know those who’ve crossed to hunt with long guns. The process is not much more complex. If you DO screw up your paperwork, be prepared to be politely turned away. Then face the hell of dealing with US Inspectors who can’t understand a 20 minutes visit to Canada.
As a Canadian I always found the opposite. Canadian border guards assume that all Canucks are smuggling cheap American booze.
Ok, it’s mostly true.
relatively easy to bring a long gun into Canada. Fill out the form, present it and the firearm at the border, sign it, and you’re on your way. but you do have to keep it locked and unloaded in transit.
That is all.
As if the US didn’t take gun control seriously. At least Canada doesn’t have the ridiculous NFA.
Actually, one of our gun advocacy groups is the National Firearms Association (NFA). So it’s the good type of NFA!
There is also some good competitive shooting just north of the border.
Brass tacks. Just sayin’.
The “Blame Canada” song from the “South Park Movie” comes to mind. 🙂
Exactly, eh?! 😉
With their “hockey” hullabaloo…
An adult nephew who drove for a US national long hall trucking company prior to his death, carried a .357 magnum revolver in his truck. The company encouraged their drivers to carry in the rig because of the constant threats of highway robberies. On his few trips into Canada either delivering loads or picking up, he always buried the gun in the bottom of a large lock box that was locked and sealed. He stated the key/ seal were placed at the US terminal. Dispatch always backed him or any other drivers going into and then leaving Canada. Tru story.
The gun was the property of the trucking company?
Nope, I had given it to him since it was an outlier. I mostly own. 45 acp 1911s. The .357 was taking up space and he liked firing it. The trucking firm was home based in Missouri and encouraged their drivers to carry for protection. My nephew lived in his truck.
I watched a fellow driver get hauled away in handcuffs for a pellet gun.
This was very informative and I was planning a North American RV tour, so knowing this is valuable. I do not understand the “.25 or .32” pistol aspect, though – it seems that these are the only handguns allowed, leaving out 9mm NATO, .357, .45 and .40 S&W.
If “competition” handguns are allowed, I have a HK USP Expert in .40 S&W, which is considered a competition pistol and is longer than 4.1″ – legal or illegal?
I thought it was pistols with less than a 4.1″ barrel for pistols was the big sticking point. Hmmm, RCMP fact sheets, convoluted to say the least.
Basically, the Liberal government at the time got freaked out by “Saturday Night Specials”, so they banned all .25 and .32 caliber handguns, along with handguns that had barrels under 105mm. This was mainly fueled by movies, which is why pretty much every gun featured in an action movie from the early 90s is banned by name.
Oh, and the G11, because apparently prototype caseless firearms are big hits amongst the school shooter crowd.
After banning the .25 and .32 caliber handguns, the Liberals had to specifically write an exception for various Olympic pistols (each by name) after someone told them they had just criminalized our Olympic team.
Right now we are trying to remedy this. The Conservative government has passed bill C-42, which allows firearms designated as prohibited to be either restricted or non-restricted. So, roughly 20 years later we’ve only started rolling things back.
As Canada demonstrates, it is very difficult to roll things back when culture and law are against you for so long. On the other hand, we are also showing how no matter how bad it gets, you can start clawing your freedoms back. It’s best not to have to, but if you are in one of the less free states, keep your chin up.
Your gun is legal but it is restricted, meaning there is no carrying it, permit or not. as for acceptable calibre handguns, there are lots more that are allowed in Canada that you missed; .22, .38. 10mm, .45ACP, .45 LC, etc. The issue is more barrel length than calibre.
Find a border crossing that is remote hump your guns in under the cover of night and cache them in the woods go through the border crossing pick them up on the other side……. not that I would ever consider doing such a thing…
Eh..no. Beaver Creek on the ALCAN is where Canadian Customs is. It’s still quite a drive to the border and even further to get to the first FFL dealer. The Canadians would catch quite a few Yanks with guns. They’d send them back to the FFL to ship the gun, then return with the receipt. Too often people would drive off, wait, then return claiming the shipped it. I was there when someone tried it and reluctantly agreed to carry it to the FFL. The customs officer told me the real danger was people throwing the guns into the woods before they got to the station. The local kids loved to search for the guns. My take was that the Canadians were reasonable about mistakes but really upset when people played games.
Few errors. CCW’s (ATC-3) are almost never issued, but it doesn’t matter if you live in Canada or not.
