When I drove across a little spit of Canada to get to the Alaska Ferry in Haines I researched the requirements and found that even the less-restricted long-guns require expensive and time consuming registration. The authorities can deny you registration for arbitrary and capricious reasons at the border or port of entry, which would sure put a damper on a trip. So I just chose to not bring firearms, and I also chose not to tarry in Canada or spend any money there.
The non-compliance rate among Canadians with regard to the long gun registry was very high (heck, not even all the police registered their firearms) so basically the law applied primarily to visiting tourists who could be detained at the border and forced to jump through the hoops.
As the mounties themselves reported:
Originally, when the CFP was implemented, quality assurance issues arose with respect to the accuracy of the information that was entered into the system... The error rate has been halved from 2 per cent to 1 per cent [Comment: so there are at least 70,000 erroneous records in the system.. very comforting!]. Second, not all firearms have been registered, and owing to repeated long-gun registration amnesties (2006-2010) [Comment: I thought the latest was through 2013], information is not consistently entered into the CFP database.. There some confusion surrounding the responsibilities of licensed owners to have their firearms registered, however, currently the law stipulates that they must continue to register their firearms. Lastly, many firearms that are being procured specifically to be used for illegal activities are never entered into the system.
Think about it: About 7 million registered long arms from 6.4 million registered owners, but estimated non-compliance rates of up to 70%... That means upwards of tens of millions of unaccounted for long arms after almost two decades of trying. Canada Shooting Sports estimates at least 20 million long guns in the country, for example. So while the majority of Canadian gunowners apparently scoffed the registry and were permitted to due to never-ending amnesty, dangerous American hunters at the borders who might dare to spend money in Canada on guides, lodging, food, gasoline, etc were harassed by an arbitrary, expensive, and thoroughly useless process.
It is happy news to hear that Canadians are finally choosing through their elected representatives to scrap the useless, ineffective, and expensive long gun registry and stop burning their money to the tune of $100 million/year on the boondoggle.
On my last trip through Canada I went so far as to plan the trip without needing an overnight stop and I brought my own gas. We did stop for ice cream and snacks in a small Canadian town but that was the only money I spent in the country. We could not bring any of our long guns with us due to the hassle so I was not tempted to tarry and go on a hunting trip; instead we pressed on down to the lower 48 for some vacation in the American Northwest.
As of January 2001, with a new personal firearms-import form, a new $50 visitor license fee, and a police records check, Canada also became a hostile tourist destination for thousands of U.S. hunters or competition shooters bringing their own guns. As a result, many tourist-dependent northern hunting-fishing lodges are now suffering financially or have closed. Unlike in the U.S., even antique-reproduction muzzle-loading muskets are classed as firearms in Canada, and now require owner-licensing and registration. The new regulation and fee had already, in 2001 and 2002, caused many cancellations by visiting American Civil War historical re-enactment groups, and will likely end Canadian visits and demonstrations. 26...Outdoor sports magazines are suffering as American and European gun and ammunition makers decide the shrinking Canadian market no longer justifies their advertising costs...Trying to assess the total negative economic impact of the Firearms Act is like trying to estimate the number of guns in Canada. Again, there are no reliable figures, but both domestically and from lost U.S. hunter tourism, the writer would guess a loss so far of at least $4 to $5 billion in shooting sports business activity.
With the repeal of the long gun registry, I -- and other American tourists and sportsman -- might be tempted to spend some time in Canada, along with some money. This can only be good for rural Canada. It might also help ease issues on the American side of the border for Canadians; if we visit Canada and interact with Canadians, we're more likely to get a sense for the post 9/11 stupidity the American government imposes on Canadians that want to spend tourist dollars here.