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Thread: leaving gun at border crossing- what to do?

  1. #1
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    I will be riding a motorcycle from Walla Wallaand meet up with friends in Seattle and from there go over to Vancouver Island on our motorcycles. I have a CCL and carry all the time. I'm wondering if there is a place to leave my pistol at the border crossing when I go into Canada. Then I can pick it up again for the return trip home . Feel naked riding across the state without it. Thanks, rj

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    Not sure about anything like that for the border crossing (I'm assuming you'll be taking the ferry out of Anacortes?). If nothing else, find a local member (if you are comfortable doing so) and ask them to hold onto it for ya.

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    Regular Member just_a_car's Avatar
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    Actually wondering this myself, since I may have to go up to Vancouver and/or Victoria soon.

    An email inquiry to the Border Patrol would likely answer your question. I haven't looked, but it might even be on their website.

    B.S. Chemistry UofWA '09
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    meet up with friends in Seattle
    And they're the first ones to ask about storing it, I would think.

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    kparker wrote:
    meet up with friends in Seattle
    And they're the first ones to ask about storing it, I would think.
    +1

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    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    Bank safety deposit box ?

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    I suppose it's worth recounting my bear spray experience.

    Sometime in the late 90's we took a vacation to Vancouver Island, camping in several places. We crossed on the ferry from Pt Angeles to Victoria, and on arrival were asked (among other things) whether we had any bear spray.

    Note it's completely legal to buy, and possess, bear spray in BC, or at least it was at the time, provided that it's labelled for protection against animals rather than for self-defense use. However, it's completely illegal to import it.

    Being the honest, upright person I am, I recalled that we did indeed have some buried in the tent trailer, and I said so. The agent asked me to retrieve it, so we somehow found enough space to pull off in the very cramped area at the ferry landing, raised the top enough so I could get into the cabinet where it was stored, and brought it into the office.

    That's when the real fun began, because they wanted me to sign some paperwork that they were going to put with the confiscated bear spray, so I could pick it up on my way back out of the country. Again being the honest, upright person I am, I informed them that we were planning to leave the island via the Nanaimo-Vancouver ferry, and thus I would not be able to reclaim the spray; could they just dispose of it for me?

    MASSIVE CONSTERNATION. Apparently there was no protocol whatsoever for deliberately disposing of it at my instruction. After a lengthy amount of back and forth, the agent decided that the best way to handle it was to pretend I hadn't said anything, have me fill out the paperwork, and just file it as if I were coming back. Eventually, she said, someone will go through the old unclaimed stuff and get rid of it. She then listed off for me several shops in Victoria where I could by a local replacement, and we were on our way.

    You gotta love the bureaucratic mindset!

    P.S. It should be unnecessary to note that I'm not recommending this approach with your handgun!


    P.P.S. If you ever get a chance to go to Pacific Rim National Park, do not pass up the opportunity!

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    I wonder if it might be better to drop it off to the U.S. Border guard office, rather than the Canadian one. I have had some unpleasant, dealing with the Canadian Border Gaurds, not the ones in the booth but the guys inside. The U.S. guys have always been polite and respectfull and you have more recourse with them being a U.S. citizen.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    kparker wrote:
    I suppose it's worth recounting my bear spray experience.
    At least they offered to hold it and return it. Have crossed over into Canadia from an idaho crossing and they just flat out confiscated the bear spray. No you can pick it up on way back or anything.

    Oh well... I brought back more than what the bear spray cost.

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    I wonder if it might be better to drop it off to the U.S. Border guard office, rather than the Canadian one.
    Is there any reason to think they will hold it for you?


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    If your buddies live in Seattle leave it at there house. If not, I live near Tacoma, PM me and you can leave it with me.

  12. #12
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    All of us are just meeting up at Seattle, Then riding on the Island for a day and heading back. most live in the Portland area. So they will already be on their bikes also. The ride isn't till June so I'll do some research and see what options there are. Therewill beone rider from Seattle I could leave it with come to think of it. Thanks for the ideas. rj

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    I saw a poster in the Skagit Transit Center that listed places a firearm could be left before entering Canada. I am out of the country until may so I can't check but it's located next to I-5 exit 226 so it may be worth dropping in. I know you need to supply your own lock for one of the locations.
    WTT: Glock 27 for Glock 26

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    I have lived here S of the border an hour for the last 20 years. If you want, you can stop by my place and I will put it in my safe. Come get it on your way back thru.
    Whatever you do, don't show up at the border with it. A friend did that when he forgot a pistol in his glovebox. When he declared it, it was like a whole new war had erupted. They react very poorly to an innocent mistake.
    Don't forget, none of them are armed. An armed citizen scares the $h!t out of them. On several occasions, someone has called a threat to the border crossing saying they are bringing a gun. The Canadian guards all lock their doors and run.

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    Campaign Veteran Right Wing Wacko's Avatar
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    Many years ago I made a trip to visit my Inlaws in Montana. On the way back we decided to come back across thru the Canadian Rockies. I don't know how I did it, but I forgot that my Winchester Model 94 Hunting Rifle was stashed away in the bottom off all our stuff in the back of the car.

