Guns, Canada, and Tourism

Since I’m too lazy to look up Canadian gun laws, and I plan to bring my evil American cowboy influences to your peaceful nation, are non-concealed handguns allowed to cross the border for non-residents? Also, how strict are the gun laws in Canada? I know that concealed weapons are obviously out of the question, but if I have the gun in proper line of sight and tell all the officers are they still permitted?

Gun touting aside, what’s worth seeing in Canada? I won’t be taking a road trip for quite some time (read: a year, or two if I can’t graduate early), but I would like to skip all the shitty parts. Quebec is out too, because 1) I’ve already been there, and 2) I like speaking English.

Handguns are not allowed. If it is in plain site you will most likely be given the choice of leaving it at the border (possibly for retrieval on leaving Canada) or being refused entry. If you don’t declare it and it is found by a search, you would be refused entry and possibly face some criminal charges. I don’t about things like a hunting rifle though.

As far as what to see in Canada, the Atlantic coast is beautiful. You’ve already seen Quebec. There is a lot to see in Ontario, but I’m not the person to tell you what. You can probably skip Manitoba and Saskatchewan and not lose any sleep. Southern Alberta and BC are also beautiful. Mountains and lakes make for great camping and fishing. If you get the chance the train ride from Calgary to Vancouver (or vice versa) is stunning.

And check here Canadian Firearms Centre for more information.

As for where to go, it’s a big country.

As for handguns

Not being a gun owner I have no idea what this does allow.

Re concealed carry: it’s a federal crime under the Criminal Code:

I don’t know what exceptions there may be under the Firearms Act, but I doubt that a concealed carry permit would be obtained very easily.

Here’s a Supreme Court case dealing with the issue of concealed carry. Individual was carrying a concealed .22 rifle on public transit; he apparently hid it because he didn’t think it proper to ride public transit carrying it openly. (He didn’t help his situation by joking that he was going on a killing spree when a transit official inquired about the rifle.) The Supreme Court held that he’d committed the offence of concealed carry: R. v. Felawka.

And of course the disclaimer: none of this is intended for legal advice, but simply to comment on a matter of public interest. Anyone who needs information about the law governing concealed carry in Canada should consult a Canadian lawyer who is familiar with this area, or the Canadian Firearms Centre, linked in Grey’s post.

adam, do you mean to say that foreigners cannot bring handguns in, or are you saying that they’re prohibited entirely? If the former, I think I agree - I’m not sure of the details, but I think foreigners can only import long-guns.

But if you’re saying that handguns are generally prohibited in Canada, even for Canadian residents, that’s not correct. A resident who already has a firearms licence can get a restricted weapon permit to possess a handgun, although on very restrictive terms.

It is my understanding that in this case ‘very restrictive’ and ‘nearly impossible’ would be interchangable.

Do you have a cite for that understanding, adam? It doesn’t match the stats given at this site, which in turn cites stats from the Canadian Firearms Centre:

Here’s the Centre’s explanation of the purposes for which handguns can be possessed:

Last time I looked into this stuff in any detail, there were only about a hundred licences in the entire country where the individual possessed a handgun for the protection of life.