Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Carrying a gun into Canada - US man may face 3 years in jail

Anonymous
Posted by Anonymous
  • 35 Replies

Big wrong turn for man carrying gun in car may lead to 3-year jail term in Canada

Military veteran says he and wife were misdirected by GPS and didn't want to cross border

By

A 46-year-old Kentucky man and military veteran who made a wrong turn during a Vermont getaway with his wife and wound up at the Canadian border is facing three years in prison for allegedly trying to smuggle a loaded handgun into the country.

But Louis DiNatale says he didn't want to enter Canada to begin with. He and his wife were on a road trip in upstate New York last September when they were "misdirected by an unreliable GPS," to the Thousand Islands Bridge border crossing between New York state and Ontario, the Los Angeles Times reports.

At the border, DiNatale asked if they could turn around, but was denied. A border patrol agent then asked if he owned a gun.

"I told him I was retired military, I had respect for weapons, and I had a concealed carry license to do so," DiNatale explained in a statement. "He asked me when was the last time I had a weapon on me. I told him, 'Earlier that week.' He asked me again, 'Why?' I told him it was my right as an American citizen to do so."

According to DiNatale, he had forgotten about the Bersa .380 handgun he had stowed in the center console.

Agents searched the car, found the gun, and arrested DiNatale for attempted gun smuggling and lying to border patrol agents. He was released four days later, and a court date was set for June. If convicted, DiNatale, a retired Army sergeant major, faces three years in a Canadian prison.

"They're trying to make a general blanket statement to American citizens: Don't mess with our borders," DiNatale's lawyer, Bruce Engel, told the Times.

Engel may be right.

According to the Times, nearly 1,400 firearms have been confiscated at Canadian entry points over the last three years, most of them personal guns belonging to U.S. citizens.

"The Government of Canada is committed to effective firearms and weapons control," a warning on the website of Canada's Border Services Agency reads. "All firearms and weapons must be declared to a border services officer when you enter Canada. Failure to do so could result in them being seized, and you may face criminal charges."

The same warning, though, states that agents are also in charge of "streamlining the process for low-risk and law-abiding persons traveling with firearms for legitimate purposes and with the required documentation."

"They could have done their homework and looked at his background and seen he's a professional," Engel said of the border patrol. "They could have accepted the word of his wife and released him on his own recognizance."

Instead, DiNatale, a former Army legal expert and paralegal in his home state, is experiencing the wrath of the Canadian border's "zero-tolerance" gun policy. And DiNatale's lack of familiarity with such a policy does not seem to matter.

"I can't speak for all folks who cross," Chris Kealey, a spokesman for the Canada Border Services Agency, told the Times. "But those who live near the border are probably more aware of Canada's laws than someone from the southern part of the U.S."

DiNatale's case is increasingly common.

"At even relatively quiet crossings like that in Emerson (North Dakota), three Americans on separate occasions were charged with attempting to bring weapons across the border without the proper documentation," Guns.com notes.

That led Canada's Border Services Agency to issue an appeal to U.S. citizens last year.

"Don't bring your guns into Canada," CBSA representative Jean D'Amelio Swyer told the Detroit Free Press in 2013. "Leave your firearms at home."

 

Thoughts?  I am of the beliefthat no mater what country you visit you need to respect the laws of the country.  I also think in this case that yes it was unintentional that they ended up in Canada, but to forget you have a gun hidden in your car in inexcusable.  You should no be able to carry a concealed weapon if you do not remember where you put it that is just irresponsible and dangerous.

Posted by Anonymous on Feb. 5, 2014 at 7:24 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
suzanneyea
by on Feb. 5, 2014 at 7:29 AM

Ok, I have made that same mistake at that border. There is a bridge on no turni g around. We had my sons friend in the car and did not have his passport either. Our border guy was more understanding. Our gps did it too.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Feb. 5, 2014 at 7:30 AM
He's such a "gun expert" but forgot about a loaded gun in his vehicle? Not much of an expert...
beeky
by Platinum Member on Feb. 5, 2014 at 7:32 AM
2 moms liked this

I don't see a problem.  If you break the law, you suffer the consequences.

As a Canadian citizen, I'm glad our border patrol is doing their job!

 

omm76002
by Silver Member on Feb. 5, 2014 at 7:36 AM
But he asked to turn around it was a mistake taken too far.

Quoting beeky:

I don't see a problem.  If you break the law, you suffer the consequences.


As a Canadian citizen, I'm glad our border patrol is doing their job!


 

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Feb. 5, 2014 at 7:37 AM

 Thing is did you have a gun in the car?  If you did would you have told the customs officer that you had it?  It was a mistake but still to forget you have a gun in the car is just irresponsible.

Quoting suzanneyea:

Ok, I have made that same mistake at that border. There is a bridge on no turni g around. We had my sons friend in the car and did not have his passport either. Our border guy was more understanding. Our gps did it too.

 

omm76002
by Silver Member on Feb. 5, 2014 at 7:38 AM
If he was telling the border patrol about his gun, and forgot to mention the other one it may have not been his gun. My dad bought my mom a gun and made her keep it in the car. I could have just slipped hus mind.

Quoting Anonymous: He's such a "gun expert" but forgot about a loaded gun in his vehicle? Not much of an expert...
sweetnsassymami
by Ruby Member on Feb. 5, 2014 at 7:40 AM
That's bs if he asked to turn around and was denied. It is odd he forgot a gun was in the car.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 3 on Feb. 5, 2014 at 7:41 AM

How the hell did he have a NEW YORK CCP if he wasn't from NY?  And carrying loaded in a vehicle (not on  your person ) is also illegal in many states.

Plenty of holes in his story.

 

jessi2girls
by Emerald Member on Feb. 5, 2014 at 7:42 AM

I'm on the fense about this.. if what he is saying is true, and it was an error by gps.. I feel bad for the guy, but I can also see where boarder patrol is coming from, I'm sure they've heard quite a few stories people have told throughout the years to smuggle something.. so it's quite the toss up either way..


bowribbonmama
by on Feb. 5, 2014 at 7:42 AM
How the hell do you "forget" about having a gun in your car?
Sorry, I agree with the charges. I live in a border city in Ontario and years ago a man smuggled a gun into my city and murdered a woman and then killed himself.
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)