Thinking Bigly on Gun Owners, the Border, & President Trump’s Art of the Deal


Thinking Bigly on Gun Owners, the Border, & President Trump's Art of the Deal
Thinking Bigly on Gun Owners, the Border, & President Trump’s Art of the Deal

Arizona -( – It was not long ago, that taking guns into Canada, a nation with vast areas of wilderness, was uncomplicated and straightforward for U.S. citizens. There were virtually no restrictions on rifles and shotguns.

The Canadian government required a simple seal on handguns to ensure they were not fired in Canada. If the seal were broken when the border was crossed going back into the United States, an explanation was in order. It had to be good. That changed in January of 2001.

As more and more restrictions on the ownership of firearms have been pushed by leftists on both sides of the border, crossing the border with firearms has become a legal minefield to trap the unwary. The nadir was reached when a U.S. citizen had to register any rifle or shotgun they brought into Canada, which included a $25 fee that was good for a few months.  All long guns in Canada had to be registered.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was able to keep a campaign promise and remove the failed long gun registry. The $25 fee for crossing the border with a long gun remains. It is virtually impossible for an ordinary U.S. citizen to transport a handgun in Canada.

Hundreds are trapped in inadvertent offenses every year. Taking a handgun into Canada, as many find prudent when traveling to Alaska, is so complicated and confusing as to be legally impossible for an ordinary traveler. Bringing personal guns from Canada into the U.S., as many Canadians wish to do when they travel south for the winter, has numerous restrictions and difficulties.

President Trump and his administration are renegotiating the Canadian and U.S. trade agreement, reconstructed from the failed North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to the United States Mexico and Canada agreement (USMCA).

The Trump administration should include a return to less regulation of personal firearms. Any Canadian with a Possession and Acquisition (PAL) license should be able to bring legal firearms into the United States without a problem. Any legal U.S. resident not barred from exercising their Second Amendment rights should be able to carry legal firearms into Canada.

It is unreasonable that both governments allow their legal residents to travel freely with firearms inside their borders, but restrict each other’s residents when they cross the border.

President Trump has written, if you are going to think, you may as well think big. The same logic works for South of the border. We should include in the trade deal the ability of any Mexican who may legally possess firearms in Mexico, traveling lawfully in the U.S., to legally possess them in the U.S., with the reciprocity that legal U.S. residents may possess legal personal firearms in Mexico when legally traveling there.

Before 1972, possession of .22 rifles and pistols, by U.S. citizens in Mexico, was nearly unregulated. As Mexico has become more dangerous, paradoxically, the legal ability to be armed for self-defense has become almost impossible.

President Trump, his administration, and American gun owners should all think bigly about the Mexican, Canadian, and United States trade deal.

The reform should include removing restrictions on legal gun owners transporting their property across both borders.  Negotiations could be about ensuring that guns are not illegally transferred to prohibited possessors. All three nations have irrational restrictions on some types of personal arms.

Canadians are not allowed to have magazines of more than ten rounds in pistols and five rounds in rifles. U.S. citizens are generally restricted from possessing rifles and shotguns with barrels less than 16 and 18 inches, respectively. Mexicans are restricted from having pistols and rifles in many common “military” calibers.  It could all be worked out. All three nations require that guns moving across the border be declared.  Moving away from bureaucratic inflexibility, and toward more personal freedom, can be done.

Citizens who are legally possessing guns, in all three countries, are not a problem. They have exemplary records. They commit almost no crime. In the United States, people with carry permits are more law abiding than police officers. I am sure the same holds for Canadians with PAL licenses and Mexicans who obtain permits to own firearms.

The mass punishment principle has always been wrong. Punishing the mass of the innocent to get at a few bad apples is terrible policy. Punishing the enormous mass of legal gun owners because criminals break the law is a stupid way to attack a problem confined to small numbers of violent criminals.

A growing body of criminological evidence shows that serious violence (and much other crime) is concentrated among remarkably small numbers of “hot” people and places. We now know that homicide and gun violence are overwhelmingly concentrated among serious offenders operating in groups: gangs, drug crews, and the like representing under half of one percent of a city’s population commit half to three-quarters of all murders.

As recently as 1972 for Mexico, and 2001 for Canada, legal gun owners were able to travel between all three large North America nations with arms and few limitations. It worked then. It can work again.

There is no logical reason to prevent the travel of legally armed residents, only the superstitious fear of firearms in the hands of ordinary people by hoplophobes and would be dictators

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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Roy D.

Mexico is, and has been for a long, long time, a corrupt and failed nation state. There is no saving it. The fact that it even still functions is only because of the money siphoned from the United States by the sale of drugs and money sent back by Mexicans working here. It is one of the Walking Dead.

Gregory Romeu

@Dean Weingarten and @Vietnam Brown Water Veteran, DEAN, Vietnam Brown Water Veteran is absolutely correct! We, as a nation should LEAD BY EXAMPLE and not fear factors!

