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Thread: Blame Canada: Getting Handguns to WA

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    Default Blame Canada: Getting Handguns to WA

    I am traveling and need to get some handguns to Washington (well, actually, further on--but the ferry will take me into WA so that's good enough). Unfortunately, my route brings me through Canada as I have to get to the ferry in Haines first. I'm trying to figure out the best way to do it. This is what I've come up with:

    1) Bring the handguns with me through Canada. This requires declaring them at the border, registering them ($25 Canada for the whole lot), and most difficult, getting an "authorization to transport" from the Canadian authorities. I've left them a few messages but they have yet to send me the requisite form. The "form 629" on their website (PDF link - http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/f...fs/679-eng.pdf) says that if your'e a non-resident using the temporary declaration (i.e., me) then you need to call them, presumably for a different form.

    One of my handguns is "prohibited" so it can't come into Canada regardless, so it may just get left behind in storage or sent via another method... The others are "restricted" so should be ok if the ATT goes through. Canada only allows 10 round magazines, but standard capacity mags can easily be mailed ahead via a flat rate USPS box.

    Their laws are retarded, but their country, their rules, so they need to be complied with...

    2) Ship the firearms via FEDEX/UPS to an FFL in WA, then pick them up from the FFL.

    3) Have an AK FFL mail them to a WA FFL, then pick them up. I think FFLs can use USPS to go to other FFLs so this may end up being cheaper than paying for Super Brown Air Cargo Elite Diamond Plus FEDEX/UPS service, even after paying a bunch of FFL fees.

    4) Ship the firearm to myself via FEDEX. This is legal, but I'm not exactly sure how it works. I assume that FEDEX could hold the package at a facility in WA and then I could go in and pick up the package upon arrival.

    5) Ship the handguns to myself "care of" friends or family Outside then pick them up from them. Yes, this is legal (http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/unli...rms-additional).

    I suppose I could also ship them to Haines instead of WA then pick them up before I get on the ferry, but WA might be easier and have more options.

    None of the handguns are "heirlooms" and everything will be insured, so loss/damage isn't something that I'm inordinately worried about.

    Does anyone have any experience or recommendations with any of these, or am I missing any options? Thanks for any info you may have -- I figure I'm not the first one to deal with Canada.

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    Ship 'em. Don't even think about trying to carry them through Canada. You have no idea what the "rules" will be on the day you arrive at the checkpoint (i.e. what the border guard is going to do with what he "thinks" the rules are).
    Winter is Coming...

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    Quote Originally Posted by nittanytbone View Post
    I am traveling and need to get some handguns to Washington (well, actually, further on--but the ferry will take me into WA so that's good enough). Unfortunately, my route brings me through Canada as I have to get to the ferry in Haines first. I'm trying to figure out the best way to do it. This is what I've come up with:

    5) Ship the handguns to myself "care of" friends or family Outside then pick them up from them. Yes, this is legal (http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/unli...rms-additional).

    Does anyone have any experience or recommendations with any of these, or am I missing any options? Thanks for any info you may have -- I figure I'm not the first one to deal with Canada.
    Option 5 is the simplest solution. I've done it and recommend it to any and all who ask. In the end you'll save more than a few headaches. The only downside is that it can get a bit expensive; simply depends on the number of firearms you intend to ship.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    I am about to do option 4 myself to get my gun to Alaska and I have read the federal laws on it but I am still nervous on it. Yeah I wish I didn't have to go through Canada at all, I am also having to mail some of my knives.

