WHY IS IT OKAY FOR CANADA TO IMPOSE A “TRAVELLER’S TAX” ON U.S. TOURISTS?

Law-abiding Americans have paid the bulk of the $25 million that
Hunters and sport shooters have paid to bring their guns into Canada since 2001

Recently, a leaked plan to impose a “traveller’s fee” by the United States to pay for increased border security caused a minor spike in blood pressure. Both the Canadian and American federal governments chimed in. On April 22nd, the Globe and Mail reported: “Any fee on travellers crossing the Canada-US border would be bad for travellers and bad for the economy,” said department of foreign affairs spokesperson Emma Welford. “Canadian officials will vigorously lobby against this proposal.”

Sheldon Clare, Canada’s National Firearms Association President, asks,” If that is the case, then why has the federal government imposed a $50 fee for law-abiding foreign visitors coming into Canada with firearms to hunt or to participate in Olympic or recreational shooting events?” Canada’s National Firearms Association President Sheldon Clare said, “We could understand the previous Liberal government imposing this tax on tourists because it was part of their onerous multibillion-dollar Firearms Act they rammed through Parliament in 1995. The Liberals have long confused civilian gun owners with criminals. However, we have a hard time understanding why the Conservative Government has continued to collect this regressive tax since they were elected in 2006. Sport shooters aren’t terrorists.” The documents released by the government even indicate a dramatic decline in the number of shooting tourists over the last ten years. Revenue from these foreign firearms fees has declined from $3.8 million in 2001 to $1.3 million in 2011. This tax on tourists hurts the economies of every province and territory.

Documents obtained from the Canada Border Services Agency using the Access to Information Act reveal that since 2001, the federal government has collected more than $25 million dollars from law-abiding foreign visitors paid for the privilege of bringing their legally owned firearms into Canada.

Click the following links for supporting documentation:

Copy of Foreign Visitors with Guns 2001-2010
CBSA ATI Response: Foreign Visitors Firearms Declared
CBSA ATI Response: Foreign Visitors Firearms Fees Collected
RCMP Fact Sheet: Firearm Users Visiting Canada

This tax on tourists also runs counter to the Prime Minister’s “Declaration on a Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness” he signed with President Obama in February of 2011 in which he promised to . . . “establish a new long-term partnership that will accelerate the legitimate flows of people and goods between both countries, while strengthening security and economic competitiveness.”

“Hunters and sport shooters constitute a ‘legitimate flow of people’ consistent with this declaration. Admitting law-abiding firearms owners into Canada. Law abiding citizens shouldn’t be considered a security problem. Hunters don’t deserve to pay extra to come into Canada to create tourism jobs and strengthen our economy,” said Sheldon Clare, CNFA President.

“Why is the government harassing visiting hunters after scrapping the long-gun registry?” President Clare asked. “There was never a common sense need to track these legally owned firearms brought into by law-abiding tourists but now it no longer makes even bureaucratic sense.” The Minister of Public Safety, Vic Toews, and dozens of his colleagues in the House of Commons have repeatedly said, “The Conservative government does not support treating law-abiding hunters, farmers and sports shooters as criminals.” “Well, that commitment should apply equally to law-abiding tourists too,” concluded President Clare.

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For more information contact:

Blair Hagen, Executive VP Communications, 604-753-8682 Contact Us
Sheldon Clare, President, 250-981-1841 Contact Us
Canada’s NFA toll-free number – 1-877-818-0393
NFA Website: www.nfa.ca