carrying to canada?


July 9, 2009, 03:44 AM
ok i know you need a PAL to possess in canada how hard is it to get a PAL?? what handguns would be allowed(i know you cant carry)but id like to be able to carry in the car to and fro

if handguns are a no no(i have a keltec p11 which the barrel is too short and a M&P 40 i think the capacity is too high??), what about a carbine?

anyone have experience in this process??

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Shadow 7D
July 9, 2009, 05:13 AM
call the local consulate, and don't take a gun to Canada, had a buddy who lost his entire collection when he was transferred to Alaska, His antique shotguns his grampa gave him didn't have serial number, and the amount was considered to be "excessive" so the border cops took them, last I heard he was still fighting to get them back.

Prince Yamato
July 9, 2009, 05:15 AM
Chances are that you probably won't be allowed to bring in the handgun unless your are going to some sort of international pistol competition. You are limited to 10 round mags and you are limited to guns with a barrel length over (I think) 4.25". Concealed or loaded carry (unless for competition or hunting) is an absolute no-no. You would need to obtain an ATC (Authorization to Carry) to do that and those are only available to 50 some Canadian citizens.

July 9, 2009, 04:50 PM
Basically, forget about it.

I looked into this in excruciating depth last year as we were planning a back-country livestock trip in interior BC. I wanted to take a handgun for protection. The last time I was in that area (early last summer), the one week I was there saw one non-serious bear attack and a young boy badly mauled about the face and head by a mountain lion. This was in one week in the general area I was in, not even the entire province! Canada will only allow you to bring in guns with 5" barrels or longer; shorter lengths are flat prohibited. Those allowed in are banned from being used for protection, so you can't carry them, even openly, anywhere. There is an exception for professional wilderness guides, but that requires you be employed in Canada in that profession. Somehow being paid to be in the woods gets you greater privileges than being unpaid. This doesn't get you a license, it just allows you to apply for one. After that, you have to register your guns.

The only practical option is a long gun. You can pay a $50 or so fee and take one in. There are capacity limits (I think 5), so even your antique Winchester 94 is banned in Canada according to the RCMP. Actually it is not, as the magazine limit applies to semi-auto long guns, but the RCMP doesn't tell people that and just tells them it's prohibited.

When in the woods and mountains, we stay carefully on the "free" side of the border.

Snow Dog
July 9, 2009, 04:59 PM
Go to the RCMP Firearms site for all the straight poop:
For carrying in the back country you can pretty much forget about a handgun. You can, however, get yourself a short 12 gauge - much more useful IMHO.

July 9, 2009, 05:07 PM
HOLY CRAP that's a sweet SBS... me likey... I would hate to shoot one though

Dan Forrester
July 9, 2009, 05:57 PM
Canadian laws are much less restrictive in certain areas. We’ve had a ban (basically) on machineguns since 86 Canada wasn’t until the late 90s. Destructive devices are still unregulated there. NIB Norinco RPGs come into Canada along with 40mm grenade launchers and drop fired mortars. Of course explosive projectiles cannot be obtained. SBS and AOW laws are different, as are importation (Norinco for instance) and they don’t have any stupid open bolt or once a machinegun always a machine gun laws.

All in all laws in the US are much much better but not in all areas.

Back on topic I haven’t been into Canada in years but from what I’ve heard from friends and relatives up there, if you want to get into Canada without problems bring an 870 pump with no tube extension. Shotguns (870s in particular) are extremely common up there and aren’t looked down on at all. Rifles of any type can give you problems especially if you aren’t hunting or doing something specific with it. I guess shotguns are looked at as being too limited in range for some crazy American to do too much damage with.

Have fun in Canada it’s a beautiful country with friendly people and strong gun owning tradition. Albeit more of a hunting/rural living one than a self defense overthrow the government type thing.


ETA: The little 870s don't kick too bad. Heres me shooting mine:

July 9, 2009, 06:01 PM
What does it take to buy gun parts in Canada, e.g. a 14" barrel for an 870?

I realize that I can't bring it back to the states, at least not without an inordinate hassle. But I'm curious about what it would take to get one for use in Canada.

Dan Forrester
July 9, 2009, 06:06 PM
You can buy 14" factory 870 barrels in the US with no hastles or paperwork. I know that doesnt anwser you importation question however.


July 9, 2009, 06:43 PM
This is from the U.S. State Dept web site

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: IMPORTATION OF FIREARMS: Firearms are much more strictly controlled in Canada than in the United States. Violation of firearms restrictions may result in prosecution and imprisonment. As of January 1, 2001, visitors bringing any firearms into Canada, or planning to borrow and use firearms while in Canada, must declare the firearms in writing using a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration form. Visitors planning to borrow a firearm in Canada must obtain in advance a Temporary Firearms Borrowing License. These forms must be signed before a Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer at the border and no photocopies are available at the border. Full details and downloadable forms are available from the Canada Firearms Program . Canadian law requires that officials confiscate firearms and weapons from persons crossing the border who deny having the items in their possession. Confiscated firearms and weapons are never returned. Possession of an undeclared firearm may result in arrest and imprisonment.