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    Not long ago Canada would put your handgun in a bag with a ticket on it and all you had to do was turn in the ticket when you left Canada.Of course folks thought the law was flawed and seldom turned in the ticket so Canada had to figure the guns stayed in country. Blam it on Americans
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Be aware that if you ship them to an FFL in Wa. state, you will have to be a Wa. state resident to receive them when you get there. An FFL can only transfer handguns to a resident of the state. Alaskan residents can only transfer handguns in Alaska. Wa. residents can only transfer handguns in Wa. Shipping them from yourself to yourself is probably the best option.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

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    A friend use to deal with this every year going south for some winter time get away. What he always did was take the guns apart put parts in a couple different boxes and just mail them to somebody. He wasn't mailing guns only parts as all the parts in one box never made a whole gun. BS to have to deal with this but some thing to think about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by power drifter View Post
    A friend use to deal with this every year going south for some winter time get away. What he always did was take the guns apart put parts in a couple different boxes and just mail them to somebody. He wasn't mailing guns only parts as all the parts in one box never made a whole gun. BS to have to deal with this but some thing to think about.

    This is against the law. A frame/receiver/lower with a serial number on it is considered a firearm, not a part.

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    http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/601.htm#1198527


    12.0 OtherRestrictedandNonmailableMatter
    12.1 Pistols, Revolvers, and Other Concealable Firearms 12.1.1 Definitions
    The terms used in this standard are defined as follows:
    a. Handgun means any pistol, revolver, or other firearm or device the mailing of which is regulated by this standard.
    b. Pistol or revolver means a handgun styled to be fired by the use of a single hand and to fire or otherwise expel a projectile by the action of an explosion, spring, or other mechanical action, or air or gas pressure with enough force to be used as a weapon.
    c. Firearm means any device, including a starter gun, designed to, or that may readily be converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosion, spring, or other mechanical action, or air or gas pressure with enough force to be used as a weapon.
    d. Other firearms capable of being concealed on the person include, but are not limited to, short-barreled shotguns and short-barreled rifles.
    e. Short-barreled shotgun means a shotgun that has one or more barrels less than 18 inches long. The term short-barreled rifle means a rifle that has one or more barrels less than 16 inches long. These definitions include any weapon made from a shotgun or rifle, whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise, if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than
    26 inches. A short-barreled shotgun or rifle of greater dimension may be regarded as nonmailable when it has characteristics to allow concealment on the person.
    f. Licensed manufacturer and licensed dealer mean, respectively, a manufacturer of firearms or a bona fide dealer of firearms, duly licensed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms of the Department of the Treasury, under the Gun Control Act of 1968 (Public Law 90-618), 18 USC 921, et seq.
    g. Antique firearm means any firearm (including those with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898, or any replica thereof, if such replica:
    1. Is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition.
    2. Uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition that is no longer manufactured in the United States and that is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.
    12.1.2 Handguns
    Pistols, revolvers, and other firearms capable of being concealed on the person (referred to as handguns) are nonmailable unless mailed between the parties listed in 12.1.3 and 12.1.5 after the filing of an affidavit or statement required by 12.1.4 and 12.1.6.
    12.1.3 Authorized Persons
    Subject to 12.1.4, handguns may be mailed by a licensed manufacturer of firearms, a licensed dealer of firearms, or an authorized agent of the federal government or the government of a state, territory, or district, only when addressed to a person in one of the following categories for use in the personís official duties:
    a. Officers of the Army, Coast Guard, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, or Organized Reserve Corps.
    b. Officers of the National Guard or militia of a state, territory, or district.
    c. Officers of the United States or of a state, territory, or district, whose official duty is to serve warrants of arrest or commitment.
    d. USPS employees authorized by the Chief Postal Inspector.
    e. Officers and employees of enforcement agencies of the United States.
    f. Watchmen engaged in guarding the property of the United States, a state, territory, or district.
    g. Purchasing agent or other designated member of agencies employing officers and employees included in 12.1.3c. through 12.1.3e.
    12.1.4 Affidavit of Addressee
