nosy border guards - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-28-2002, 01:27 PM   #1
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nosy border guards

:wave just a comment that has been bothering me.
we recently returned (Christmas day) from a trip up thru Oreagon and Washington (stayed one night in John & Nancy Hamilton's driveway, thank you John & Nancy) to Vancouver, BC. we left our tt in the seabreeze rv park at Birch Bay before crossing the border as we had a condo scheduled downtown for 4 nights.
at the border we had no problems EXCEPT the Canadian (a young girl that appeared to be of middle eastern ancestory) ask the usual questions, and then "do you have any guns", no "do you have any guns at home?", yes "what kind?", which a foulishy answered. What right does anyone have to ask what you have at home?
then she asked, "why did'nt you bring them with you", which we replied, that we had heard that we were'nt supposed to. with that she waved us on.
I think the terrorist have won. Lou
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Old 12-28-2002, 03:26 PM   #2
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Border Guards

We were in BC on 9/11 and coming home didn't know what to expect at the border. When the border guard went through the trailer, I went inside with him and as he poked around, he asked questions in a kind of chatty way. Things like; have you been here before, where did you go on this trip, what did you think of someplace or other. At first I was nervous and felt like I was taking a pop-quiz that I was unprepared for.
:o
I think the questions allow them to observe your comfort and honesty level. Some may be better at it than others.
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Old 12-29-2002, 04:43 PM   #3
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Weird Border Crossing Questions...

My husband and I did a spring time tour around Lake Ontario back when we lived near Toronto. We drove our old s-10 pickup, which at the time still had the winter "ballast" (an old seized-solid rusty transmission)

Going into the US we were asked "what's that in the back of the truck?"
When we explained why we had the transmission he looked confused. He asked why we still had it in our truck. Good ol' procrastination was the answer. He asked if we were intending to sell the transmission while in the US. We laughed and said no, no-one would want it for more than scrap. I was sure he was going to pull us over for a more detailed search. He waved us on.

Going back into Canada we were asked "What's the transmission out of?" We told him it had come out of an old pickup we were restoring. "What sort of truck?" We told him. He waved us on.

I agree with Carol, some border guards are better at asking the questions that others, regardless of their country of origin.

Hopefully, the rumblings we've been hearing here in BC about legalizing marijuana won't make matters worse!

~ Mel :wave
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Old 12-29-2002, 05:34 PM   #4
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Hi
I was in Arizona in October. On arrival to US customs in Calgary I was In a embarrising Situation by US Immigration Officers. They had me standing in front of other customers With my pants undone , zipper down, Shoes off. I would have much sooner had the questions. On leaving Arizona, same thing.I think due to world situation it is now a given that this is going to occur.I would much sooner be embarresed and slightly upset than dead.I will go through it again if thats what it takes to travel out of country.
As said in other posts, some people don't have much tact.
Keep RVing and have fun.:steer
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Old 06-21-2003, 12:49 AM   #5
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We have made a number of border crossings since 9/11. The guards pay more attention to what we are carrying now but I have not found them to be rude - with one exception! When we pulled up to the US side of the B.C./Idaho border the lady at the gate asked me if I had any guns. I answered, "Yes, just a single-shot 12 guage." I have carried that gun in and out of the United States for 30 years.

"And what is the purpose of the gun," she asked.

I answered, "For self-protection."

Wrong answer! I was told to return to Canada until I got rid of the shotgun. I drove 50 yards back to the Canadian border and surrendered the old shotgun and proceeded back to the American side. I can tell you I was mightily ticked! Had I said I was going to visit friends and shoot crows that would have been okay - but not to defend myself against some creep who may want to molest us while having a snooze under a tree somewhere.

When guns are outlawed only the outlaws will have guns!!!
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Old 06-21-2003, 01:27 AM   #6
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Ken!

what the heck did you expect?, sympathy from wanna-be cops?

(all ya had to say was "the ducks are easier targets south of the border!)

It's true what they say about the wind over on the Island isn't it?


:o
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Old 06-21-2003, 01:21 PM   #7
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Yes, next time I'll take the 12 guage auto-loader and tell them I'm going to a skeet shoot. Then watch out mugger in the Walmart parking lot.

I suppose you all have heard of the elderly couple sleeping over in the Walmart parking lot who were beaten and robbed by thugs posing as Walmart security huh?

If someone knocks at my door they are likely to be greeted with, clank, clank, I'm a tank. The racking of a shell into the chamber in a Browning is quite distinctive.
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Old 06-26-2003, 10:35 AM   #8
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border guards??

