GREAT FALLS — The Canada Border Services Agency said in a news release on Monday that it has filed charges in what it calls a "significant firearms seizure" at the Coutts port of entry in southern Alberta.
On Jan. 3, two United States residents tried to enter Canada in a motorhome and were referred for further examination. Border services officers searched the vehicle and located the following firearms, which the CBSA alleges the travelers did not declare:
- two prohibited assault-style rifles
- four prohibited 9mm handguns
- one restricted .45-calibre handgun
CBSA officers seized the firearms along with 11 prohibited high-capacity magazines. Firearms that are not properly declared may be seized by the CBSA, as well as the vehicles used to carry them.
In addition, the CBSA may launch criminal proceedings against travelers who violate border laws. A court conviction can result in fines, jail time, and impact a foreign national’s ability to return to Canada in the future.
The CBSA Criminal Investigations Section has charged Adam Peter Brown, 39, and Bethany Ann Brown, 42, both from Alaska, with five counts each:
- smuggling, contrary to Section 159 of the Customs Act
- making false statements, contrary to Section 153(a) of the Customs Act
- possessing a prohibited or restricted gun with ammunition, contrary to Section 95(1) of the Criminal Code
- failing to follow firearms storage regulations, contrary to Section 86(2) of the Criminal Code
- unauthorized possession of a firearm, contrary to Section 91(1) of the Criminal Code
They were released on a promise to appear and are scheduled to make their first appearance in Lethbridge Provincial Court on March 1.
Last year, CBSA officers in southern Alberta seized 42 undeclared firearms in 30 separate incidents. Nationally, 1,122 firearms were seized last year, more than double the number from 2020.