More and more Americans are being stopped with guns at the Canadian border.
At least six people have been charged with bringing handguns across the New Brunswick border this summer, according to a report in Canadian magazine Maclean’s.
“The offenses continue to occur with alarming frequency during the summer months,” said federal prosecutor Peter Thorn.
Five people — three men from Florida and two men from New England — have pleaded guilty and been fined up to $2,000. Most of them are tourists in their 60’s. Thorn says he wants sentencing to deter others to break the gun laws. But he says the message isn’t getting through to people.
“Unfortunately, whereas the offenders reside in the U.S.A., it is highly unlikely that the sentencing message will ever reach those who could take heed or notice of the message,” Thorn said.
Americans traveling to the U.S. are allowed to legally declare their weapons and leave them behind as they enter Canada. There’s even signage at the border.
Thorn says many of the people bringing in guns have been law-abiding people who didn’t know they were breaking the law. Still, some caught with guns at the border this summer told border guards they didn’t have firearms in their vehicles, when they knew they did.
The most recent incidents happened on July 11. A 59-year-old from New Hampshire said he didn’t have any guns in his camper. When officers searched his vehicle, they found a .38 in a storage case, as well as unregistered booze and suspected marijuana.
That same day, a handgun was found in a Florida woman’s suitcase. Her husband had hidden it there without telling her.
“(The woman) stated that she specifically told her husband not to bring his handgun into Canada,” said Thorn.
Both men were fined $2,000.