While the Canadian Border Services Agency has seen a steep rise in firearm seizures across the region this year, the trend hasn’t reached Greater Victoria.
CBSA reported 37 firearm seizures across the Pacific region, which includes B.C. and the Yukon, between April 1 and June 30 this year. Compared to 24 seizures made in the same period last year, this marks a 37 per cent increase.
The 37 firearm seizures have so far resulted in 15 charges against 17 individuals, with more charges possible.
Meanwhile in Greater Victoria, CBSA has seized only two firearms this year, as of Aug. 13, including one prohibited and one restricted firearm.
The numbers fall in line with last year, which also saw two firearms being seized in the area by Aug. 13. That number increased to seven seizures by the end of the year.
“Canadian firearm laws are clear: all persons must declare all firearms and weapons in their possession when they enter Canada. The CBSA takes its border protection responsibilities very seriously, including the interdiction of prohibited firearms and weapons,” Doug Mossey, chief of the Criminal Investigations Unit for the region, wrote in a CBSA release.
Visitors to Canada may temporarily import non-restricted firearms, including common hunting rifles and shotguns, by completing a non-resident firearm declaration and paying a $25 fee, as long as they have a valid reason, such as hunting or target practice. Restricted firearms such as handguns also require an authorization to transport permit, issued by the province being visited.
Residents wishing to import a firearm are required to produce a possession and acquisitions license. In the case of restricted firearms, a registration certificate and authorization to transport are also required.