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Old September 18th, 2007, 02:42   #1
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: MB
Sometimes CBSA isn't the boogey man after all

Months ago I had ordered a slim foreend and SEF grip frame and trigger group from Japan to fit my Youth Engineering gas blowback MP5. It cost me a considerable chunk of cash as it had to be custom fabricated from Escort, JAC, and real steel parts.

Eventually I received the parcel minus the SEF trigger group. In its stead was a detention notice from CBSA indicating a "RECEIVER" had been detained as it was a prohibited weapon. Needless to say I was pretty upset, however I telephoned the number listed and spoke with a few of the people involved. I kept my demeanor polite and understanding, explaining that I realize CBSA has a duty to protect the citizenry from contraband and that I welcomed an opportunity to correct an error made in good faith. The seizing officer was immensely thankful that I understood their position, citing that most people call and yell at them rather than lodge a reasoned objection. She even welcomed my appeal and the opportunity to be proven wrong on the issue, and learn something about firearms in the process.

I called the adjudicator listed on the form and explained my reasoning, that the upper receiver on an MP5 was the part that housed the serial number and would be the controlled part rather than the grip frame. I made no attempt to hide the fact this part was for an airsoft gun; in fact I was very open with that as it would likely have been more of an issue had it been for a real MP5. I also laid out my qualifications as a federally licensed verifier for the Canada Firearms Registry and advised that the RCMP Firearms Reference Table may shed some more light on the issue. The adjudicator thanked me for the info and said he'd send a written confirmation of my "appeal" shortly.

I had intended to prepare a thorough written appeal with supporting documentation, photographs, and web links to bolster my argument. However as fireworks season was in full swing at that point I had zero time to do any of it. Knowing it usually takes CBSA months to get anything like this accomplished I put it on the back burner.

Then last week I get a Canada Post delivery notice in my mailbox. I was expecting some parts out of Hong Kong so I was very perplexed to see the post office lady bring out an XpressPost bubble mailer, and even more puzzled when I saw the return address was CBSA. I opened the bag to reveal my SEF lower, and a four page "Detailed Adjustment Statement" that laid out the verdict that my lower was indeed admissible to Canada!

So I suppose the lesson is, if you play by the rules and put forward a reasoned case, and probably most importantly respect those that are holding the cards, you can usually get what you want.

Gryphon is offline   Reply With Quote