We have a hard time to understand American’s love affair with guns. Even harder it is to understand why so many Americans are thinking that their US-permit to “carry” is extending into a foreign country.
Read the story about two American couples coming across the border at St.Stephen,NB and how they learned that import of guns to Canada is illegal. And that it also meant the end of their vacations in Canada.
Canadian vacations end for two Texan couples who brought guns along on separate trips
SAINT JOHN, N.B. — Two Texas men who tried to bring hidden guns along on separate Canadian vacations last weekend have lost their guns, been fined and sent home.
The men, both retirees in their 50s from the Dallas area, came separately across the border with their wives at St. Stephen, N.B., federal prosecutor Peter Thorn said Wednesday.
Border Crossing from St.Stephen to Calais,ME
They arrived a day apart, and there is no indication they knew each other.
Thorn, who appeared for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada at a Tuesday court hearing, said he could not comment on the case. But he confirmed he told the judge that Than Jeffrey Do, 56, and his wife arrived shortly before 10 a.m. on Saturday driving a pickup truck towing a camper trailer.
The Dos, of Murphy, Tex., told a border officer they were not carrying weapons, but were pulled over for a secondary inspection, Thorn told the judge. In various storage compartments in the trailer, inspectors found a Bersa Thunder .380 handgun along with loose rounds in a Ziploc bag, a Smith and Wesson .38 Special, and a Rossi .357 Magnum. They also found a 12-gauge shotgun and pepper spray, Thorn said.
Thorn said Lloyd Norman Chaffin, 57, arrived at the border around 2 p.m. the next day with his wife, in a motorhome towing an SUV.
They also denied carrying weapons, but after some ammunition was found in the SUV during a secondary inspection, Chaffin, of Aurora, Tex., admitted there was a .40 Glock handgun in their motor home's safe.
Thorn said provincial court Judge Henrik Tonning fined Do $1,700 and Chaffin $1,000. Their guns were destroyed, and both men were told to leave the country.
The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) said Wednesday such seizures are common.
"The majority of firearm seizures at designated land ports of entry involve the undeclared personal firearms of U.S. travellers," CBSA spokeswoman Esme Bailey said.
Last year, it seized seven guns at two crossings in St. Stephen, up from five the previous year, it said. Nationally, the CBSA seized 671 firearms last year, 313 of which were prohibited in Canada, mostly in Ontario and B.C.
The CBSA would not say whether it is more likely to do secondary searches of travellers from states with more liberal gun laws.
"It is not the practice of the CBSA to discuss its tactics or strategies, but I can say that our officers use proven indicators and advance information, innovative technological tools, information sharing and training to carry out their mandate to target high-risk goods and people," Bailey said.
In May, the agency reminded travellers to and from Alaska they had to declare firearms at the border. It noted in a press release that about half of the 297 firearms seized in Western Canada last year "were from travellers bound for or leaving Alaska."
— By Rob Roberts in Halifax
The Canadian Press