On August 26, 2016, the Canada Border Services Agency (“CBSA”) issued a News Release entitled “Rocket launcher and grenades seized in Southern Ontario Region“. Apparently, in July, two men from Louisiana attempted to cross at the Peace Bridge with an undeclared disposable rocket launcher tube and two undeclared grenades. Eventually, the devices were deemed to be safe and it was determined they were unusable. The rocket launcher and grenades were seized with no terms of release. The vehicle they were driving was also seized because it contained undeclared prohibited goods. The driver of the vehicle was required to pay a fine in the amount of $1,500 for the return of the vehicle. The men were permitted entry into Canada after paying the vehicle terms of release.
It really should go without saying that one should not travel with a rocket launcher in their vehicle. It is wise to ask a few questions before crossing an international border with any type of weapons. The laws in Canada are different than in the United States, but we have to think that a rocket launcher and grenades would raise concerns of U.S. law enforcement too.
On August 22, 2016, the CBSA commenced an awareness campaign to inform U.S. travelers that many firearms cannot be imported into Canada (even with a permit). The CBSA issued a News Release entitled “CBSA recommends leaving your firearms at home when travelling to Canada”. The CBSA warns “Canadian firearm laws are clear – failure to declare any firearm may lead to seizure action, penalty, prosecution in a court of law; and may make you inadmissible to Canada. Your vehicle may also be seized and you will have to pay a penalty to get it back.”
Many U.S. visitors are arrested every year for failure to declare firearms. Please clean our your vehicle before driving to the border because “I forgot that was in there” is not an accepted excuse. The fines for vehicle release are high. If you get arrested for failure to declare a prohibited weapon, the personal cost of a criminal record and the legal fees for court appearances are even higher.