    Any person proposing to mail a handgun under 12.1.3 must file with the postmaster, at the time of mailing, an affidavit signed by the addressee setting forth that the addressee is qualified to receive the firearm under a particular category of 12.1.3a. through 12.1.3g, and that the firearm is intended for the addresseeís official use. The affidavit must also bear a certificate stating that the firearm is for the official duty use of the addressee, signed by one of the following, as appropriate:
    a. For officers of Armed Forces, by the commanding officer.
    b. For officers and employees of enforcement agencies, by the head of the agency employing the addressee to perform the official duty with which the firearm is to be used.
    c. For watchmen, by the chief clerk of the department, bureau, or independent branch of the government of the United States, the state, the territory, or the district by which the watchman is employed.
    d. For the purchasing agent or other designated member of enforcement agencies, by the head of such agency, that the firearm is to be used by an officer or employee included in 12.1.3c. through 12.1.3e., Authorized Persons .
    12.1.5 Manufacturers and Dealers
    Handguns may also be mailed between licensed manufacturers of firearms and licensed dealers of firearms in customary trade shipments, or for repairing or replacing parts.
    12.1.6 Certificate of Manufacturers and Dealers
    A licensed manufacturer or dealer need not file the affidavit under 12.1.4, but must file with the postmaster a statement on Form 1508 signed by the mailer that he or she is a licensed manufacturer or dealer of firearms, that the parcels containing handguns (or major component parts thereof) are customary trade shipments or contain such articles for repairing or replacing parts, and that to the best of his or her knowledge or belief the addressees are licensed manufacturers or dealers of firearms.
    12.1.7 FBI Crime Detection Bureaus
    Handguns may be mailed without regard to 12.1.3 through 12.1.6 if:
    a. Addressed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), or its director, or to the scientific laboratory or crime detection bureau of any agency whose members are federal law enforcement officers or officers of a state, territory, or district authorized to serve warrants of arrest or commitment; or
    b. Offered by an authorized agent of the federal government as an official shipment to any qualified addressee in categories 12.1.3a. through 12.1.3g, or to a licensed manufacturer or dealer of firearms or to a federal agency.
    12.2 Antique Firearms
    Antique firearms sent as curios or museum pieces may be accepted for mailing without regard to 12.1.3 through 12.1.6.
    12.3 Rifles and Shotguns
    Although unloaded rifles and shotguns not precluded by 12.1.1e and 12.1.2 are mailable, mailers must comply with the Gun Control Act of 1968, Public Law 90- 618, 18 USC 921, et seq., and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, 27 CFR 178, as well as state and local laws. The mailer may be required by the USPS to establish, by opening the parcel or by written certification, that the gun is unloaded and not precluded by 12.1.1e.
    12.4 Legal Opinions on Mailing Firearms
    Postmasters are not authorized to give opinions on the legality of any shipment of rifles or shotguns. Contact the nearest office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for further advice.
    12.5 Replica or Inert Explosive Devices
    Replica or inert explosive devices that bear a realistic appearance to explosive devices such as simulated grenades, but that are not dangerous, are permitted in the mail when all of the following conditions are met:
    a. The package is presented by the mailer at a retail counter.
    b. Registered Mail service is used. (Registered Mail service is only available for items mailed as either First-Class Mail or Priority Mail.)
    c. The address side of the package is labeled with "REPLICA EXPLOSIVE" using at least 20 point type or letters at least 1/4-inch high.
    12.6 Knives and Sharp Instruments
    12.6.1 Mailability
    Knives (including sharp-pointed instruments such as stilettos that lack cutting edges) with a blade that opens automatically by hand pressure applied to a button or other device in the handle, or by operations of inertia, gravity, or both, or with a detachable blade propelled by a spring-operated mechanism, are mailable only when sent to:
    a. The respective governmentís or organizationís designated supply or procurement officers and employees ordering, procuring, or buying such knives for use with the activities of the federal government; the National Guard, the Air National Guard, or the militia of a state, territory, or the District of Columbia; or the municipal government of the District of Columbia or of the government of any state or territory, or of any county, city, or other political subdivision of a state or territory.
    b. Manufacturers of such knives, or bona fide dealers of such knives, in connection with a shipment made under an order from any person designated in 12.6.1a.
    12.6.2 Addressee Identification
    Before delivering a shipment (or parcel) that contains an article or articles described in 12.6.1, a USPS employee may require that the recipient identify himself or herself as in one of the categories in 12.6.1a.
    12.6.3 Wrapping
    Sharp-pointed or sharp-edged instruments such as knives, tools, ice picks, and razor blades, that are otherwise mailable, must be wrapped to protect their points and edges from cutting through the outer carton in which they are mailed.
    12.7 Prohibited Parcel Marking
    For any parcel containing a firearm or a ballistic or switchblade knife, any marking that indicates the contents is not permitted on the outside wrapper or container.

