What’s the big deal about Point Roberts?
Point Roberts, WA is a little-known geographical anomaly in the utmost west end of the U.S.-Canada border that spans the 49th parallel. The town is only 20 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada and is on a less-than-5-square-mile peninsular piece of land. Due to it’s unique location, the only land route to or from Point Roberts is by driving through Canada. Alternately, a boat or plane may be used to access “The Point”. The map below shows the unique position of Point Roberts:
So, how can law-abiding people move firearms in and out of Point Roberts?
For those with a boat or plane, this might be a relatively simple question. But, for everyone else it’s more complex. As most people know, you cannot simply drive through Canada with firearms like you may have done in the old days (especially if any handguns are involved!). And, choosing to not declare any firearms on board to attempt to avoid hassle would be an absolutely terrible decision, unless you like jail, legal expenses and “international arms trafficker” added to your resumé. So, what’s a lawabiding citizen to do? We can help.
We are specialists in “international firearms logistics”, especially between the United States and Canada. While technically sending a gun to or from Point Roberts is a domestic transaction, the geographical nature of the Point often makes it an international transaction.
First, to save you money let’s go over the options for doing it yourself:
- Private Aircraft: if you own or have access to a private aircraft, as long as you follow any applicable rules regarding firearms on planes, you may be able to transport guns between the U.S. mainland and the Point Roberts Airpark. [Note: San Juan Airlines offers a twice-weekly scheduled service between Bellingham and Point Roberts as of the writing of this post, and they allow firearms in checked luggage as long as they are in a locked case. You are allowed up to 40lbs total of luggage with a $1/lb charge over 40lbs. Because this flight is $109 each way, it may not be a money-saving option. If you are able to drop the guns off for one of their scheduled flights and meet it on the other end, you may be able to use San Juan Airlines’ freight service which is just $1/lb with a $40 minimum and likewise requires that guns be shipped in a locked case.].
- Private Watercraft / Boat: if you own or have access to a boat, you may be able to take firearms to or from Point Roberts by boat, without ever crossing into Canadian waters. For many Point Roberts residents boats are a must-have means of transportation and connection to the rest of the U.S.A., so this will be a viable option for many.
- U.S. Post Office: the U.S. Postal Service can in certain situations transport long guns (but not handguns) for individuals. While typically firearms being shipped must go to a licensed “FFL dealer” (there are no retail gun shops in Point Roberts), the ATF allows one exception which is for an individual shipping firearms to or from themselves. You must be the one opening the package on either end, and follow all ATF and USPS requirements. This same ATF exception also applies to possible shipment by other carriers (such as UPS or FedEx), however those carriers tend to have their own requirements which may prohibit this type of shipment.
How can Borderview help?
If none of the above options work for you, please Contact Us and we’ll put together a custom plan and quote to meet your needs of moving firearm(s) to or from Point Roberts, whether we transit them through Canada using our Canadian licensing, or make other arrangements on your behalf. Due to the unique nature of each situation, we don’t have published pricing for these services, but rather will work with you on a plan for your situation, taking into account all of the particulars such as number and type of guns, purpose of movement, time-sensitivity, etc. Simply click here to visit our Contact page and get in touch. We look forward to serving you!
IMPORTANT NOTE: This post is current as of the date it is originally published. If we become aware of new or different information, we make an effort to update the post and note where any changes have been made.
This information is provided as general information only and in no way is intended as legal advice. Before making any decisions based on this information you should confirm the facts yourself and contact a licensed attorney for legal advice as needed. The application and impact of laws can vary widely based on the specific facts involved. Given the changing nature of laws, rules and regulations, and the inherent hazards of electronic communication, there may be delays, omissions or inaccuracies in information contained herein. Accordingly, the information on this site is provided with the understanding that the authors and publishers are not herein engaged in rendering legal or other professional advice. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a qualified and duly licensed legal professional.