• Mossberg Owners is in the process of upgrading the software. Please bear with us while we transition to the new look and new upgraded software.

Help me get legal for Canada travel


Okay, I think I've seen enough. The shotgun's staying home. I'll take my chances with the bears. Too many variables and unknowns. When I drove into Canada at the Kingsgate checkpoint (from Idaho on Hwy 95) both in 1986 and 2017, it was a breeze. Sounds like things are too uptight and risky now. I've got a strong sense now of Moore's law looming over it all: If I go unarmed, I'll breeze right through; if I take the shotgun, it'll all go south. Thanks again for the tips! Will let y'all know how it goes.

Probably the wisest choice here. Any border crossing is always a sketchy proposition, best to keep it as uncomplicated as possible


.270 WIN
...Unless you are traveling over the US southern border... :rolleyes:
Southbound, if you have a .22 round in your door panel, expect seltzer water with cayenne pepper shot up your nose, punitive sodomy, family ransom note...

Northbound, they'll give you a bus ticket from southern Mexico.

Sgt Shotgun

Copper BB
Bear spray and a small co2 air horn are great for getting you out of an animal confrontation on the trail.

I dunno if you'd find the border crossing any tougher than 2017, but crossing international boundaries can be problematic any time. Border agents have far more powers of detention, search and seizure than any regular cop...they can make your life miserable and there is little to no recourse for us plebs. That said, they don't always exercise their full powers and unnecessary detention, search and seizure is not common.

If it was me...this is what I'd do and have done for years (except the firearm part...never crossed a border with one)

- Make sure I had all my documentation in order.

- Make as many calls to the appropriate people as possible to make sure I'd covered my bases.

- Ensure the firearm is legal for import and abide by the rules for storage and transport in Canada.

- Travel in a vehicle and use luggage that has been purchased new by me to avoid the possible taint of past illegal narcotics.

- Have no criminal record or no criminal history of any kind.

- Immediately disclose the presence of the firearm upon pulling up to the border agent.

I have NEVER been pulled into 'secondary' for extra inspections by US Customs or CBSA. I have been delayed for hours while border agents give me the big, hairy eyeball or stare at paper or vehicles and talk in short, abrupt and mumbled sentences and generally make me feel uncomfortable. I have witnessed more than a few people having a really bad day at the border too. I gotta say though, that most of those folks were likely dumb as stumps and did something really stupid to get the attention of the officers. Like say having a vehicle reeking of pot or having some kind of criminal past and trying to hide sh#t from the officers...just fantastically dumb.

Forewarned is forearmed, but it doesn't necessarily mean don't do it. Just be aware and understand that none of us knows the day when we will pull up to the border and things might go sideways for us.

To my understanding and backed up by experience...proactive disclosure of anything that could be considered an offensive weapon is a good idea. Other than border agents finding illegal substances in your possession or sussing out that you're not going to be doing what you say you are...it should all be smooth sailing for you.
From the website: https://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/firearms/maximum-permitted-magazine-capacity

As a general rule, the maximum magazine capacity is:
  • 5 cartridges for most magazines designed for a semi-automatic, centre-fire long gun
Do I understand correctly that this speaks ONLY to five rounds that can fit into the magazine itself (with an empty chamber) and does NOT include one more that would occupy the chamber?


Forum Moderator
Staff member

Sgt Shotgun

Copper BB
Sgt S, welcome to Mossberg owners from E TN.
I have nothing to offer about border crossings, but I am following your trip with interest.
When you get back, please write us a summary of how your encounters w/ the authorities went.
That would be a help for others... and me, too. I'm just nosey.

Well I decided to take my chances and brought my Mossberg 930 SPX through Canada to Alaska and back (a 7,500 mile trip). To my great relief, I had no problems whatsoever. In fact, going into Canada from Idaho, I was asked only the standard question about transporting alcohol, tobacco or produce, and then waved on. I wisely chose to inform the agent that I have a firearm in the car, which appeared to somewhat startle her, at which I was then instructed to park and go into the building where I answered questions, filled out forms, was told the rules and paid the $25 fee. I was not allowed to have it loaded at any time, which defeated the whole purpose. I was informed that I was not to stay overnight in any park with the gun and to take it into my room at any lodging I might stay at. As per the law, I was allowed only so many days (I forget the number) to stay in Canada on each leg of the trip. No problems going into Alaska, of course, or returning to Canada or to the lower 48. Thanks again to all for the advice!
Last edited:


Okay, I think I've seen enough. The shotgun's staying home. ... I've got a strong sense now of Moore's law looming over it all: If I go unarmed, I'll breeze right through; if I take the shotgun, it'll all go south. Thanks again for the tips! Will let y'all know how it goes.

I know you must have toggled your take/no-take strategy a bunch of times.

I am very happy you did take the shotgun with you. That's my selfish side.
I am very happy that it went as smoothly as you described. That's my magnanimous side.

Thank you very much for the update!