Lou,

When I crossed into BC at Osoyoos last August, I got almost exactly the same line of questioning. I was asked about guns that I had at home and what the gun laws where in Missouri, etcetera. After asking the same question in five different ways, I was told that a complete search would be done. The officers unloaded and looked at everything including my dirty laundry, while another officer looked up my criminal record in a computer database. A half hour later, the officer apologized for the delay and I was on my way to Alaska with my passport stamped and feeling much the same as you. I was offended at first but later, I realized that I had already been selected for a complete search and that the officer was giving me every opportunity to declare any guns or other weapons that I may have had. I crossed into Canada from Alaska several more times on my trip but was never subjected to the same line of questioning or searched again. At Osoyoos, I was not asked about pepper spray or mace but my 9 oz. can of bear spray was in plain sight on top of an open box. Nothing was said about it. At other crossings, I was asked about pepper spray and I told the officers that I had a can of bear spray but was never asked to produce it for inspection. It seems that pepper spray, as long as it is clearly marked for bear protection and USDA approved, comes under the control of Health Canada and at the time was not considered to be a weapon, but laws can change so it is best to get the most up-to-date travel information on Canada.

In August of 2002, the Canadian Customs officers were not armed and I did not feel threatened by them or view them as guards at all but on returning to the US, I was surprised to see National Guard soldiers, clad in fatigues and armed with M-16 rifles guarding the border. Much has changed since 9/11 on both sides of the border and I just hope that our Canadian friends continue to feel welcome in the US.

Several web sites like the ones below have some good tips for crossing the border.

http://travel.state.gov/tips_canada.html
http://gocanada.about.com/library/blguns.htm
http://www.mysterynet.mb.ca/city/new/city_customs.htm
http://gocanada.about.com/cs/bordercrossin...driveacross.htm
http://members.allstream.net/~wzombie/cust...toms/arming.htm
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Old 06-26-2003, 11:01 AM   #9
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Border crossings

Prior to 9/11 I lived in BC and we drove back south to Washington state a LOT while we were there... We've taken one trip north (same crossings) since 9/11 (last summer).

I honestly don't think it's THAT much different. They're being a little more diligent about actually enforcing the laws that have been in place for years anyway.

My recollection (from other's stories) is that Canadian Customs would ALWAYS freak when it came to 'weapons'. That's why pepper spray is a no-no if it's labeled as 'protection against muggers' or some stuff like that. But if it's 'bear spray', it's not a weapon.

Traditionally - the Canadian border guards were basically there to make sure you were paying all the appropriate taxes (their main question "what did you buy"). The US border guards however mostly were looking for drugs. Once in a blue moon I'd run into a border guard who was taking their job WAY too seriously - but I found most to be friendly, considerate and polite.

Craig is DEFINATELY right about the reasons for the questions. It's not so much your answers they're interested in. It's your voice and attitudes while you are answering. If anything stands out - you're gonna be visiting a little longer.

I always tried to be friendly, give short VERY direct answers and avoid being chatty. They're just trying to do a job. And what a job! How interesting can it possibly be to ask the same 3 questions to 1000 people every day? "Where do you live?", "Where are you going?", "What's the purpose of your trip?" You spend your days talking to shoppers and tourists, yet you're supposed to be finding the rare drug currier or terrorist in that mob of normal folks. It's a wierd combination of tedium and stress.

Rule of life: Always be polite to a fellow who has the ability to give you a strip search and/or dissassemble your car looking for drugs (without any obligation to reassemble it either). :)

mkw
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Old 06-26-2003, 05:23 PM   #10
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Border Crossings

I frequently cross the border, though not often with my trailer.
Since 9/11 a lot of minor things have changed, that you have to be aware of . (Mostly if you're Canadian).

A Canadian can only take a firearm across the border if he has a valid
US hunting licence, or an invitation to a scheduled shooting event ,and a slip from the BATF, You can get the forms online.
You can only buy ammunition if you have been in the country 90 days or more. You can buy a firearm, but it has to be shipped to Canada, you can't take it yourself.

For those of you coming to Canada, Handguns are a no-no, unless you are going to a scheduled shoot, and have the paperwork in hand.( read major hassle)
Long guns are ok, again as long as you have the paperwork in hand.

All guns in Canada have to be registered, and they'll make you do so at the border. Even some pellet guns are considered as real guns.
Replicas are Prohibited, big no-no. So are tasers.

Pepper spray, as long as it is in jumbo cans is ok for "protection from wild animals".

If you need more info, drop me an e-mail, and I'll try to answer your questions

BTW, I've had as many good and bad crossings since 911 than I did before, just depends on the day and the guards attitude.
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