Most countries have special laws governing the possession and transportation of firearms by nonresidents, and in many countries individual possession of firearms is illegal. Travelers should contact the appropriate government departments to learn about the laws prior to traveling. All firearms must be declared and registered with United States Customs on form 4457. This registration must be done at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection office before leaving the U.S.
The following are summaries for Canada and Mexico:
CANADA: Visitors who wish to bring firearms into Canada must declare the firearms in writing with a”Non-Resident Firearms Declaration” form. Multiple firearms may be declared on the same form. Three copies of the unsigned declaration must be pres-ented to a Canadian customs officer at the border. The declaration costs $50 (Canadian) and serves as a temporary license and registration certificate for up to 60 days. Visitors who plan to borrow a weapon in Canada must obtain in advance a “Temporary Firearms Borrowing license” for $30 (Canadian).
Canadian authorities recommend that visitors fill out the declaration form and make copies before arrival at the port-of-entry. Requests for photocopies at the border may be denied. The applicant is required to sign the form in front of a Customs officer at the point of entry.
Canada has three classes of firearms: non-restricted (most ordinary rifles and shotguns); restricted (mainly handguns); and prohibited (full automatics, converted automatics, handguns with a barrel length of 4 inches or less, and .25 or .32 caliber handguns among others). Prohibited firearms are not allowed in the country, but restricted firearms are allowed if an “Authorization to Transport” (ATT) has been obtained from a provincial or territorial Chief Firearms Officer before arrival at the point of entry into Canada. An ATT will not be authorized for restricted firearms intended for hunting or self-protection.
More information can be obtained from the Canadian Firearms Centre via the Internet at www.cfcccaf.gc.ca, under the heading “Visitors to Canada” or by calling the Canadian Firearms Centre information line.
MEXICO: According to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. travelers to Mexico should leave their weapons at home, unless they have obtained written permission from Mexican government authorities in advance of their visit. Many U.S. residents are arrested or fined every year for firearms violations in Mexico. Many of these offenders are licensed to carry the firearms in the U.S. and only inadvertently transported a firearm to Mexico, without any intention of violating the Mexican law.