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Americans Are Trying to Bring Their Guns into Canada Because They Don’t Understand Gun Control Laws

Tourists don't need to be armed to the teeth to visit our friends to the north.
Manisha Krishnan
Toronto, CA
August 23, 2016, 7:35pm

Leave the toys at home, people. Photo via Flickr user Dennis van Zuijlekom

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In light of two recent incidents in which Americans attempted to sneak their guns into Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is reminding its neighbors to the south that it's a different country and as such have different gun laws.

In a press release dated August 22, the CBSA said, "Canadian laws are different than US ones."

"It is strongly recommended that you not carry your firearm when traveling to Canada and/or transiting through Canada to reach another US destination," the statement says. But, if you should decide to bring your gun across the border, don't lie about it.

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The seemingly straightforward advice was apparently lost on a couple of Texans who tried to make it across at St. Stephen, New Brunswick, while packing heat.

According to the Canadian Press, Than Jeffrey Do showed up at the border on August 13 in a pickup truck towing an RV. He said he didn't have guns on him, but in fact, when border officials searched the trailer, they discovered a Bersa Thunder .380 handgun, a Smith and Wesson .38 Special, a Rossi .357 Magnum, a 12-gauge shotgun, ammo, and pepper spray.

Canada has strict rules about handguns—if they have a barrel length of less than 4.25 inches, as was likely the case with at least two of the aforementioned guns, they are prohibited.

The very next day, another retiree from near Dallas, Lloyd Norman Chaffin, arrived at the same border in his motorhome. He and his wife claimed they didn't have any weapons, but they later fessed up to storing a .40 Glock handgun in the safe of their vehicle.

Both Do and Chaffin were kicked out of Canada and fined, and their guns were confiscated and then destroyed.

The CBSA warning says, "Canadian firearm laws are clear—failure to declare any firearm may lead to seizure action, penalty, prosecution in a court of law, and may make you inadmissible to Canada. Your vehicle may also be seized, and you will have to pay a penalty to get it back."

In the first half of 2016, the CBSA reportedly seized 413 guns at the border.

Speaking to the Toronto Star, Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, said the CBSA's view on bringing guns across the border is a "shame."

Perhaps the bigger shame is not bothering to read up on another country's firearms laws before paying them a visit while armed to the teeth.

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