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    One other option would be to sell your handguns here and replace them when you get down south. I just list this as an option because you said none are sentimental or couldn't be replaced. Some might even be found cheaper in the lower 48 depending on brand, caliber, ect... I think a guy would have to do the math and figure up the shipping costs, FFL transfer fees and see where it stands. Could look at it as a chance to re-build your handgun battery with newer/different caliber/model weapons?

    Never tried to import a handgun through Canada as I was under the impression it was practically impossible. My last trip through in Sep 2010 (done 5 trips in last 6 years), they asked me 3 different times in 3 different ways if I had any handguns. Made the mistake of telling them they were in my household goods on a barge and they wanted to know where the barge was!! Crazy stuff my friend. For those thinking of breaking one down and sneaking it through, I hear it is a 10 year prison term for possessing it in Canada! Definately not worth the risk.

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    Good to know and I'll pass that info on. My last trip coming back up 2 years ago they did ask a lot of different questions about guns. I told them I had no guns. Even asked if I carry guns in my car in America. When I said that yes and I can do that she really got upset and told me to pull over and go inside. Well extra questions and photo copys of my paper work and on the road I was again.

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    Sounds about right. I have always found the folks in Canada to be very cordial, but I'm convinced the border agents must be disgruntled about the liberties we have in the good ole USA. I know they are just doing their jobs, but they really try to be sly with their questioning techniques. Hard to believe our neighbors living in a society much like our own cannot even own handguns?

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    Canadians can own handguns, they can't do much with them compared to most US citizens, but they can own them.

    Selling them and buying more wouldnt work if he wasnt a resident of the state he wanted to buy them in. He said he was travelling, not moving, so presumably, residence is in Alaska.

    Shipping them from yourself, to yourself in care of somebody is probably the best and simplest. Be advised that they are not legally allowed to open the package, only you, as the legal owner, can. Shipping to yourself at a hub or shipping point instead of friends may work also, but be sure the people at the destination understand they are supposed to hold them. If you aren't there, or they dont have a shipping address other than the hub (and don't assume that because they accepted them and took your money that you're good, I've had people try to UPS me things to my PO box, they accepted shipment, but sent them back when they got to the destination town, only to not be able to drop them at a PO box), they could be sent back, at which point, you're out of luck, and they may sit on your porch til you get home, or sit in limbo at the Alaska hub of origin until they can be picked up.

    You can reduce the weight of a UPS/FED-EX shipment by breaking them down and mailing the non-serialed parts, but the frames have to be shipped common carrier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kantill View Post
    I am about to do option 4 myself to get my gun to Alaska and I have read the federal laws on it but I am still nervous on it. Yeah I wish I didn't have to go through Canada at all, I am also having to mail some of my knives.
    Well, the best plan I came up with on that route was mailing them to myself with "Hold at Location" service (i.e., they hang onto it at the receiving distribution center until you come and sign for it).

    Unfortunately, the employees on the phone were totally ignorant of UPS and FEDEX corporate policy. In fact, the UPS employee was kind of panicky... I asked about mailing firearms, and she started by claiming they never mail firearms. After I read her the corporate policy, she then was like, "You aren't mailing a fully automatic gun or a handgun, are you?" Then it went downhill; at first she insisted they couldn't accept such packages at all, then tried to say that they can't ship them to a non-FFL under any circumstances. I think I'll need to physically go into the place with a printout of the corporate policy and a copy of the ATF FAQ and ask to speak to a manager to get anywhere.

