CBSA border officers seize 18 guns at North Portal crossing over summer

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers remain diligent in their efforts to protect Canadians by intercepting high-risk commodities, like undeclared firearms, while also conducting COVID-19 screening. At the North Portal border crossing, officers seized 18 guns at the border this summer. These are some of the most significant cases:

Seizure #1

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On June 30, officers referred for further examination a United States resident in transit to Alaska. They conducted a search and seized aprohibited .45-calibre pistol; a prohibited 9mm pistol; a .22-calibre rifle; a 12 gauge shotgun; two prohibited pistol crossbows; a prohibited airsoft replica firearm; a prohibited stun gun; a prohibited switchblade; and a prohibited magazine.

Officers arrested the traveller and seized his vehicle, which was released upon payment of a $4,500 penalty. He forfeited the seized items and returned to the United States.

Seizure #2

Also on June 30, officers referred for further examination a United States resident. They conducted a search and seized a restricted .44-calibre revolver; a restricted .22-calibre handgun; a .50-calibre muzzleloader rifle; two .22-calibre rifles; a .17-calibre rifle; a .410 shotgun; two sets of prohibited nunchaku sticks; a prohibited blow gun; a prohibited brass knuckles device (bladed); and 17 prohibited magazines.

The traveller was arrested and forfeited the restricted and prohibited items. The CBSA Criminal Investigation Section has since charged William Terry McBride, 51, on three counts pursuant to the Customs Act and on two counts pursuant to the Criminal Code. The accused was released and a court date is to be determined.

Seizure #3

On July 5, officers referred for further examination a United States resident in transit to Alaska. They conducted a search and seized a restricted 9mm pistol; a restricted 10mm pistol; a prohibited blowgun and extender; five prohibited magazines; and a barrel for a 10mm handgun.

Officers arrested the traveller and seized his vehicle, which was released upon payment of a $3,000 penalty. He forfeited the seized items and returned to the United States.

Seizure #4

On July 21, officers referred for further examination a United States resident in transit to Alaska. They conducted a search, and seized a prohibited, AR-15 pattern semi-automatic rifle; three prohibited magazines; and a prohibited silencer (suppressor).

Officers arrested the traveller and seized his vehicle, which was held for payment of a $1,500 penalty. He forfeited the seized items and returned to the United States.

“While the border remains closed to discretionary travel, the CBSA team at North Portal continues to stand on guard for Canadians, 24-7. This past summer, our officers have been successful in mitigating a variety of threats, including the spread of COVID-19, and also the risk posed by undeclared firearms entering the country,” said Ben Tame, Director for southern Saskatchewan, Canada Border Services Agency.

Travellers are encouraged to leave their firearms at home when seeking entry to Canada. However, travellers with firearms must declare them to the CBSA officer at the first opportunity and meet import regulations.

Travellers who do not declare their firearms upon arrival can face arrest, seizure, monetary penalties, and criminal prosecution. Failing to declare firearms can also make visitors inadmissible to enter Canada.

North Portal is one of five Canadian ports of entry identified for transit to Alaska. At this time, United States residents may only transit through Canada to Alaska for non-discretionary purposes, such as work or returning to their primary residence, and under strict conditions.