The article says they aren’t available to non residents. Which is completely incorrect since a Florida resident has an Ontario ATC-3 back in 2007
Girl friend and I rode our bikes into Canada, several years ago. She’s riding a smaller Yamaha cruiser, I’m on a vintage Kawaski KZ1000. No Harley’s involved. Full face helmet’s, leather jacket’s and chaps. No cuts, not a patch, pin, or rocker in sight.
Border guard, “What’s the purpose of your visit?”
Her, “But, what is the purpose of your visit?”
Me, slower, “T o u r i s m.”
Her, harder, “Yeah, but what is the purpose of your visit?”
Me, “Tourism. Would have thought you’d have heard of it stationed here on the border. Where you drive around and look at sh*t, and say, “WOW”, a lot.”
Her, “So do you have any guns?”
Asked this question in very disbelieving tones to my every, “No.” about 4 or 5 times. Evidently, ANY motorcycles spell violent, outlaw gang member to her.
Beautiful, fabulous riding. Was treated fairly standoffish by the people we met. That and the border hassle – I’ll never go back.
The last time I was in Canada was on a CG icebreaker. We tied up in Montreal and went into town on liberty looking for some Canadian beer. Found a bar and sat down and waited for 10 minutes before we realized we weren’t going to be served. Anglophone hatred, I guess. Screw Canada.
You can’t blame us for Quebec, that’s like blaming you for New Jersey.
PERFECT!! RESPONSE!! LOL
You have won the internet. Hard cheese old boy.
You, sir (or madam) are everything that is right with this world.
You yanks can have quebec & in exchange canada will take new jersey.
Hows that for a deal?
Works for me.
As a child the Grandparents took us on many a trip in the 1960 Chev pickup and custom camper. Grandpa always brought the rifle, I didn’t know why. Now I know it was to protect his grandkids, (me). In the 60’s all that was required is the gun be sealed. This consisted of a piece of wire with a lead stamp through the trigger. No big deal, unless it was broken, then you’d have some explaining to do upon return. But that would have likely already occurred. And if it had been used to protect us kids, I’m betting Grandpa couldn’t have given crap less what happened to his so long as we were safe. But today, I can’t imagine what that same situation might look like.
My last visit to Canada was a weekend trip with my girlfriend to Quebec. At the border I was asked if I had any handguns in my old Cherokee Chief. “Just and old .45,” I replied. The Canadian customs official explained they weren’t allowed north of the border, so I’d have to go back to the States. He suggested I call the local sheriff and leave it with him. I manged to find him at home chopping wood. He laughed and said he got a fair number of such requests, and told me to pick it up on my way back. I did. No other hassles, but that was in the 80s. I haven’t a clue how either side reacts now to handguns; probably get their collective panties in a wad.
Interesting. an Army Sergeant Major left a pocket .380 in his glove box (well his girlfriend did I believe…) and he didn’t know….Was trying to get to 1000 Islands and somehow got to the border or something, Canadians spotted the gun somehow and flipped and he was going back and forth between Canada for 18months for the trial…he got lucky since his Canadian attorney was real good and I believe the Judge was also a hunter :O I can try and find the link but I remember following it, was pleased that he was treat fair. but if they freak out about some back up .380 in a glove box I can’t imagine what would happen if you left an AR in the trunk! I’d much rather speed through New Jersey with a select fire SBR than that!
Last time I was in Canada my family was witness to a homicide. With their great gun control it was just a psycho with a screw driver who stabbed a guy in the heart over a hockey game (really stereotypical right?). Parents had to talk with Canadian LEO’s and identify the suspect, a family friend who was a US Attorney for the northern NY helped us GTFO since he dealt with the Canooks many times and said we had no obligation to stay. I just find it ironic that the only homicide I’ve been near was in freaking Canada.
I have brought rifles through Canada to Alaska many times. No problems.
ATTs are *almost never* issued to non-residents unless you have a specific shooting competition you’re competing in or something. Also, you can bring up to 5,000 rounds of ammo with you. And it’s no problem to bring parts or barrels from your restricted firearms. Just don’t bring the receivers!
Moral of the story, tell Canada to go to hell and don’t hunt in Alaska until you can get there via U.S. route instead of driving through a worthless country.
