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Thread: traveling through Canada with firearms

  1. #1
    Member hunt-fish-trap's Avatar
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    Default traveling through Canada with firearms

    I have been doing research on bringing my guns on my visit to Alaska next year and it is proving to be a large problem. no to my pistol and my shotgun holds to many rounds. I am driving up there and am wondering what others have done.
    Or can I just simplify things by shipping them to a friend that lives up there, use them and then ship them home.
    thanks for your replys

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    If your firearms are categorized as restricted or prohibited, you're out of luck carrying them through Canada. Sounds like you've done your homework on that. Shipping them USPS is your best option.
    He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors. ~Thomas Jefferson

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    I agree. You don't want to mess around with bringing any restricted items through Canada. They will treat you like a criminal at the border even without any firearms. It's become pretty ridiculous, actually.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Actually, I just recently traveled through Canada with firearms and I was treated quite well. No issues whatsoever. In fact, I've never been treated poorly at any US/Canadian border station, firearms or not. But if your guns aren't in the approved category, you need to ship.
    He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors. ~Thomas Jefferson

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    With the proper paperwork, long guns are normally a breeze. Do not try it with a restricted firearm, especially a handgun. If you do there is a very good chance you will get to see the inside of a Canadian jail. They seem to have a very limited sense of humor up there.
    NRA Life Member since 1974

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    You can ship to yourself at your friend's address. He should not open the packages tho. Same on your return. The hand gun cannot be shipped by a non-ffl thru the US Mail. Go on the ATF website and look it all up for yourself. Then print the pertinent info so you have it in hand should you meet any resistance from the shipper.

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    I've heard talk of shipping to yourself as long as it's not through the US mail before. I'll have to look into that.

    I'm sure experiences vary, but I recently drove through Canada from North Dakota to AK and was treated like a criminal at the border station entering into Canada. I didn't bring any firearms because I heard stories from others, and I'm glad I didn't because I can't imagine the hassle if I would've had any with. Even though it shouldn't matter, I've heard that it depends on which border station you go through.

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    I shipped a rifle down to Oregon last October for an upcoming hunt. The label on the box was from ME, going to ME, but at my sons address. All through the USPS. A local gun shop owner said to do it that way, so I did. I flew the ammo down with me, got to my sons, there it was waiting. Piece of cake. Ammo CAN go through Canada, just certain calibers can't for some reason. Same with guns, certain calibers can't go through either. I'd double check to make sure though which ones. I'd say ship the gun(s)..

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by trout hound View Post
    I've heard talk of shipping to yourself as long as it's not through the US mail before. I'll have to look into that.

    I'm sure experiences vary, but I recently drove through Canada from North Dakota to AK and was treated like a criminal at the border station entering into Canada. I didn't bring any firearms because I heard stories from others, and I'm glad I didn't because I can't imagine the hassle if I would've had any with. Even though it shouldn't matter, I've heard that it depends on which border station you go through.
    Mail long guns USPS. Check with ATF to see if you can ship handgun to yourself via common carrier (ups/fedex). Handgun may have to ffl to ffl. For long guns thru Canada, you need a permit for each weapon before you get to the border I believe. Permits are not inexpensive I have heard.

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    The Canadian form allows for 3 long guns per form - about $25.00 for ea form last I paid.
    You need to read the prohibited list very carefully as it is VERY lengthy - even guns like the Benelli 12 ga show up on it due to it being able to get 4 shells in it. I have entered many times with guns - always treated OK but sometimes it gets a little uncomfortable if ya get the wrong guard to deal with...
    On a side note they also have some very strict laws regarding leaving the vehicle unattended with guns, need to have the guns in a locking case, and ammo in a locking case. You get stopped by the wrong LEO for something and they can write a bunch of costly tickets if you are not in compliance...
    No radar detectors either - even if it is unplugged they will take it away from you and you will get a fine if it is out where they can see it...
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    How many rounds does your shot guns hold? I travel through Canada with a Winchester 1300 that holds 5 rounds and have never had an issue. I have used the same gun for several trips and also have used the same paperwrok each time. My next trip I will need to fill out new paper work as the old one has all of the spaces filled.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    The Canadian form allows for 3 long guns per form - about $25.00 for ea form last I paid.
    ...

    I believe you can add as many long guns as you want to that form - just list the info on an attached piece of paper. $25 fee doesn't change. Mailing (long) guns from yourself - to yourself via USPS is legal and easy. I don't think you even have to tell the postal clerk what is in the package. You should check with USPS before shipping. Check their website - I doubt you would find many postal clerks that have any idea that this is leagl to do.

    Last fall we drove AK - Canada into MT. Canadian Customs at the AK border were no problem - signed the form in front of the agent, paid the fee & on our way. However crossing back into the states (at Shelby, MT), the US agent wanted paperwork attesting to the fact that I was the owner of the guns ???? - She finally accepted the Canadian paperwork, but said that I should have had the US form to bring them back into the states. I believe it was Form 4457, found on the Homeland Security website. (You will need a seperate form for each gun, but it is good for reuse and no charge.)
    Handguns REQUIRE use of a FFL shipper and receiver.

