NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- More and more guns are not being declared by drivers going into Canada, and that's led to an increase in weapons seizures and even charges.
From 2012 to 2016, gun seizures across Canada were up almost 175%, and a document obtained by Global News showed about 91% were from U.S. residents.
Leaders with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has been warning Americans that their "right to bear arms" ends at the border.
"It is strongly recommended that you not carry your firearm when traveling to Canada and/or transiting through Canada to reach another U.S. destination," the agency said in a previous news release. "However, should you choose to travel with your firearms, you must declare all firearms in your possession at the first Canadian designated port of entry. You must also have all the necessary permits and have your firearm appropriately stored."
One CBC article started by saying, "Dear Americans: You're more than welcome to visit Canada, but for goodness sake, leave your guns at home."
2 On Your Side looked specifically at the four international bridges in Western New York and found, since the beginning of this year, there have been 70 undeclared firearms seized, leading to 22 charges.
"Let them know what you have, because there's a penalty and a fine, and it could be you're hauled into court," said Geoff Spear, who manages a campground that attracts American visitors.
Besides guns, many other weapons are also prohibited, including pepper spray, many knives, tasers and brass knuckles.
Last summer, two people got caught at the Peace Bridge just across from Buffalo trying to bring a rocket launcher and two grenades into Canada. Those items are obviously prohibited.
CBSA says if someone declares a weapon that turns out to be prohibited, that person can make arrangements to pay to have the item shipped back to his or her home address, as opposed to having it seized and never getting it back.
WEB EXTRA: Click here for information on what is allowed and what is not allowed when you're entering Canada at land border crossings
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