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Old 04-28-2019, 11:03 AM   #1
Petmoose
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Border Crossings into Canada and back to USA

We are headed to Alaska this June. We have spoken to Canadian customs and read their website about what can be brought in and what is illegal. We have also read various blogs about what experiences from others has been and they seem to be very different in several cases. For example, one person said that all their milk and eggs were thrown away. In some cases it almost seems to be dependent upon the mood of the border guard at the time. Has this been your experience ?

The issue of taking a rifle or shotgun. A senior Canadian official said that with the proper form, from their website and then signed in their presence, that those are allowed. Obviously handguns are not permitted unless you have a special permit, which I am not interested in.

What have been the experiences of those of you that have gone through the border? Based upon the senior Canadian official from customs, I had thought about taking a shotgun but am not certain that it is worth the effort. Based upon some stories, if you’re from Texas they “assume” that you will be carrying a handgun. That seems to also carry with it the high probability that a camper inspection will follow. Has that been the experience of those that have gone ?

Thanks for any guidance from your experiences.
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Old 04-28-2019, 11:43 AM   #2
1retired06
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My experience is five years past. Did no research prior. Hit the border. Remembered I had a handgun with me in the fiver, and declared. Canadian officials took custody of my Ruger, gave me a receipt, with instructions to take possession back when we returned to the US. That is what we did, everyone was professional and courteous. There were limits on Alcohol, which we did not exceed. No issues with food. Imagine it would have been a different story if I had not declared, and it was discovered during an inspection.
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Old 04-28-2019, 12:03 PM   #3
twindman
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Back when there was a chicken disease we had to toss eggs going into Canada. Also it seems like out west where there are more fruit trees grown, there is some restriction going or coming there. But it seemed like when crossing in Montana they never asked.
Also, once we had an issue with meat. If it is fresh - no, but packaged - maybe???
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Old 04-28-2019, 01:16 PM   #4
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We found it very easy and straightforward. Took a shotgun - very easy to complete the form and pay $25 Canadian. Answer their questions honestly and you will not have an issue. Had shot records for my dog but was only asked if we had them - they did not want to see them.

Only surprise was firewood - he asked us to dump our firewood when coming back into Canada from Alaska.

Was never searched and we would not have had an issue if we were.
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Old 04-28-2019, 01:52 PM   #5
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When you say rifle... just to be clear, semi-auto long guns are not allowed in Canada.
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Old 04-28-2019, 02:43 PM   #6
Petmoose
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Yes, I only was referring to a rifle not semi auto like AR 15 etc. My interest was taking a shotgun and AZ Traveler’s experience is what I had read on the Canadian website. Thanks again for the responses. I figure that we’ll be searched since being from Texas they will assume we are carrying a handgun.
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Old 04-28-2019, 02:57 PM   #7
AZ Traveler
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Petmoose,

As you stated earlier it will depend a little on the individual officer you deal with. I saw more searching and a little less friendly demeanor on the US side than the Canadian. I would not assume you will get searched just because you have Texas tags. Made 20 or so crossings with Arizona tags and never searched but always declared what I had.

I know ARs are not permitted in but I am fairly sure semi-auto rifles and shotguns are fine as long as the barrel is 18.5 inches or longer and the mag is 5 or less. Check the RCMP website to confirm if needed.
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Old 04-28-2019, 03:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Based upon some stories, if you’re from Texas they “assume” that you will be carrying a handgun. That seems to also carry with it the high probability that a camper inspection will follow. Has that been the experience of those that have gone ?
I have been twice into Ontario in the past few years (crossing from Port Huron into Sarnia) and once into Alberta (Saltgrass, Montana). We had only the standard questions and immediate welcome to Canada each time. Of course, one of the standard questions was about guns. We have none, and our reply was accepted. We had food in the refrigerator, but nothing was asked about that. Our camper was not searched on any entry. We had our dog in the back seat, looking out the window at the agent. We were not asked about that. Of course, we had all the proper documents related to the dog. The point is the agent correctly assumed that we did. We are natives of Texas and our license plates indicate that. This is our experience.
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Old 05-08-2019, 02:39 PM   #9
Greg and Sherry
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You said no handguns without proper permits. Hubby and I both have CCW permits in our home state and have thought about getting the HR218 carry permits for all 50 states. Which does Canada require? Or should I just go to RMCP website?
Thanks, Sherry
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Old 05-08-2019, 02:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Greg and Sherry View Post
You said no handguns without proper permits. Hubby and I both have CCW permits in our home state and have thought about getting the HR218 carry permits for all 50 states. Which does Canada require? Or should I just go to RMCP website?
Thanks, Sherry
Assume nothing go to the RMCP website.
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Old 05-08-2019, 02:50 PM   #11
richfaa
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Assume nothing go to the RMCP website.
I assume you are both retired LEO

