Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bringing Firearms into Canada to Hunt: a few tips

So you are ready to go hunting on that long-awaited trip to Canada.  Got your jacket?  Check!  Got your long underwear?  Check! Got your CAFC 909?  Huh?

A CAFC 909 is a form needed to bring your weapon across the border.  Visitors may bring firearms into Canada in certain situations, but they must be non-restricted weapons, such as shotguns or rifles. Only under special circumstances will handguns be allowed and those allowed must be pre-approved by Canadian authorities. 

Secondly, the guns must only be used for legitimate purposes.   In Canada these legitimate reasons are:
  • sporting or hunting use during hunting season;
  • use in competitions
  • in-transit movement, such as moving in the most direct route possible from Oregon to Alaska through Canada
  • use for personal protection against wildlife in remote areas of Canada, as long as the customs officer is satisfied that the circumstances warrant the firearm being imported
Additionally, hunters can only bring 200 rounds of ammunition duty free in to Canada for hunting purposes, or up to 1,500 rounds duty free for use at a recognized competition.

Steps to Bringing the Gun into Canada
So now that that’s covered, how can we go about getting our hunting rifle pre-approved for the trip?  Well there are some simple steps to be in compliance with the border patrol:

  1. When entering Canada with a firearm a "Nonresident Firearm Declaration" must be completed.
  2. The declaration is available at all border crossings, but can be downloaded and filled out prior to arrival.
  3. The declaration is good for 60 days, and at the last check it cost $25 Canadian, paid at point of entry.
  4. You can receive an extension to your Declaration from the Chief Firearms Office for the province you are visiting.
  5. To extend your Declaration, call the Canadian Firearm Center and they will connect you. The extension must be granted prior to the 60-day expiration date and requires no additional fee. 

Who Can Bring a Gun into Canada?
As a hunter, you must be at least 18 years old to bring a firearm into Canada, However, you may use firearms in certain cases. So, don't be tempted to fill out a declaration for your17 year old niece who’s in your hunting party.  The declaration is only valid for the person who signs the declaration.

Final Tips
Going through the steps to get your gun through customs is really a simple process, and you can usually be processed by Canadian officials in under twenty minutes.

Finally, remember that firearms are only temporarily imported, using a confirmed Non-Resident Firearms Declaration, and they must be removed from Canada on your departure.

So enjoy your hunt!  Don’t forget the sunscreen either!

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Satveer Chaudhary is the founding lawyer of Chaudhary Law Office, PLLC.  In practice over 10 years Chaudhary brings 14 years of legislative experience as a State Senator and Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives to each and every case

Satveer S. Chaudhary is a lifelong sportsman and former wildlife and conservation policy- maker. As an attorney, he represents hunting and fishing organizations, businesses, individual hunters and anglers, and serves on the board of Safari Club International. He has worked in a variety of capacities with National Association of Sportsmen Caucuses, NRA, Ducks Unlimited, and Pheasants Forever. He knows the law because he helped make it.

The information provided is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as and does not constitute legal advice. Chaudhary Law Office, PLLC does not seek to represent you based upon your review of this brochure. You should not make legal hiring decisions based merely upon brochures, advertising or other promotional materials.

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