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    When I traveled through Canada in 2009 I carried my Ruger super redhawk in 480. at that time you had to contact the border agent where you were crossing and get approval before showing up at the border. Once at the border I turned in the preapproval paperwork as well as the regular forms for carrying firearms into Canada and paid my fees they were more worried about my paperwork for the horses than the firearm. also they didn't have any real concerns about carrying ammo either. It takes some time to get the paperwork pushed through but once you do you should be fine at the border.

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    Member hunt-fish-trap's Avatar
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    my shotgun is a Remington 11-87 with a 1 piece extended mag. It hold 10 rounds. i tricked it out for 3 gun but I made a plug for it and have had no troubles here in the states. but I will confess it does look pretty vicious. and I want to bring my 45 as a side arm. I talked to my postal carrier and he said the long guns were no problem but I should take the pistol apart. When I asked why, he said that parts are ok to ship but complete pistols get frowned upon for some reason. Im plan on just buying ammo up there as I dont think 1 box of 300 mag ammo will break my budget and my friend has the 45 and 12ga. that he will give me.

    When I call the mounties they kinda treated me with suspicion, asking me alot of questions. the one that got me was "why do you need a gun in Alaska when your just going to be fishing?''

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    Quote Originally Posted by hunt-fish-trap View Post
    my shotgun is a Remington 11-87 with a 1 piece extended mag. It hold 10 rounds. i tricked it out for 3 gun but I made a plug for it and have had no troubles here in the states. but I will confess it does look pretty vicious.

    When I call the mounties they kinda treated me with suspicion, asking me alot of questions. the one that got me was "why do you need a gun in Alaska when your just going to be fishing?''
    if there is a way to take that extended mag off i would as from the storied I hear any mean looking gun will be frowned upon......that said, your last line is some funny stuff
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    The post office is legal, although most clerks do not know. Talk to the post master to make sure you are talking to someone who can explain what you need to do. The one in Anchorage is very friendly and helpful. The gun shops will tell you you have to have FFA to ship everything. Handguns are controlled differently and have to have FFA for shipping. Keep in mind if there has been any trouble with the law (and it does not have to be felony) you will have to do a back ground as if you were buying the firearm to get it when you retrieve it from a FFA shipper. A friend had to wait 3 months to get his hand gun he had shipped from MO to GA because of a speeding ticket that did not get posted as paid.

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    Everything you need to know.

    http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/i.../index-eng.htm

    I live by the US/Canada border, border crossing are easy if you do it their way..............................and the agent is in a good mood.
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    Member hunt-fish-trap's Avatar
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    if there is a way to take that extended mag off i would as from the storied I hear any mean looking gun will be frowned upon......that said, your last line is some funny stuff
    I would have to disassemble the whole gun as its a 1 piece tube mated to the reciever. and oh yeh its mean lookin. I have just decided to ship them to myself at a buddies house up there.
    only 2 more years and I get to spend 3 months in the best place on earth.....ALASKA!

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    Sending long gun throu USPS is not a problem at all, do what you will but all you have to do is box it up and send it to yourself. DO NOT stamp firearm on the outside of the box per USPS guidence. Pistols are a differant matter and i will not go further on that.
    Good luck

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    This might help. Also has the reg listed. If need more info... drop me a PM Chris


    Q: May a nonlicensee ship a firearm through the U.S. Postal Service? A nonlicensee may not transfer a firearm to a non-licensed resident of another State. A nonlicensee may mail a shotgun or rifle to a resident of his or her own State or to a licensee in any State. The Postal Service recommends that long guns be sent by registered mail and that no marking of any kind which would indicate the nature of the contents be placed on the outside of any parcel containing firearms. Handguns are not mailable. A common or contract carrier must be used to ship a handgun.
    [18 U.S.C. 1715, 922(a)(3), 922(a)(5) and 922 (a)(2)(A)]
    Q: May a nonlicensee ship a firearm by common or contract carrier? A nonlicensee may ship a firearm by a common or contract carrier to a resident of his or her own State or to a licensee in any State. A common or contract carrier must be used to ship a handgun. In addition, Federal law requires that the carrier be notified that the shipment contains a firearm and prohibits common or contract carriers from requiring or causing any label to be placed on any package indicating that it contains a firearm.
    [18 U.S.C. 922(a)(2)(A), 922(a) (3), 922(a)(5) and 922(e), 27 CFR 478.31 and 478.30]
    Q: May a nonlicensee ship firearms interstate for his or her use in hunting or other lawful activity? Yes. A person may ship a firearm to himself or herself in care of another person in the State where he or she intends to hunt or engage in any other lawful activity. The package should be addressed to the owner. Persons other than the owner should not open the package and take possession of the firearm.

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