On The Road Again – Just Like The Song Sings

It Wasn’t Humiliating . . . But It Was Very Disconcerting.

There Is No Broadcast With This Editorial.

Anne, Stryker, April The Cat & I are Hunkered-Down for the Night at a Gorgeous RV Park (Endless Caverns) in the West Virginia Mountains.

And after Driving for Two Full Days, and after being Interrogated at US Customs for Almost an Hour, because Anne and I were Crossing into America with Firearms, I’ve got to tell you – That for a Getting to be an Old Guy like Me – ANNE & I ARE WIPED.

Worse Than Being Exhausted . . . I Was Made To Feel Unwanted – Like A Nobody.

I Understand . . . Anne and I are Not Americans. And In-Spite of our Gratitude & Love for America and all that America has done for the World & America’s Laws & Culture – And As Much As Anne & I Have An Absolute Affinity For The USA, this is the First time since I’ve been Crossing the Border on my own, Since 1966, that I was Made to Feel as an Outsider & Usurper.

To US Customs & Immigration – I Was Invisible & Suspect.

The Border Agents Weren’t Rude Or Disrespectful . . . They Were Nothing – They were All Business, the Type of Treatment Generally Reserved for people who were Unwelcome or Suspect.

The Moment I Entered The Border Office To Hand In My ATF Forms – I was Treated as if I was Invisible – No Smile, No Greeting, Not even any Recognition of my Presence. And when I wasn’t being asked just a Few Terse Questions . . . the only Verbal Contact I Received from America’s Custom Service was – AN AUTHORITATIVE DEMAND TO SIT THERE!

So I Sat There, While Anne Waited In The F-250 With Stryker For Almost An Hour.

I Understand . . . THAT US CUSTOMS OWES ME NOTHING, Including Entry into the United States of America. I also understand that the US Border Service has a Huge Load on their Shoulders with what’s Happening on the Southern Border, and what is probably “Happening” along the Canadian Border too . . .

But That’s Not An Excuse to Treat Someone as if he or she Doesn’t Matter, or is a Suspect of Sorts, ESPECIALLY SINCE “EVERY” “I” WAS DOTTED & “T” WAS CROSSED . . . in all Aspects Respecting American Laws.

Anne Detailed Every Facet Of Our Firearms Permit Issued By The ATF.

Anne had Originals of all the ATF Permits, with Copies of the Originals. Every Make, Model & Serial Number of all the Firearms which were Detailed by the ATF . . . AND WE HAD OUR PRECIOUS NEXUS CARDS (Most Favored Traveler Status) – And I Was Still Treated Like Something The Dog Dragged Home.

It Wasn’t Humiliating . . . But It Was Very Disconcerting.

For almost an Hour, the Agents were Asking each other Questions about whether Anne and I were Breaking the Law, which seemed to me, that they didn’t know, even though it was the ATF who Issued Anne & Myself the Permit to Bring our Guns into the USA.

Finally . . . One of the Border Agents Asked me if we I had ever Transported Guns BEFORE – into the USA, to which I responded . . . “This Was Our Fifth Year”, which made me Wonder what kind of BS Records they Kept. And then I was Commanded To Sit Down Again.

I Know They Called The ATF, because I heard them Discussing it. I know they Googled Anne & Myself. And I know they Verified Anne & Myself through Various Criminal Directories, WHICH IS ALL OK, because they’re Doing their Job and Keeping America Safe.

I Assume the Agents checked-me out through Facial Recognition, but if they Didn’t, they have our Retina Scans & Fingerprints on Record, WITH A FULL HISTORY OF WHO ANNE AND I ARE.

I Was Not Happy . . . But I Understood, and I Can’t be Angry or Disappointed in the United States for the Way I was made to Feel at the Border – So Nothing Has Changed In My Outlook – But One Thing Really Did Piss-Me-Off.

The US Border Agents Had many Phone Conversations About Anne & Myself . . . One Of Which was with the NY State Police, to Inform the NY State Police that Anne & I were Travelling through their State with Firearms, giving the NY State Police our Names, Profiles, License Plate Numbers (F-250 & RV) all the Makes, Model & Serial Numbers of our Guns.

And Upon Leaving The Border Station . . . We were Advised by US Customs, that if we were to Sleep in NY State, we would have to Turn In Our Guns to the Closest State Trooper Station, and leave the Guns there until we Left the State, or we would be Breaking the Law – AND WE WOULD BE ARRESTED!

How’s That For A Welcome To America?

If it was so Important for US Customs to Inform NY State Police about our Guns, while Crossing NY State . . . What About All The Other States We Would Be Crossing On Our Way To Texas? Don’t All The Other States Matter As Much?

Needless To Say . . . Anne And Stopped Once in Watertown NY, for Gas and a quick Bite – And We Didn’t Stop Again Until We Saw The Sign . . . WELCOME TO PENNSYLVANIA.