One night I got bored (I am into geography) and I thought of the idea of making a highway that goes from Washington State to Alaska, the entire Highway would be sovereign US soil, Canadian’s could use it but they’d still pay tolls. But seriously we should have have safe passage to Alaska from Washington State. If a boat with crates full of legally imported rifles comes from the EU or China or wherever and it skims into Canadian Maritime territory is it breaking the law? I know a guy who drove from Washington State with a two of his AR’s (he had like 20 guns, so most went on a shipping container). Canadian officials looked at his guns and were really fascinated and then told him to make sure he didn’t deviate his route…not sure how long ago that was but yeah.
Not sure but isn’t that route called the TransCanadian Highway (only it’s not “sovereign US soil” and needn’t be if a treaty established it as also granting right of passage to legally armed Americans). I have good reason to believe that the Canadian government can be persuaded to accept such passage if the U.S. guaranteed there’d be no deviation from the route by Americans going back and forth between the U.S. and Alaska with their guns.
I tend to over think things sometimes, a treaty would be more effective, and I think the US could offer Canada a lot for it in the way of say loosening our restrictions on Canadians possessing firearms in the US. I just think it would be funny as hell if this theoretical highway was sovereign US soil and some RCMP decided to be a jerk and the Americans would just say “Better not invade the US!”. My curiosity about this is because even within the US states like NY and NJ do not follow federal law about FOPA and safe passage, interstate commerce is already a mess in the US but international commerce or an international incident would seriously tick some people off. I’ve stood on several state and international border lines…its funny how invisible lines mark legal vs illegal or freedom vs imprisonment in some cases.
Slightly off topic: Really I think a Canadian should be able to be able to declare a handgun at the border and be fine, heck I think they should be able to buy a gun in any state that is friendly to our neighbors in terms of non-resident permits, background check could go through CPIC (Canadian’s version of NICS check, apparently heavily based off our system) + NICS + that states Bureau of Investigations background check and be done with it. Our countries are both relatively civilized and I think we have a tight bond, if the US can work out the kinks of our dual sovereignty system of the states + the State (as in the Federal Government) then I think we can certainly transcendent the border of Canada provided they are willing (which seams like the issue)
Nate, you bring up some interesting thoughts and points. Re: Canadians being eligible for US carry permits – would apply only as long as they stayed in the US but would be illegal / not recognized when they returned to Canada. It’s like the contradictory “laws” we have here: you can’t “carry” in courthouses or post offices so, in order to comply, you have to DISARM before you travel to the post office or courthouse through an “unsafe zone” into an “Unsafer Zone”. The whole point and value in having a concealed carry permit is to be able to carry your gun in case there’s a need for it. “You must disarm” contradicts “You’re certified as qualified to be armed” VIOLENTLY and ridiculously. Anyway such licensed Canadians would face the same “You’re OK / You’re Under Arrest” conundrum.
I assume the refusal for accepting hunting as your reason to bring a gun into Canada applies only to handguns. I and a friend used to often go to (Ontario) Canada with our varmint rifles at the Detroit-Windsor crossing and never had any problems. Sometimes,they even seemed impatient for us to get ourselves and our guns on our way into Canada. I might add: our “varmint rifles” were pretty serious guns which were chambered for cartridges like the .264 Win. Mag. We vaporized quite a few Canadian woodchucks with those guns.
OTH: the Canadians have to be made to change their gun laws because they “inspire” Democrats and their Gun Grudge Voter Base to continue their campaign to “make us like Canada.”
” change their gun laws”
We’re trying, please be patient. C-42 just passed, that’s an important start (and one that deserves greater notice in the wider arms community).
Thank you but I have no idea what “C-42” is -I’m out of touch with Canada and its many fine citizens. Which I regret.
I also withdraw my “made to” comment because I believe it’s possible to reach an innovative treaty which would establish a land route to Alaska w/o in any way abridging Canada’s access to the Pacific or applying Canadian laws to Canadians. Providing only that Americans would be able to transport their guns between the Lower 48 and Alaska ONLY via that land route.
Sorry, sometimes I forget where I am, also I’m a bit lazy. C-42 is the latest government bill (now a law), which allows the current Conservative government to undo some of the damage that has been done over the years. It reduces the amount of paperwork Canadian gun owners face, and also starts the process of turning currently prohibited guns into guns the average firearms owner can have. But perhaps the most important thing it does is show that the elimination of the Long Gun Registry wasn’t just a fluke, and that with effort, a nation can move away from irrational gun grabbing and towards sensible policies. That’s something a statist wouldn’t like at all!