    For some reason when we crossed the border they didn't ask the usual question "Do you have a firearm". It wasn't until we were half way back that I remembered it was there! At that point I got paranoid that some Mountie was going to pull us over and find the thing so I headed for the nearest border crossing and made the rest of the trip home on the US side.

    Thank goodness they don't ask that question on the way south!



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    Regular Member MadHatter66's Avatar
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    Right Wing Wacko wrote:
    Many years ago I made a trip to visit my Inlaws in Montana. On the way back we decided to come back across thru the Canadian Rockies. I don't know how I did it, but I forgot that my Winchester Model 94 Hunting Rifle was stashed away in the bottom off all our stuff in the back of the car.

    For some reason when we crossed the border they didn't ask the usual question "Do you have a firearm". It wasn't until we were half way back that I remembered it was there! At that point I got paranoid that some Mountie was going to pull us over and find the thing so I headed for the nearest border crossing and made the rest of the trip home on the US side.

    Thank goodness they don't ask that question on the way south!

    I had a similar thing happen... I was going to Vancouver, and a friend that was storing my hunting rifle at his house had put it in the trunk after he borrowed my car, figuring that it was a good way to give it back to me, but he neglected to tell me that he put it there... I got to the border, and being military they asked if I had any weapons... I said no, and he asked me to open my trunk... He rummaged around, closed it and said have a good time... It was in a case under my golf clubs... I didn't realize it was there until I got to the hotel, and at that point I had no idea what to do, so I forgot about it and left it in my trunk, which in hind sight wasn't the smartest thing to do... came back into the US, and all they were worried about was my pizza having meat on it... go figure...

    Scared the hell out of me, and I was lucky I didn't get caught...

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    You could leave your gun at the courthouse in Port Angeles, and take the key with you, then return to the courthouse to pick it up later. Only possible problem is that the lockers are specifically for people who are visiting the jail and courthouse, so someone might wonder why a certain locker hadn't been opened in several days. But I doubt that much thought is given to the unmonitored row of lockboxes.

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    If you are leaving the US through Blaine in order to take the Tsawassen ferries you can check it at Wolten's Hardware in Blaine. You can also leave it with me if you want. I am right in Blaine and a fellow biker. If you are taking the Anacortes Ferry call hardware stores in Anacortes. Many of them do this kind of checking I believe.

    I would NOT leave it or even talk to Canadian authorities about it. Once you get to the Canadian side you are not supposed to have a weapon unless you have made arrangements to take it into Canada. You will have major hassle if you show up at the border and tell them you want to check your weapon.

    I probably wouldn't use a courthouse locker. I agree with the previous post that since these are for people using the courthouse, they may clear them if left more than a day or so.

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    Thanks for all your offers everyone. It's still months away till the weekend excursion so I'll tag this to keep in mind everyones offers to store itfor me. Maybe look into the hardware store situation also. rj

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    It's still months away
    Huh? We thought you were organizing the Noah's Ark II - Rain and Flood of 2009 tour! What better way to experience all this weather but on your bikes???

  21. #21
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Gray Peterson's Avatar
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    tap tap tap.

    Found it!

    See the below PDF, go to second to last page.

    Bad news is that the Exxon is actually only ONE locker. The only other storage location is in Lynden.

    -Lonnie

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    olypendrew wrote:
    You could leave your gun at the courthouse in Port Angeles, and take the key with you, then return to the courthouse to pick it up later. Only possible problem is that the lockers are specifically for people who are visiting the jail and courthouse, so someone might wonder why a certain locker hadn't been opened in several days. But I doubt that much thought is given to the unmonitored row of lockboxes.
    Actually I am that guy and I probably would wonder... If you choose to do that it would be best to check with the control officer in the window in the same room as the lockers so he knows that there is some long term storage in there. Honestly I have never seen them used for anything other than officers weapons before they go into the jail so it wouldn't be a problem if someone moved in for a week or so and since I have to borrow the master key from him to work on them he would be the guy to tell me not to mess with that one.

    That being said... I wouldn't leave my weapon in there for longer than I was in the courthouse... Rent a safety deposit box at a bank... Much safer...



  23. #23
    Regular Member shad0wfax's Avatar
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    WaDavid wrote:
    [SNIP] I wouldn't leave my weapon in there for longer than I was in the courthouse... Rent a safety deposit box at a bank... Much safer...

    +1 Safety Deposit Box is the way to go if you don't have a friend who you trust that owns a quality gun-safe.

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    rjmorel wrote:
    I will be riding a motorcycle from Walla Wallaand meet up with friends in Seattle and from there go over to Vancouver Island on our motorcycles. I have a CCL and carry all the time. I'm wondering if there is a place to leave my pistol at the border crossing when I go into Canada. Then I can pick it up again for the return trip home . Feel naked riding across the state without it. Thanks, rj
    Rjmorel, I work every now and again with the ports of entry, and I called the port of entry that you will be going through. I spoke to a supervisor there and he said they cannot store weapons for the public that are crossing into Canada. Good luck finding someone to hold onto it for ya

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