In the Past . . . The US Border Agents Read The ATF Permits, checked our NEXUS Cards, looked at a few of the Serial Numbers on the Guns . . . Chatted up a Storm about Guns, This & That – And Always Wished us a Wonderful Winter in the USA. And Never Once, did they ever Forget to Warn us about NY State Gun Laws, and Remind us of our Constitutional Rights to Transport Legal Firearms Anywhere through the United States of America.

Anne & I Are Thrilled To Be Back In The USA . . . And if Stryker & April The Cat Could Speak or Write, they Would Say the Same. But this time, because of how I was Treated, or not Treated at US CustomsIt Doesn’t Quite Feel The Same. But I’ll Get Over It.

I will Read all your Comments & Emails while on the Road during Rest Stops, but it is very Doubtful that I will have Either the Time or the Energy to Respond.

And If Possible, I will try to Write at least a Couple More Editorials Between Now and When we Arrive In Austin Texas On November 5th.

Best Regards . . . Howard Galganov

46 Comments

  • Our politicians have disgraced our land.

    I pray that Mr. Reynolds is right about a “silent Jehovah … watching”.

    Dennis A. Schultz, Alpena, Michigan, United States
  • On behalf of my fellow Americans, I would like to apologize to you for the actions of these people. They are obviously idiots and hopefully will be fired via the MERIT Act which allows for immediate termination for unsatisfactory performance. Welcome to America!!

    Teri Newman, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States
  • I have mixed emotions on this one. I am glad to learn that the border guards were seriously doing their duty, and I don’t mind too much that it took an hour or so. But I am sorry that you were not treated better, both with respect and friendliness. I do really like it that you took it all like a gentleman and with some understanding. You are a true and good American regardless! Keep it up!!

    Dick Black – Kansas

    Dick Black, Potwin, Kansas, United States
  • I fly Toronto to manila phil……… Always l feel so welcome here I plan to be here til April………. Nice warm climate good people always welcome everywhere l go

    WAYNE BATTE, WATERLOO, Ontario, Canada
  • Hi Howard.
    I would have thought you would have a hard time at Canada customs!!

    Andrew Dier, Newington ON
  • I believe you were confronted by “Crying Chuck Schumer”!

    John Ross, Ancaster ON
  • Would the Demonrats scrutinize the caravaners to this degree? Huh!

    Barry Jackson, St. Lazare, Quebec
  • It is my hope that you are not detained like this again. We are behind you. We have to be careful but not against good people like you.

    June Harding, Williamsburg VA 23188
  • Howard I sympathise very much with you and Anne in relation to your treatment by US Customs, same a few years ago when I returned from Australia from visiting a friend in N.Z. Customs at Brisbane Airport on that day gave returning Australians probably one of the worst experiences of their lives. I for one vowed that if I every return through Brisbane Airport Customs I would get to the first counter open my bag, tip the contents on the floor and take off all my clothes. I know they have a job?

    Graham Inskip, Oakhurst, Queensland, Australia
  • Our border crossing at Port Huron, MI & Detroit, MI are about the same as you experienced. There may be ‘suspect’ problems we know nothing about. But, I do apologize for your, Anne and your furry family’s treatment. God Bless

    Kathy West, Livonia, Michigan, USA
  • 100+ illegals cross into Texas daily, I wonder if they were checked for firearms? Let’s pray that Ted Cruz wins or you will be in big trouble if anti-gunner Beto wins. Safe travels

    John Dawson, Hillsboro, Oregon, United States
  • Sorry about that Howard! Too bad that the guys were not Democrats or they would have let you right in……..just like they want to do on the Sothern Border.

    Joe Lybrand, Tumbling Shoals, Arkansas, United States
  • My deepest regrets for the way you were treated on your arrival into my country. Frankly I don’t know my country anymore.
    It’s sad that these people were so impolite and rude. But Mr and Mrs G consider the source as they have been programmed
    to be hostile.Enjoy Big Wonderful West Virginia and may your journey south be safe,happy and peaceful. Billie

    Billie F Luchi, Fountain Hills, AZ
  • Howard and Anne – I feel terribly about how your were treated – I went over the border at derby line from mid May to mid Oct – joked with them early on about the Hatians and by Oct about the southern border – never a problem – always a frank conversation – something must have changed quickly?!?!?!?!? one of the times when they asked me about weapons – having said no – i said oh yes one of your compatriates told me that i should tell you about my pen knife that he had found on a random search

    Bill Jackson, Georgetown, Texas, United States
  • Howard, I am SOOO sorry you had to go through such an ordeal. One would think that you would have been welcomed with open arms by Customs officials, since you come to the USA every year to spend 6 months during the winter. I’m glad to know they are ‘doing their job’, but my goodness, it appears they treated you more like a criminal, rather than a welcome guest/visitor. If only they would work so hard to stop illegals from invading our country. We are truly happy to have you and Anne back with us

    Karen McKim-Altman, Beaverton, Oregon, United States
  • Usually bureaucrats in the US are the family members of Democrats, who believe only the Government can provide/create a job. