For United States citizens, Mexico undoubtedly has the strictest policies on firearms importation and possession. A person just can’t bring weapons into the country. Canada, however, treats the matter a little bit differently and with more leniency. In many cases, it is legal to bring a long gun into the country, but handguns are a bit more tricky. So what’s the deal with U.S. citizens bringing firearms into Canada?
Can a U.S. citizen bring a firearm into Canada?
The quick and general answer is “yes”. At the border between the U.S. and Canada, there are various forms and fees a person must pay to bring their weapons into the country. Certain types of weapons require specific permits while others do not. In the end, it comes down to the type of weapon a person is trying to take with them into the country. Either way, Canada is much more lenient when it comes to firearms than Mexico.
Long Gun Laws
To bring a shotgun or rifle into the country, a U.S. citizen has a few choices. A person can fill out non-resident paperwork and pay a fee to carry their weapons legally. A permit is then issued that lasts for 60 days. Fortunately, a person that travels into Canada regularly won’t have to pay the fee multiple times per calendar year. There is another purpose that allows a U.S. citizen to borrow a firearm from a Canadian resident. Most of these types of firearms are legal in the country, but some of them are prohibited.
Handguns are a bit more tricky than long guns though. For starters, many handguns are completely prohibited in the country. Others are simply restricted, which means they are a legal but require the proper licenses. A person must obtain a Canadian firearms license, registration certificate, and transport authorization forms. Of course, these permits cost money and can take a few months to obtain. Afterward though, a person can legally bring restricted (but not prohibited) handguns into the country.
The Bottom Line
The laws are much more complex than noted in this article, but this is all general information. Either way, United States citizens can legally bring certain firearms into Canada with the proper paperwork and whatnot. That means a person can go hunting in Canada, shoot with friends or family in the country, and more. In fact, many people do get permits to bring their guns into the country when they have a need to do so.
For more information, visit Canada’s Gun Laws for Americans.