Don't declare a gun at the Canadian border....

Trip Start Jun 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 13, 2010

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Flag of Canada  , Ontario,
Friday, July 23, 2010

...bad idea.

We headed up toward Niagara Falls today. We decided to go to the Canadian side because I had heard from others that it was to have the best views. We approached the border around 2pm. At the crossing inspection booth I answered the normal questions….food, alcohol, tobacco, firearm, etc…. Here we had an issue. I guess I'm an idiot but I was under the impression that I could take my shotgun over the border. I just didn’t think it to be a big deal but apparently it is. When the lady in the booth asked about firearms I answered that I had an unloaded shotgun in the RV. She directed me over to the inspection station where we were met by several fully armed border patrol agents wearing bullet proof vests. We were all instructed to step out of the vehicle. Vonnie and Vi, along with Chula, were seated at a bench and I was escorted back into the RV. These guys were being dicks and basically treating us like criminals. We were cooperating in every way and trying to be real respectful to them. It wasn’t like I was trying to sneak the thing over the border. (which is what a smart person would have done.) They were being real condescending and laughing to each other as I answered their questions. I keep the rifle hidden and as I started to open up a slide on the RV to access it one of the agents started getting all sketched out asking me what I was doing. Everyone was real tense. One dude was asking me "is your cat going to hurt me?" I started laughing, thinking he was messing with me. He did not laugh and he asked me again if my cat was going to harm him in any way?! Remarkable! So, I had specific instructions from these clowns. I was to point out where the rifle was then step away and let the officers remove the rifle. These guys all seemed to have their own idea of how this was to go down. After a couple of minutes they figured out who was to remove the rifle, who was to inspect the RV and who was to escort me to customs. After more questioning and some paperwork these guys decided to confiscate the shotgun and let us enter the country. They said I could pick it back up on my way back into the US. After much ado we were back on the road to check out the Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls is amazing. Our trip into Canada sucked but this place is a must see. From miles away you can see a plume of mist 100 feet into the air. After some confusion (and dealings with more unfriendly Canadians) we finally found a parking lot where we were to catch a shuttle to the falls. It’s in the 80’s here and really humid. The shuttle to the falls was free and we jumped off the bus at the rapids so that we could walk the rest of the way. It is pretty jaw dropping to stand right at the edge of this water fall and see it spill over into this gorge. It is so massive. Check the photos and video.

After a while we decided to take the boat ride out to the base of the falls. It was only about $40 total for all three of us to go and it was worth it. As you can see in the pics you will get soaked here just from the mist. It’s like pouring rain once you get close to the base. Great time.

We spent a few hours at Niagara then headed back to the border to collect my property. This was an annoyance and took over an hour. Vonnie snapped a picture of me being escorted out of customs. 2 patrol started running towards our truck, screaming at her to put the camera down. They approached her and started questioning her to see the pictures. They were extremely concerned that she had captured an officers face in a photo. They were wanting to see the pictures. She explained to them that we just wanted some pics for our travel blog. They wanted the pics deleted and she assured them that they were all deleted. As I was dealing with my escort, Vonnie was somehow able to salvage this photo.  Hah!!! I love it!
 With gun safely stowed we made our way back into the US. Incidentally…. we were not asked about a firearm at the US border, nor did we declare we had one. As a matter of fact, the guy working the booth just wanted our opinion on whether he should purchase a 5th wheel or a motorhome! Ahhh…. Good to be back in the ol’ US of A.  
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Tona on

Glad you made it back in the US really takes a SPECIAL type of human being to be a cop...I won't say ALL are that way but so far just about everyone I've come across are super SPECIAL individuals.
The pictures came out great of Niagra Falls.

Chuck on

The comments about the Falls, rides etc are right on. But really. About the gun. Canada does not allow firearms. Never has. So why the negative. Anyone with a gun entering Canada is questionable, so they, the customs, have to take a lot of precautions, and it is clearly stated on every piece of info about entering Canada.

I went into the US (and I live on the border) last week and was told that the computer picked me for a random search. These guys damn near took my car apart and then said you can put it back together. Now that's rude. So either side isn't perfect. But again, if you travel with a firearm, and you come into Canada, you are asking for "special status" from customs, and you may not like "special status".

One last point. If you use your camera to take photo's at the U.S.border, you'll get the same treatment, maybe worse.

Ahh, to live in North America.

chad on

"why the negative"?.... I think you missed my point. I admitted that I was an idiot for trying to bring the thing into Canada. I was not aware of the laws. I was being respectful by making the patrol aware of the shotgun. I knew I had errored and was trying to be respectful of the law and cooperate. The negative was how we were treated by the majority of the officers. We're not anti-cop or anti-Canada. We were just happy to be back in the US and have the whole ordeal behind us. Get it? By the way.....we would have been able to keep the shotgun on board had we planned to go into the Canadian wilderness or attend a shooting competition. Oh.....who are you?

Matthews on

Dude- Should have rocked the falls in the barrel. I know Schwartz would have pulled it off :)

schwartz on

Shoot (I was ging for sh-t but this blog is strict like the canucks!) I'd love to do that. I always wanted to go to Niagara and what better way than in a barrel. Those damn canucks would probably hassle me and my barrel and I wouldn't get in anyways.
The canucks do suck ass at the border and it's way worse after 9-11 too. 20 years ago they took our (Todd's) car apart for a can of chew. They wouldn't let Tim in there cuz of a 30 year old parking ticket, and upstanding rich folks have been denied for decades old misdemeanors. There are many lawsuits pending, but as an ally and cuz of homeland security, military law rules there and the U.S. You don't have rights after 9-11 trust me.
That's the daddy-o of falls man.

Mom on

OMG...they must have had lectures on what to do if someone declares a fire arm (and no one but you ever did it so they aren't well rehearsed yet)...apparently they don't just do racial profiling.. LOL It's good that it didn't prevent you from seeing the falls. Great pics, good thing it was summer or you would freeze!

Jenny on

Hahahahaha! That's a good story. Don't you hate it when you're doing what's right and get treated poorly!

farth on

Canadian Bacon. rent it.

James on

These so-called authority figures are a joke. Why are they so deathly afraid of having their picture taken? My guess is that they don't want there to be any evidence when they misbehave. People need to rise up against this crap and start demanding their rights back.

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