If you’re planning a move north and will be shipping guns to Alaska, or if you need to bring guns back to the contiguous United States, it’s in your best interest to gain an understanding of how the laws and regulations work to ensure that you won’t accidentally get into trouble during your journey. Moving to Alaska can be an exciting experience, and with a vast geographical landscape where you can hunt game, bringing your favorite guns along for the ride is a must for many avid hunters. But traveling by car across an international border means complying with the laws that that nation sets out, and in Canada, this means declaring any and all firearms and ammunition that you’re carrying with you.
It’s estimated that between 200 to 300 Americans get into trouble every year by not properly declaring their firearms once they reach Canada, and our team at Golden North Van Lines wants to make sure you have the information you need for easy passthrough. So before you jump in the car and take off, it’s essential to take a look at how to ship firearms the correct way, what you are permitted to bring with you, and the regulations you’ll need to know before crossing through Canada when moving either to or from Alaska. This understanding will help you avoid unnecessary hassle or trouble and have you hunting America’s last frontier in no time.
How to Ship Firearms the Correct Way
Shipping guns to Alaska involves navigating the correct paperwork and ensuring that you have the legal right to carry. Alaska allows adults 21 years of age and older to carry firearms provided that they are doing so legally, which means that you’ll need to go through the proper channels to receive a permit. There is no specialized permit for concealed carry in the state, but during transport, guns should be either unloaded and stored in plain sight or kept out of reach of other passengers traveling with you. Once you reach Canada, you’ll legally need to declare any and all firearms that you’re bringing with you en-route to your destination.
What You Are Permitted to Bring
Alaska allows most firearms for hunting purposes, but have restrictions on some types and characteristics. If you wish to bring fully automatic guns, rifles with barrels under 16 inches, shotguns with barrels under 18 inches, or either of the two that are less than 26 inches overall, you’ll be required to obtain and carry a Federal permit. You won’t be permitted to bring firearms of any kind into schoolyards, courthouses, domestic violence shelters, or bars, and there are both state and national parks within Alaska that may have further restrictions.
Regulations Crossing Through Canada
By law, you’ll need to declare your firearms when entering Canada. Failure to do this could result in significant fines as well as having your guns confiscated without return. To declare properly when shipping guns to Alaska, you’ll need to fill out a Form 5589 and pay a $25 fee (you’ll need copies, so bring three forms in total). In terms of firearm types, Canada has three classes: non-restricted, restricted, and prohibited. Most rifles and shotguns fall under non-restricted, while handguns will require a special permit to transport. Anything fully automatic or military-style won’t be permitted, meaning that you simply cannot bring them with you.
Shipping guns to Alaska is typically a simple process when you follow the correct procedures. For more information about your move, and specifically, if you are taking guns with you, reach out to Golden North Van Lines and we’ll help.