Travellers transiting to and from Alaska reminded to declare their firearms at the Canadian border

Failure to declare firearms may result in criminal prosecution in a court of law

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) reminds travellers transiting through Canada to and from Alaska to declare any firearms in their possession to a CBSA officer when entering Canada. Failure to declare firearms may result in criminal prosecution in a court of law.

Last year, CBSA officers in Western Canada seized 297 undeclared firearms, and of these, approximately 50 per cent were from travellers bound for or leaving Alaska. Many of these travellers faced criminal charges and/or a monetary penalty that could have been avoided by simply declaring the guns.

Canada’s firearm laws require that all guns must be declared upon entering the country. Before arriving, follow these border-smart practices:

• If you plan to bring a gun into Canada, learn about the requirements beforehand. Visitors are not allowed to bring prohibited firearms – which include many handguns – to Canada under any circumstances. Visitors importing other classes of firearms must have a valid purpose and provide the proper documentation, which is available through the CBSA website.

• Consider shipping your firearms to Alaska beforehand. You will be asked to present your receipt to a border services officer. Please note that handguns cannot be mailed through the United States Postal Service and must be shipped via common or contract carrier.

• If you must travel with your guns, be sure to observe Canada’s requirements for safe transportation, which includes storing all guns unloaded.

• Ensure that you are aware of and declare all firearms on your person or in your vehicle. If you are unsure or cannot remember, let the CBSA officer know right away that you may have firearms in your possession to avoid potential penalties.