- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Friday began a public-information campaign targeting firearms trafficking between the United States and Canada and educating travelers on the legal transit of firearms.

The campaign follows the arrests of 15 persons and the confiscation of weapons and illegal drugs by law-enforcement authorities in the two countries.

The arrests and seizures were the culmination of a joint investigation known as “Project Rebel,” which began in October.

Authorities served arrest and search warrants in early-morning raids on June 20 throughout Ontario and the United States, during which officers confiscated 26 handguns, 10,000 Ecstasy tablets, 260 grams of methamphetamine, 515 grams of cocaine and 4 kilograms of marijuana.

Ten of those arrested were charged with 134 firearm- and drug-related offenses in connection with the investigation, and five others were previously arrested in Sudbury, Ontario, on drug-related offenses.

ATF is the Justice Department agency with jurisdiction for enforcing the federal firearms laws. CBP has jurisdiction for the U.S. ports of entry and immigration pre-clearance sites in Canada. Teamed with their Canadian counterparts, they have designed, printed and displayed a series of posters that explain the U.S. and Canadian laws and restrictions on bringing firearms into either country.

“This public information campaign furthers the U.S.-Canadian interest in educating travelers between our countries on our laws regarding firearms,” ATF Acting Director Michael J. Sullivan said.

CBP will display the posters at all 126 entries on the border and at immigration pre-clearance sites the agency operates at Canadian international airports in Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg.

“We know that a vast majority of travelers who enter the U.S. have no intention of violating U.S. laws or regulations,” CBP Commissioner W. Ralph Basham said. “I”m pleased that the information provided in this campaign will help our neighbors ‘know before they go” to the United States.”

Canadian authorities are displaying the posters in English and French.