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Canada Reminds U.S. Tourists to Leave Their Guns at Home

SmarterTravel

Canadian border officials have had their hands full with American gun owners lately, and now our neighbors to the north are launching a U.S.-geared “firearms awareness campaign” in response.

In two separate incidents during the same weekend, U.S. citizens from Texas failed to declare their weapons upon inspection when they crossed the border, according to the Toronto Star. Border agents confiscated and destroyed the perpetrators’ guns, and both men were denied entry to Canada. The first incident reportedly included four guns ranging from pistols to a 12-gauge shotgun. The second man had ammunition and a handgun.

But the problem is clearly a lot larger than just these two incidents. The Canada Border Services Agency seized 413 guns in the first half of 2016 alone, according to the Star, which far exceeds the 163 weapons they confiscated in the second half of 2015.

Canada is one of several nations to recently warn its U.S.-bound tourists about gun violence in the States, advising visitors that there’s an increased chance of being subjected to violent crime in the U.S. than in many other countries.

Canada’s new gun awareness initiative, announced on Monday, “strongly recommend[s] that you not carry your firearm” to or in Canada, and asks that Americans check the Canadian laws pertaining to their specific firearms before heading north.

“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,” the agency said. “Your vehicle may also be seized and you will have to pay a penalty to get it back.” This also applies to anyone passing through Canada onto another final destination.

But, ever the friendly neighbor, Canada is still making sure gun-owning Americans aren’t deterred from traveling there.

“We welcome our U.S. neighbors in Canada—to make your journey more pleasant, travel light and always remember to declare all goods with you.”

Especially if those goods include a shotgun.

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Associate Editor Shannon McMahon writes about all things travel. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter for more insight and adventure.

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