Little known law (?)

Little known law (?)

This is a discussion on Little known law (?) within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Man Faces Years In Canadian Jail For Little-Known Law - Money News Story - KIRO Seattle may get 3 years for carrying into Canada. Anytime ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array DaveInTexas's Avatar
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    Little known law (?)

    Man Faces Years In Canadian Jail For Little-Known Law - Money News Story - KIRO Seattle

    may get 3 years for carrying into Canada.
    Anytime I have gone, there were obvious signs before the crossing.


  2. #2
    Member Array jp3276's Avatar
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    Canadians will welcome you and your money when the winter Olympics begin in February. But trying to take something else across the border could land you in jail.

    Gerald Burke of Tacoma knows that first hand, and is facing an uncertain future because of it.

    “The charge that the Crown is after is that I do three years in prison,” he told KIRO 7 Investigative Reporter Amy Clancy recently.

    Burke says it was a simple mistake, but the Canadian government calls what Burke allegedly did a serious criminal offense.

    Burke remembers the day in February when he was arrested while crossing into British Columbia at the Peace Arch: “Mr. Burke, put your hands behind your back. You are under arrest for smuggling a gun into Canada.”

    Burke's loaded semi-automatic 9-millimeter handgun was discovered by Canada Border Services Agency officers in the center console of his SUV. Burke is licensed to carry a concealed weapon in the states, but Canadian laws dictate all firearms must be declared at the border. Handguns are strictly prohibited.

    Clancy asked Burke, “did you know that it was in your vehicle at the time?”
    Burke: “I did not.” Clancy: “Did you just forget?”
    Burke: “I just forgot.”

    The CBSA declined Clancy’s request for an interview, but the agency's investigation reveals that Burke seemed nervous at the border crossing and had a hard time answering questions.

    Once the weapon was found, Burke was handcuffed and put in a cell. He spent eight days in jail before being allowed bail.

    His wife of 26 years, Kelli Burke, says she couldn't even speak with him for five days.

    “The last thing we heard when we were up there was the prosecutor saying she wouldn’t be happy without a year in prison for him.”

    Burke is now charged with five criminal counts, including gun smuggling, lying to border guards, and possessing 85 rounds of ammunition 'for a purpose dangerous to the public peace or for the purpose of committing an offence."

    Peter Ritchie, Burke’s Vancouver-based attorney, tells Clancy “if you have a gun in this country, it is considered to be a very serious matter.”

    Ritchie believes that most Americans, including gun owners, have no idea how different U.S. and Canadian gun laws are.

    “If you come to Canada,” Ritchie said outside a courthouse in Surrey, B.C., “it’s a whole different ballgame here, and you face one year minimum in jail. Even though you may be the sweetest citizen that walked the earth, that’s what you’re looking at here.”

    Burke has no criminal history, is a long-time church missionary, and a married father of three. After he was arrested, dozens of Burke's friends and family members wrote to the BC court, asking for leniency. But Canadian gun laws are very strictly enforced.

    In 2008, 191 firearms were seized from people crossing into B.C. and the Yukon. This past July, a Bremerton-based Navy sailor was sentenced to a year in jail after pleading guilty to gun smuggling. His BC lawyer, Kelly Merrigan, tells Clancy that he represents about three Americans per year, arrested for carrying handguns into Canada.

    Blaine hardware store owner Jerry Wolten used to rent storage space where travelling American gun owners could lock up their weapons. He claims he’d have up to 30 guns stored at a time. Now, according to Wolten, U.S. regulations make it too difficult and too expensive. But he believes the need is still there, telling Clancy “how do you stress it enough to avoid all this? It has to be, just don’t bring it. But there’s not enough education.”

    Burke's attorney, Peter Ritchie, agrees, saying “nobody’s going to warn you in advance. I don’t think there are billboards on the highway saying, hey! Don’t forget you’ve got your gun in your car, or you’re looking at a year in jail in this country.”

    While Burke awaits his trial date next fall, he's warning others---especially before the Winter Olympics—“if for no other reason than to prevent one fellow American from going through the same thing that I have gone through. That would be reason enough to contact you” he told Clancy.

    When Clancy and her photographer, Brian Doerflinger, crossed the border into Canada to work on this story, they looked for any signs warning Americans not to bring weapons. There are signs that tell you to keep right, watch for pedestrians and bicycles, and to “ThinkMetric.” But the only one warning against handguns is right under the Canadian border guard’s window, much too late to turn around.
    "The theory that the children of the Commonwealth are the charge of the Commonwealth is a pagan one, derived from heathen Sparta and Platoís heathen republic, and connected by regular, logical sequence with legalized prostitution and the dissolution of the conjugal tie." R.L. Dabney

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  3. #3
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    Guess our wonderful neighbors to the north have none of those quaint little American traditions, like a habeas corpus law... Eight days in jail before bail was set?

    What I find so hypocritical is that the Canadians are so quick to embrace our potential enemies, namely the Islamic extremists and others who are truly bent on "purpose[s] dangerous to the public peace..."

    Makes me thankful once again to live in the country I do.
    Smitty
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    Sorry, but I've got no sympathy for this guy. With the right to bear arms comes the responsibility to do so lawfully.

    You don't "just forget" where you left a loaded firearm.....

    Matt
    Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
    Blame it on Sixto - now that is a viable plan.

  5. #5
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    Habeus corpus

    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Guess our wonderful neighbors to the north have none of those quaint little American traditions, like a habeas corpus law... Eight days in jail before bail was set?