As for your next point, it definitely is a good one. Maybe we can tie it into relaxing ITAR regulations to make it easier for Canadians to get gun parts from the states. Extractors don’t last forever! And you are right, there needs to be more reasonable accommodations for Americans moving their firearms to and from Alaska overland.
Yay! And sincere compliments to you because you’ve re-confirmed my long-held belief that Canadians must be the most friendly and civil people on Earth. Though long ago, I had the opportunity to be the guest of a Toronto doctor for every weekend one summer. That gave me ample example of what I’m talking about.
So lets agree to keep that idea alive, shall we?
Oh well, so much for retiring there.
Pardon but I should point out that a Canadian on this forum has reported that the Conservative government has passed a law which changes some of the significant (objectionable to us) parts of Canadian gun laws. And there may be more such changes on the way. So it’s not as hopeless (or hostile) as we believed.
I wouldnt call it ” hostile” at least on the Canadian side….I go to Canada all the time, But never without some form of self defense,Usually My benchmade. The Canadian side of the border is nothing compared to the bullshit treatment you get on the US side. Canadian Border Guards and customs agent go thru their motions and do their Job being polite and respectful…….On the US side,I cant count how many times Iv been detained, vehicles torn apart and stuff thrown out on the ground… im sure it was done in the name of safety…
I’m not calling the Canadian border guard hostile either and have had the same experience as your relate when entering Canada with hunting rifles. I also agree with your account on the part of AMERICAN border guards. It’s kinda funny (and informative) that Canadians as a whole are much different than “average Americans” in that they are less hostile and suspicious and more friendly and civil by far. I was only referring to what most Americans think about Canada and Canada’s “hostile to gun owners” laws.
My own daughter visited France for a month years ago (she speaks fluent French). She came back telling us about how “savvy” American tourists learned to remove their American Flag patches from clothing and backpacks and REPLACE THEM with CANADIAN Maple Leaf patches. Hah! The best way to be treated in France as an American tourist is to become a Canadian!! She said it works, too. She encountered only one rude Frenchman but otherwise her fluency in French prevented her being recognized as a foreigner throughout the whole month.
I’ll never understand why people spread stories like that. I am an American who has been to France many times over the years, including for a month last summer (all over France by train and rental car, not just flying in and out of Paris). I have never even considered pretending to be from anywhere other than the US, and my experience is the exact opposite of what you say. While in France (or anywhere in Europe), I have never been treated any way other than either indifferently (in the areas that are used to dealing with people from other countries) or almost embarrassingly well in areas where they’re not used to meeting people from overseas (small towns, etc). In my experience, it’s common to have French people (especially the younger generation) go out of their way to strike up a conversation once they realize you’re from the US. I’ve had them tell me they’ve never met anyone from the US before, they’re eager to try out their English with a natural English speaker, and that I talk like Americans they’ve seen in movies and on TV. Even better, being American has led to some funny conversations with very flirty young French ladies. It’s a great ice breaker.
For example, on this past summer’s trip, one young French lady who worked in a restaurant asked me if was American or Canadian (they have a hard time telling the difference). When I said American, she perked up and it led to a great conversation. She wants to visit the US one day and had many questions. After it was over she said she had “taken care of” my bill and there’d be no charge. I asked her why, and she smiled and said, “Because I can.” What a sweety.
As for speaking Canadian French, trust me, they can tell where you’re from. Canadian French dialects are as different sounding to French people in France as American dialects are to British people (and vice versa). In fact, I’ve heard and read Canadian French speakers complaining that their dialect gets made fun of in France, and that they’ve encountered French people who won’t speak French to them because their dialect sounds so foreign that some French pretend they can’t understand them just to be difficult, I suppose like some in the US might do with someone with speaks English with a very thick foreign accent.
Comedian Steven Wright has a great joke about this.
“I was driving into Canada the other day and border guard asked me, ‘Do you have any guns?”‘
“I said, (delivered in a low, confidential voice) ‘What do you need?”‘
There are ways…both the Henry Mare’s Leg and the Rossi Ranch Hand are considered Long Guns (Non-Restricted) in Canada despite being considered handguns in the US. Just fill out the Non-Resident Firearm Declaration (form RCMP 5589) beforehand and it is relatively painless at the border. Another bonus is that .22lr ammo was plentiful when I was last there, despite the shortage in the US. Canadian Tire had plenty of the buckets for sale. The completed and stamped Firearms Declaration form serves as a license while you are in Canada and you may buy ammo to take back with you. It may also be wise to fill out the US Certificate of Registration, CBP Form 4457 when leaving the US so that you don’t have any problems bringing your firearm back in the US.
