The two alleged smugglers -- both senior citizens with clean previous records -- had about a half dozen firearms. Now, I totally understand why one might want to bring guns through Canada in such a manner. Canada's procedure for legally declaring firearms other than certain hunting-type long arms in incredibly onerous. It takes literally months of previous preparation, and there is no guarantee that you'll get permission at all. Even declaring a firearm at the border -- while totally legit, say, a hunting shotgun -- is risky because it may increase the risk that you'll suffer the inconvenience of having your vehicle torn apart in a search for something.
Meanwhile, Canadian gun control is a farcical failure. 72% of Canadians feel that their registry is useless, and similar majorities of front-line cops feel the same way. There are serious privacy concerns because the registry system is not secure. The $2 million system has ended up costing over a billion dollars. Non-compliance is huge -- large double digit percentages of both citizens (probably well over 50%) and Canadian law enforcement organizations have failed to register their firearms. Several provinces refuse to enforce the laws. Their own auditor general states:
The performance report focuses on activities such as issuing licences and registering firearms. The Centre does not show how these activities help minimize risks to public safety with evidence-based outcomes such as reduced deaths, injuries and threats from firearms.Pretty much the only people that the laws seem to apply to are Americans traveling across the border.
Meanwhile, the Gun Control Act of 1968 can make it difficult to ship firearms ahead. Long arms are ok -- you can ship them via USPS and send to yourself to pick them up upon arrival. Handguns are a lot harder though as they have to be shipped via contract carrier. UPS and FEDEX have restrictive corporate policies that pretty much require them to go to a FFL, and the FFL can't or won't transfer your own gun to you if you aren't in your home state. The best work around I've found is using a C&R FFL03 with FEDEX to have them ship the pistol to you just like you would with a rifle and USPS.
This is what "reasonable gun control" looks like, folks. The purpose is not to be effective at reducing crime. The purpose is to apply arbitrary and capricious law enforcement action against people who had no intent to ever commit a violent crime and to suppress lawful ownership of inanimate objects.
As a note, when I had to drive through Canada, I brought my own gas. I didn't want to spend an extra nickle in their country. It really is too bad that we gave them the ALCAN for free. Given that we built it and American dollars continue to support it, I think that Americans should have free passage on the ALCAN highway -- at least the stretch to Haines, so that you can get on the ferry free of Canada's onerous and useless import laws.