Wild Bill

“Canadians are not allowed to … ” That is because Canadians are subjects. Sovereignty rests in the government, not the people. Well … I did not want to spend any hard American cash in Canada that would support the Canadian government regime, anyway.

Charles Moore

I spent the worst six weeks of my life working in Canada. What a backwards place. Their “Green-ness” and “Quality Healthcare” lies to the rest of the world and hoaxes and smoke screens.

Wild Bill

, I’d like to here moore. I just could not resist the play on words.

James G.

The mass punishment syndrome? Ask any Democrat lawmaker and they can fully explain the insane rationale behind it.

willy d

@VietnamBrownWaterVeteran; Right on, Mo you don’t need a Concealed Carry permit to carry in the state, but you are compelled to take a safety coarse to get a Concealed Carry I D Card to go out of state, also it is only accepted by reciprocating states, which also have their own I D cards also. Best part is I carried in Pa for 30 years and in moving to Mo that time didn’t count and military didn’t count either, talk about reciprocating laws? Also it is an extra cost to the person and is not inexpensive to do! Best part… Read more »


Why would we expect any of the governments of these three countries to suddenly want to protect the rights of their respective citizens? Has something changed in the past 24 hours?

Vietnam Brown Water Veteran

Dean, This is all well and good, and makes perfect sense. My only complaint is that we do NOT have that same level of reciprocity when traveling between our own States. It is high time to accomplish that goal. Without it, our Right will be infringed on by lawless politicians.

Charles Moore

I hate to have to keep saying this to those who should read up and be better informed; we do NOT NEED national reciprocity – we already have it, we’re just not exercising and demanding it! The 1st Amendment (your exercise of basic rights as a free individual possessing God-given liberties), the 2nd Amendment (of course), the 4th, the 9th, 10th and 14th. As a pair of trump cards that we possess and SHOULD play, we have the Constitution’s Article 4, Sections 1 and 2. Look them up for yourself; I’m getting tired of having to type all of this… Read more »

Vietnam Brown Water Veteran

@Chuck Moore – Saying it don’t make it so. Explain “Gun Free Zones” other than open shooting spots. Also Cities that arrest you if they have passed a city ordinance. Try going into a Federal, County, City, State bldg. with a firearm. Even the VA Hospital will not allow a firearm. Have you ever heard of being “Dead Right?” Yes, all LEOs, most City officials, Governors, etc. have taken the exact same Oath of Office to Uphold the US Constitution, but they rarely do. When I took that “Oath of Office,” as a US Navy Sailor, there there was NO… Read more »

Charles Moore

I, too, took the same oath as a peace officer and will never waiver from it. The reality that practically all politicians violate and totally disregard that oath to do what they please and push their pro-government/anti-people agenda does not diminish what I said in the least. I described things AS THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE. The unfortunate fact that we have to uphold what is right, just and good at the risk is repulsive. Revolt? Would only work if everybody on the right side of the Supreme Law of the Land acted in concert with no weenies running back… Read more »

Vietnam Brown Water Veteran

Charles, We share that oath, however to your advantage you have “The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) is a federal law, enacted in 2004, that allows qualified current law enforcement officers and qualified retired law enforcement officers to carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with certain exceptions.” Even with that said, please note “with certain exceptions.” Also please note the date this was enacted. Reality can be quirky, and how we choose to “man-up” in our response, is a personal choice. It has been 50 years since my… Read more »

Roy D.

In regards to VBWV’s post referencing LEOSA; you are still required to follow the laws pertaining to firearms and their carry in each jurisdiction you find yourself in. For instance you can carry in NJ but you may not carry hollow point ammo or have more than ten rounds in your magazine (if you can even have a magazine holding more than ten). As far as I am concerned, I will not carry under LEOSA so I stick with my state issued CCW. When traveling out of state I do bring my retirement credentials however.

Phil in TX

To make it easier, just copy and paste yiur text into a Notepad file, save it with a name that suits you and then copy and paste it back into the reply box the next time you want to make that same point. Ain’t computers great?

Phil in TX


Sorry, pleanty to do and spend money for here in the CONUS. Would not want to be an “enabler”, by financing economy of either canada or mexico. I don’t expect them to become more accommodating too firearm users or owners and any of our federal government arrangments comingling of laws to facilitate “free trade” just may end up making our laws more restrictive as a condition of the agreement. -30-


“The mass punishment principle has always been wrong. Punishing the mass of the innocent to get at a few bad apples is terrible policy. Punishing the enormous mass of legal gun owners because criminals break the law is a stupid way to attack a problem confined to small numbers of violent criminals.”

I whole heartily agree! As far as the articles intent, wonderful! But, It seems to be the old carrot on a string. One can only hope.