Canadian customs and firearm parts...


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Preacherman
June 23, 2005, 07:47 PM
From the Winnipeg Sun, Canada (http://www.canoe.ca/NewsStand/WinnipegSun/News/2005/06/22/1099308-sun.html):

Wed, June 22, 2005

American cries foul

Claims border harassment

By ROCHELLE SQUIRES, STAFF REPORTER

An American man says he was held captive, terrorized and interrogated for nine hours at a Canadian border for having nothing more than a few non-prohibited antique gun pieces in his car.

"I'm a strong man, but what they put me through, I felt suicide might be my only way out," said Barry Borum of Cullman, Ala., who was detained June 13 by customs officers at the Emerson border crossing while enroute to visit a friend in Manitou. "It breaks my heart to admit that.

"They were like a pack of dogs. They seized my car and tore it apart, ruined the air conditioner, pulled leather off the seats and left door panels loose," said Borum, noting the repair costs later added up to more than $1,500.

Borum was told he was facing arrest for smuggling prohibited weapons into Canada.

"I was scared to death," said the 51-year-old, who is a licensed gun manufacturer and weapons collector and inadvertently left the parts in his trunk.

"I forgot those pieces were even there, that's how insignificant they are. They're harmless and could be washing machine parts for all it mattered."

The pieces included a rubber shoulder pad, a securing pin, a partial bipod mount, a harmonica muzzle-brake, a magazine holder, gas tube and a rectangular steel channel with "for display only" engraved on it.

The parts were not restricted in either Canada or the United States and did not constitute a weapon, he said.

However, a spokeswoman for the Canada Border Services Agency said patrol officers have authority to detain and investigate anything suspicious.

"When people present themselves at the border, they must respond to the questions truthfully and declare all firearms and weapons," said agency spokeswoman Lisa White. "We have strict procedures and take border protection very seriously."

'HIGHLY TRAINED'

White said officers are "highly trained professionals who don't do anything unless they have a reason to believe there is contraband or prohibited goods."

Borum understands the need for border protection, but was disturbed by the rationale for his detention and the alleged abuse he endured.

He said one officer had a "MacGyver complex" by insisting a gun barrel could be made with the parts found in his car.

He claims he was threatened and denied his medication, even after insisting the pills were essential to his well-being.

Charges were not laid and Borum was released the following day. But in order to retrieve his seized car, he needed to pay an $1,125 fine.

His pieces were not returned to him, even though officers admitted the pieces were not restricted.

He is now making the 4,800 km round-trip in hopes of retrieving his antiques and plans to appeal the fine.

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Standing Wolf
June 23, 2005, 08:29 PM
Canadian vacation? Who said anything about a Canadian vacation? That was years ago, for heaven's sake!

Art Eatman
June 23, 2005, 09:08 PM
Quote: White said officers are "highly trained professionals who don't do anything unless they have a reason to believe there is contraband or prohibited goods."

Then:

"Charges were not laid and Borum was released the following day. But in order to retrieve his seized car, he needed to pay an $1,125 fine."

Neato! "Fined for not doing anything wrong."

And:

"His pieces were not returned to him, even though officers admitted the pieces were not restricted."

There seems to be a bit of a dichotomy with White's statement.

Nothing like highly-trained professionals, I always say. In this particular case, however, it appears they were on vacation and some TSA folks "helped out" for a while.

These guys couldn't tell mumbledypeg from Winnipeg.

Art

VARifleman
June 23, 2005, 11:10 PM
I guess Ann Coulter was right...

COULTER:
Conservatives, as a general matter, take the position that you should not punish your friends and reward your enemies. And Canada has become trouble recently.

It's -- I suppose it's always, I might add, the worst Americans who end up going there. The Tories after the Revolutionary War, the Vietnam draft dodgers after Vietnam. And now after this election, you have the blue-state people moving up there.

There is also something called, when you're allowed to exist on the same continent of the United States of America, protecting you with a nuclear shield around you, you're polite and you support us when we've been attacked on our own soil.
:what:

It fits, kind of...

torpid
June 23, 2005, 11:24 PM
Next time h-

Er...

Taking the "high road" here instead.

;)


.

Joejojoba111
June 23, 2005, 11:27 PM
That sounds a little fishy, I don't know why but it doesn't make complete sense. Maybe the only thing to learn is that complete openness is the best policy with customs, because I would bet good money if he had a package marked 'firearms parts' it wouldn't have been any trouble.

P95Carry
June 23, 2005, 11:36 PM
The pieces included a rubber shoulder pad, a securing pin, a partial bipod mount, a harmonica muzzle-brake, a magazine holder, gas tube and a rectangular steel channel with "for display only" engraved on it.

The parts were not restricted in either Canada or the United States and did not constitute a weapon, he said. Seems like a storm in a teacup with regard to what he had in the trunk - but then the Canucks appear to have gotten all twisted with their underwear and proceeded to trash his vehicle anyways!!!

No if he had had a whole trigger group for something modern - a real barrel - maybe a bolt or two - perhaps just perhaps they might have been keen to see what else was there but this seems on face of it - to be total excess, all the way.

Sorry Hon - Canadian vacation is off!

SteveS
June 24, 2005, 08:15 AM
I went with some family members to Canada last fall for a hunting trip. I don't know if this experience was typical, but we had no problem bringing rifles into Canada. They never even conducted any kind of inspection. OTOH, US Customs poked though everything on the return trip.

Matthew748
June 24, 2005, 08:23 AM
Stories like this are why I have not gone to Canada in almost 5 years. There are few things worse than dealing with a customs official on a power trip.

Joejojoba111
June 24, 2005, 07:06 PM
I checked the site, and it's pretty clear that bringing stuff into Canada isn't a big deal. There was a special note that while a person 'importing' firearms or parts into Canada need only mark and package correctly, if the items are coming from the USA then export certification from some National Defence bureau would be required, in writing. Maybe they are afraid of their US counterparts backlash if they allow someone to evade export restrictions?

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