HR-218 Enrollment. HR-218 is the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004. It exempts active and retired law enforcement officers with firearm certification credentials from local laws (with some exceptions) prohibiting concealed firearms
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:17 PM   #12
Petmoose
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Just to be clear my reference to a “Special permit” was from information that I read on the official Canadian Border website. They indicated that there was a “process” by which you could obtain permission to carry a handgun in Canada, but I was not interested in pursuing that process as it seemed more than I needed. I have an open carry permit for Texas but have decided to carry a shotgun on this trip to make it less complicated for border crossing this time.
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Old 05-08-2019, 04:17 PM   #13
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No big deal

We crossed many times last summer while traveling to Alaska. Don’t try to be funny, answer questions. Check on things that are allowed and keep the volumes in line. We never had a search. Leave the guns at home, will not need, I bought a big Bear spray. Side note Pepper spray not allowed in Canada, but Bear spray is fine. So no personal protection spray
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Old 05-08-2019, 05:04 PM   #14
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We live in Washington State. My husband has duel citizenship so we have crossed the border many, many times. I don't think the question asked when we were traveling with a RV were really any different than those asked when crossing in a car.

Be nice. Listen to what they ask, answer honestly and you should be good to go!
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:01 PM   #15
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I am also retired LEO but I don't think Canada cares. From all I've read, you can't bring a handgun into Canada regardless. You can check it at the border and get it on your way out. But even then, I don't want to go through all that. I CCW in the states, but if we ever go back to Canada, we'll just leave our "little friends" with some relatives in the UP before we enter.
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Old 05-09-2019, 05:17 AM   #16
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We have traveled to Canada with our dog and have been asked to see our dog’s medical paperwork. We had it and had no other issues. The paperwork was a health certificate that we got from our vet, showing that all their shots were up to date. I don’t think they let all breeds into Canada, check their website.
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:14 AM   #17
MidMOTraveler
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RVing to Alaska 2019 on Facebook is full of information.
Lots of folks are crossing now and you can get updates.
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:54 AM   #18
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I have been to Canada the last 4 years and not had any problems crossing either way.
Check for current updates on what foods may or may not be brought each way.Last year it was apples coming back to the states.
As far as guns,hand guns are not alowed unless you are going to a compition.Leave them home. Shotguns are alowed as long as they do not have a pistol grip
I have never felt the need for a gun in Canada or Alaska.
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:12 AM   #19
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Been a few years, but entering Canada was a breeze. Friendly agent asked about alcohol and firearms (we had neither) and sent us on our way. Reentering the US was a different story. You would have thought we were smuggling contraband into Nazi Germany. Very brusque agent at the border, trailer was searched, but no real issues. I was told later that people wearing sunglasses are searched more often than those without, but I have no way of knowing for sure. Could be some arbitrary value, like blue shirts, every third vehicle or something similar.

I always carry a gun when I travel, but the paperwork was such a hassle I decided against it on that trip. If I were going through to Alaska, though, I would have taken the trouble.

Canada is beautiful. Enjoy your trip.
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:34 AM   #20
mazboy
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when you go into canada and they ask if you have anything that you shouldn't..who knows exactly what that is...just say "I don't think so, but lets check." this will keep you out of trouble.
not a big deal.
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