Two Americans charged after undeclared guns brought across the Canadian border

Travellers stopped at Alberta’s Coutts border crossing

Twenty-four guns have been seized at Alberta’s Coutts border crossing with the U.S.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced that two Americans were charged following the seizure of the undeclared firearms.

On April 9, CBSA officers pulled aside two Alaska-bound travellers for further examination. Each was driving an SUV and towing a trailer, and they were travelling together.

The examination revealed 16 long guns and eight handguns that had not been declared. Four of the firearms were classified as prohibited, meaning visitors cannot import them for any reason. Officers also seized 70 undeclared overcapacity magazines.

The CBSA charged Christopher Douglas Gies, 41, and Caroline Elizabeth Gies, 42, both U.S. residents, on seven counts under the Customs Act and eight counts under the Criminal Code.

They are scheduled to make their next appearance on June 4, 2018 in Lethbridge Provincial Court.

“Failing to declare at the border … is definitely not worth the risk. We are happy to assist lawful gun owners with importing their firearms properly, but if you don’t declare them, you are breaking the law,” said Guy Rook, Director for southern Alberta, Canada Border Services Agency

CBSA officers in southern Alberta seized more than 50 undeclared firearms in 2017, including more than 30 handguns. Most firearms seized at CBSA land ports of entry are from U.S. travellers seeking entry to Canada.

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

The CBSA encourages U.S. residents who are going through Canada to Alaska to ship their firearms separately before arriving at the Canadian border.

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