There’s still a mistake in the post. It says that centre fire semi autos that hold more that 5 rounds are prohibited. That’s not correctly phrased cuz that would mean most guns are banned. It’s magazines that hold more than 5 that are prohibited and even then it’s only rifle mags. If you have pistol mags that fit in your rifle you can use them to get more capacity.
That and the restriction is associated with the caliber. A popular way to hold more than 5 rounds in ar15s up here is to buy a .50 Beowulf pistol mag and load it with 14 to 15 rounds of .223. Or an lar15 mag and you can put 10 rounds cuz it’s a pistol mag but fits in a rifle.
Currently California and New York state ain’t got nothing on Canada when it comes to restrictions (complicated mag release buttons, pinned breaks). Yes we also have magazine restrictions but also have legal ways around that as mentioned in a previous answer. Personally 10+1 is good enough for me especially since we do not have CCW up here and most of our shooting is sport shooting. As for certain exceptions such as handgun barrels that can’t be shorter than 105mm (and that is suppose to change soon), we can pretty much own any length SBR (AR15) we want. Can’t hunt with them (sucks) but I’m pretty sure every one will agree that there are better suited rifles out there for hunting than an assault type rifle. We would love to have 30,60,100 round mags for them, but then again I get to save my money with our low cap mags and I get to buy more toys this way. As for full auto, dunno about you, but 25K for a lower…don’t think so, I come down and play in your backyard for that (Kentucky machine gun shoot…love it). I love everything about the American gun culture and support the 2ns Amendment rights, but I think you have to work on the gun loophole issue you have which allows criminals to acquire firearms way too easily, which in turn makes you arm yourselves even more to protect yourselves against those criminals (vicious circle). Canada is a beautiful country as is the United States of America (‘Merica). Would be a shame not to explore it just because you cannot pack heat. I, personally, will nor refrain from seeing the world because I can’t arm myself, and believe me I have traveled the globe and am still here to talk about it. Someone mentioned getting mugged in big Canadian cities! I have never gotten mugged (knock on wood) thus far. I think that’s an attitude thing. Come in peace, live and leave in peace. FYI, I am an avid sport shooter and gun collector, I have all sorts of handguns, SBR ARs (7″ and up), M1A in Sage EBR stock all the way to Semi auto belt fed M1919A4s….how’s that for a Canuck neighbor? Bet ya’ I can show you a pretty good time at the range, Eh!!! 😀
Sincere thanks for a representative Canadian viewpoint. I myself have enjoyed every trip to Canada and the border (at the Detroit River) is less than 50 miles away.
With respect, I still think you’re in error about the fear of being victimized overall. There’s rape and spousal abuse, in fact, any situation where the attack involves superior force or physical ability. Not having been raped hasn’t saved one single woman who HAS been raped. Your not being mugged hasn’t saved one single victim who has been mugged and that certainly involves “weaker targets” like the elderly and physically small. You’re really saying, “I’m happy not being mugged so the rest of you can go to hell or just stop worrying about the possibility because that’s like, you know, having car insurance, medical insurance or home insurance – silly crap like that.” It’s hard for me and others which empathy and foresight not to be angry at statements like yours.
What “loophole”? Criminals are forbidden to possess firearms. Period. The fact that they DO anyway just shows the nonsense of enacting more and more restrictive firearms laws; laws that are only obeyed by law-abiding people.
Insane policies. I carry for self protection. There’s a lot of crime and criminals and loony Muslims out there and I’m old and don’t swing a baseball bat as well as I did 50 years ago. I sleep much better in the van when I have a way to protect myself, should the need arise. Everyone who isn’t a criminal and who wants one should have a gun with them. Anything else is just foolish. Wise up. Wake up. We all have the RIGHT to self protection. The gun isn’t the bad, evil thing. It’s a tool. A dangerous tool. An effective tool. Nothing more. Nothing less. Where is the best place to hide my .380 when I enter Canada?
You don’t need an FFL to ship firearms you already own and are not transferring…done it, you ship to your new home address via a secure transport method (USPS are not secure and don’t approve of handguns so just go with one of the big boys in freight logistics).