    What I find so hypocritical is that the Canadians are so quick to embrace our potential enemies, namely the Islamic extremists and others who are truly bent on "purpose[s] dangerous to the public peace..."

    Makes me thankful once again to live in the country I do.
    Don't be so quick to judge on this issue. We don't know what occurred.

    Our legal system is derived in great measure from English Common Law, as is the Canadian system, and habeas corpus was a part of English law since the Magna Carta, I think.

    As for the gun issue, anyone traveling abroad needs to know the laws of the country they are going to. Yes, the proposed punishment seems harsh, but as usual, like here in the US, some bargain will be reached.

    And stuff like this happens here too. Once upon a time a NYC police officer drove into NJ and was promptly arrested and charged with felony possession. He lost at the SC level. (And he should have known better too.)
    Last edited by Hopyard; November 27th, 2009 at 12:43 PM.

  6. #6
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    Little known law? I thought it was a very well known law. No (hand)guns into Canada.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
    Thomas Jefferson

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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Sucks to be him.
    Canada: It's a whole different country!
    Infowars- Proving David Hannum right on a daily basis

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    It doesn't suck to be him! It was his fault, HE broke the law!

    Would you feel the same way if he got caught carrying into a Federal Bldg?

    We ALL need to know the laws, and abide by them.

    He deserves to go to jail/prison.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
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    You can't compare the laws of Canada to that of the US. It's apples and Oranges. Canada is comparable to California at best.

    It is also no friend of human rights, no more than China or Germany, which is to say not at all. Just because they share our northern border doesn't mean we should allow them to kidnap one of our citizens, hold him without due process or representation and seek to deny his rights. Not based on the flawed logic of a gun control law.

    Self Defense is a human right.

    This is a violation of the man's human rights. Rights recognized by our government, not defined by it, they exist without it. Men without the means to defend themselves are poor and corruptible. Why aren't we standing up to this atrocity?

    "Words can be as lethal as bullets; Choose them carefully, Aim them well & Use them sparingly."

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigmanluke View Post
    Little known law? I thought it was a very well known law. No (hand)guns into Canada.
    Agreed, not little known at all.

    Further everyone knows, or should by now at this stage in the international borders and guns game know, that possessing a firearm or ammunition as at and through a border crossing is a HUGE no-no (!).
    This is featured in US national news almost weekly and has been for decades...!

    The excuse of I forgot it was there is not recognized by any country's laws and enforcement.

    Dude knew he was going to Canada prior so he should have thought to remove the firearm as when he was at home.
    He didn't and boom now he suffers the consequences.

    Exact same would occur here in the US as related to a foreign national attempting to do same.

    Welcome to life, living and laws.

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  11. #11
    Senior Member Array BradyM77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattLarson View Post
    Sorry, but I've got no sympathy for this guy. With the right to bear arms comes the responsibility to do so lawfully.

    You don't "just forget" where you left a loaded firearm.....

    Matt
    +1 Even though the penalty for his stupidity is rather high IMO.
    "I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it, you can't prove anything!" Bart Simpson

  12. #12
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    Clueless commentary Mr. Sniper

    Quote Originally Posted by M203Sniper View Post

    It is also no friend of human rights, no more than China or Germany, which is to say not at all. J
    Clueless. Get on a plane and go visit there sometime. Your over the top comparison to China or Germany (presumably wartime Germany) is just plain weird.

    Canada has a finely honed appreciation for human rights, and an excellent justice system.

    While you (or I) may think there is a fundamental human right to carry a gun, there is not. We have certain Constitutional rights--sort of, and that's about it. Or as an old Southern Lawyer once told his son, "Son you got no rights."

    Canada gets to choose their laws and their rules, just as we get to choose ours.

    I've noticed that certain TV personalities and some writers seem to want to pick a fight with Canada. Why, is absolutely beyond me. That's like picking a fight with your sibling or your first cousin.

  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array Guardian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigmanluke View Post
    Little known law? I thought it was a very well known law. No (hand)guns into Canada.
    I forgot it was there, not good enough in my book. That's just plain ridiculous. He'd be one of those bright people wondering how his gun was stolen someday, hello!!!!!

    It's a well known law down here in Texas and were not close to the Canadian border.
    "I dislike death, however, there are some things I dislike more than death. Therefore, there are times when I will not avoid danger" Mencius"

  14. #14
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    As you cross the border by car, there are signs everywhere that all firearms must be declared.

    When arriving by air, you must fill out a Customs declaration as to whether or not you have any firearms.

    "I forgot"? I don't think so. Right now I know where every one of my firearms are.

    BTW, handguns are NOT illegal to own or bring into Canada. The same way that I have to get ATF paperwork to bring a firearm into the US, you have to get paperwork from the RCMP.

    Americans come up here to compete with their own firearms all the time. If you have the proper paperwork, you'll spend a few extra minutes at Customs, but you''ll get through just fine.

    BTW, saying you're bringing in for personal protection won't wash. We don't enjoy that freedom. Check my signature line.
    CCW permit holder for Idaho, Utah, Pennsylvania, Maine and New Hampshire. I can carry in your country but not my own.

  15. #15
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    Some days you get the elevator and some days you just get the shaft.

    Tough luck but, folks really need to research and respect the laws of any country they intend to visit before actually going/being there and doing that will actually help you to "remember" the handgun and ammunition that you "forgot" was in your car.
    And...if you're not willing to take the time to do that.
    The Internet makes doing that homework real EASY B.T.W....then just Stay Home.

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