Monday, August 28, 2017
Crossing into Quebec on Sunday not a pleasant experience
We were on the way to a fun trap shoot at Club Huntingdon.
To start off we had to wait in excess of four minutes before the booth was manned. The booth is connected to the main building and a vehicle had just processed, but the officer disappeared and we were forced to wait. There was no line of vehicles, we were the only vehicle waiting to process.
Right off the bat I sensed an attitude problem when the she (the officer) finally made an appearance. She was given off bad vibes and the body language was something else. I sensed this wasn’t going to be a pleasant experience.
It went downhill rapidly when after looking at my Canadian Firearm License she asked where my firearm registration paperwork was? Telling her it was not required, as I had a license was not what she wanted to hear and the conversation went rapidly downhill.
She said she never seen an America with a Canadian firearms license and where did I get it?
Explained I attended a class in Quebec and the Canadian government issued me the license
It got to the point where she demanded I show her my vehicle registration. I guess she thought I stole the license and my identification. She was trying to prove I wasn’t who I said I was?
She was clearly frustrated that I would not back down on not needing to have my firearms registered or that my firearms license was legal.
If I didn’t have a Canadian Firearms License (good for five years) then I’d have to pay a $25 fee and register the firearms. The approved document is good for 60 days. Not needed in my case (and the reason I obtained a firearms license). On the government website that provides guidance, they recommend you acquire a Canadian Firearms License if you’re going to be a frequent visitor. I'm on my third or forth license.
In the past at the border when there was doubt the person would ask me to pull over while they either looked up the law in question or called a supervisor. Not in this case. This back and forth conversation went on for more than a few minutes. She was clearly frustrated.
Eventually she said wait, closed the window, and departed into the interior of the building.
She came back shortly, handed me back my documents and said I could leave. Didn’t say anything other than that.
By the way, we used the same crossing on Saturday to attend a shoot at Valleyfield without issue. The officer I dealt with on Saturday was working, as I caught a glimpse of her as I was pulling up to the booth and I suspect that is who she consulted. That officer had a question last year when I was crossing on another firearm issue, but right off the bat asked if I would pull over as she needed to call a supervisor. The situation was resolved in my favor. I have crossed a number of times at the same crossing after that without issue.
I do have the name and phone number of the Chief of Operation, West Sector, Monteregie Border District, Operations Branch, as we had a discussion on border issues in years past. He encouraged me to contact him if I or other Americans had issues at the border in regard to firearms. I hesitate to call, but if future issues with the same person……