Canada has three classes of firearms: non-restricted, restricted, and prohibited. Non-restricted firearms include most ordinary hunting rifles and shotguns. These may be brought temporarily into Canada for sporting or hunting use during hunting season, use in competitions, in-transit movement through Canada, or personal protection against wildlife in remote areas of Canada. Anyone wishing to bring hunting rifles into Canada must be at least 18 years old, must properly store he firearm for transport, and must follow the declaration requirements described above. Restricted firearms are primarily handguns; however, pepper spray, mace, and some knives also are included in this category. A restricted firearm may be brought into Canada, but an Authorization to Transport permit must be obtained in advance from a Provincial or Territorial Chief Firearms Officer. Prohibited firearms include fully automatic, converted automatics, and assault-type weapons. Prohibited firearms are not allowed into Canada.

I was there several years ago and chose to travel without my sidearm, but at the border I was asked if wished to register a firearm.

Here's a link

July 9, 2009, 09:43 PM
Canada's Gun Laws for Americans

Fabulously researched!

July 9, 2009, 10:09 PM
I live quite close to the Canada border in Washington. I traveled in a marked police car, in uniform, and for a scheduled K9 training seminar event into Canada. The first day I went through, they didn't ask me anything other than where I was going and why, and sent me through. The second day, they stopped and asked if I was armed. I told them I had my handgun of course, and a Colt AR-15 in the trunk. They made me turn around and leave my handgun at the U.S. port, but they let me take my AR-15. The inspector told me that handguns were prohibited, but the rifle was okay. I know this isn't the same circumstance as yours, but my whole point is of this story is to say that it sometimes just depends on who the inspector is at the border. I hear different rules it seems all of the time. So, if you do the proper research on the laws, just be sure to take a copy of them with you and show the inspector, or you may have trouble anyway. I don't think that all of them know all of the laws regarding this stuff, since there appear to be a lot.

July 10, 2009, 12:46 AM
Okay from expereince of many years. Only a on duty police officer can carry his sidearm. When off duty you are the same as a civilian. We had one fellow couple years ago that was off duty so had his sidearm locked in a breif case in his car and it was stolen. He was charged with unproper storage. Like it's said in a earlier post only a hand full of people have carry permits I know the number to be as low as 8 at one time. We have strict barrel lengths for rifles and shotguns also. Guides can not legally carry sidearms . Rifles or shot guns only.
We also have weird things we can do. I can and have sent a handgun in the mail and you don't have to say whats in the package. Once bought a handgun from a guy over the phone and told him the check would be in the mail in the next couple of days. I went to the post office to mail the check and the gun was there waiting for me. Since it's registered already to me the seller has nothing to fear as he can just report me for theft.
Like any legal situation its is sometimes up to who's on duty that day as what to expect. You can talk to one guy today and he says go and the next day the other guy says no. One lady wanted to know why I needed two days to bring a hand gun home driving. Told her that the snow storm wasn't helping much. To carry a handgun to a shooting range or to buy it and haul it home we need a convaiance permit but if we want to haul a hand gun to a store or gunsmith we don't need one.
Do not get caught with a gun in a National Park unless its sealed.
We also have one police force in Canada that has to carry their guns in the trunk of the car and can only take them out when they need them. Figure that one out.

July 10, 2009, 12:10 PM

(Not your fault). Your AR15 pattern rifle has been in the same category as handguns in Canada since around 1993. Given the complexity of Canada's firearm laws, it's not surprising that the border staff can get confused and make mistakes. Handguns with barrels under 105mm are prohibited for any kind of non-agency importation since around 1999, that may have been the reason for excluding yours...

July 10, 2009, 11:08 PM
I recently posted an extensive report on this on another similar topic, based upon my two years of living in Calgary while working, and a hunting trip to Sasketchewan this last October.

Be courteous while passing through Customs, as Canada provides their Customs officials with considerable latitude in accomplishing their duties. If the Customs official chooses, he can prevent your gun entry even though the written rules/guidelines permit it...and you have no recourse. Remember, you are entering another country, and you have no "rights as an American". You have only the rights they are willing to grant you.

Be sure to document your guns before leaving the United States...or you may not be allowed to bring them back into the United States!

We entered Canada for a pre-arranged hunting trip on a game ranch. Upon presenting paperwork from the preserve, we were able to get a temporary permit for our hunting rifles for $25 each. The rifles had to be locked into cases, carried in the trunk, and the ammunition had to be in a separate locked case.

Passing our rifles through U.S. Customs on our return was more of a hassle than processing them into Canada! And we were well prepared with all required paperwork.:rolleyes:

Forget about pistols...they will be taken, and you are very likely not to be able to get them back (see the 2nd paragraph above). They are illegal for hunting, and .25 and .32 Auto pocket pistols are every bit as illegal as full automatic machineguns! Resident Canadians have to really jump through the hoops to have one legally...and very, very few do.

July 11, 2009, 06:56 PM
Any hand gun with a short barrel is classed as a prohibited weapon and needs a special license. Many people have them and probbably 100% of us were grandfathered as we bought them pre 1979 I believe the year was. To sell something like a Baby Browning or a Detictive special we have to sell it to somebody who already owns one. I get asked many times to buy guns from guys and sometimes even just take owner ship of them due to this problem. Somebody's father dies and had owned one and it has to be destroyed or sold to one of us with the right permit. I have seen gun auctions that there wasn't a guy in the crowd had the right permit to even bid on the gun let alone take it home with him.

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