    FEDEX won't ship to individuals, however, they will ship to "licensed collectors." I have a C&R FFL03 so that may do it. I've heard of other folks using their C&R at FEDEX even to ship non C&R guns; it seems that FEDEX doesn't particularly care what kind of firearm it is as long as you have the paperwork, at least based on what the internet stories say.

    Canada is still being difficult about the ATT. No surprises there.

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    My mistake. I thought he was relocating to another State. Not sure on the shipping from yourself to yourself deal. I have heard many say this is legal and just as many say it is illegal to do? Would like to see the regs on this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HUNTERKJL View Post
    My mistake. I thought he was relocating to another State. Not sure on the shipping from yourself to yourself deal. I have heard many say this is legal and just as many say it is illegal to do? Would like to see the regs on this.
    From ATF:
    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.
    http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/unli...rms-additional

    I suppose "Hold At Location" isn't quite the same as sending them "care of," although it could be argued that "hold at location" is basically "care of" FEDEX/UPS.

    So, its legal. THe real question is whether the private contract carrier will choose to accept the shipment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nittanytbone View Post
    From ATF:
    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.
    http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/unli...rms-additional

    I suppose "Hold At Location" isn't quite the same as sending them "care of," although it could be argued that "hold at location" is basically "care of" FEDEX/UPS.

    So, its legal. THe real question is whether the private contract carrier will choose to accept the shipment.

    Good to know. My only experience in shipping a firearm was a recent shipment of rifle to have coated. I took it cased up to the UPS Store in Eagle River, AK and they would not even consider it, said it was illegal?? I ended up going to the post office and mailing insured for around $50 one way. I called the post office first and they told me it was legal but only for long guns?

    Hope you can get it worked out. Seems like a big pain in the rear for a guy to get guns to and from AK. My first move up here in 05 from Scott AFB, IL was a nightmare. The HHG folks on base said "no handguns in shipment allowed per Canadian law"? I called TMO here and they assured me military members ship them in and out all the time. I relayed information back and forth, but the TMO people at Scott held firm with long guns only. I ended up rolling the dice and locked them into my tool chests and shipped in the HHG per barge (since I knew I was not breaking any laws in doing so). Crazy stuff IMHO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HUNTERKJL View Post
    One other option would be to sell your handguns here and replace them when you get down south. I just list this as an option because you said none are sentimental or couldn't be replaced. Some might even be found cheaper in the lower 48 depending on brand, caliber, ect... I think a guy would have to do the math and figure up the shipping costs, FFL transfer fees and see where it stands. Could look at it as a chance to re-build your handgun battery with newer/different caliber/model weapons?
    I actually thought about a variant of this idea... I'm actually going to be on the road for a few months prior to arriving to the final destination, so my household goods will be in storage. I could put all the current handguns into storage.

    Then, "en route," I can just pick up a new shotgun and use my C&R license to pick up a pair of Makarovs or CZ-82s for DW and I. They might not be pretty, but they'll be functional for CCW pieces for a few months until our household goods get out of storage. My wife wants to shoot some competition and they might not be ideal for that but for a few months it might be alright.

    //

    I did some research and option 3 (mail them to a WA FFL) is not really an option. Apparently I'd have to be a resident of WA to pick up my own firearms, which I won't be.

    //

    Right now, I think the best plan is to mail them as "hold on arrival" to myself if FEDEX or UPS will do that. The next plan is to mail them to an FFL in Haines if the price is reasonable. And the last option is to put them into storage and go with some C&R items in the meantime.

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    Hope you get it worked out. I have had no problems going into Canada with long guns and have always had a shotgun or two as well as some bolt action/lever guns plus ammo stored in the camper. Paid $25 fee for 60 day license and filled out the forms (in triplicate) at the entry point. Last trip, I downloaded the forms off their website, but they had newer versions? The guy had me come in to fill out the new ones and said next time thru, just declare them at the entry point and follow their instructions. Either way, they make you come in (probably to get video surveillence of the individual)??

    Your plan sounds good to me as you can budget a couple of C&R pistolas into the move to add to your collection!

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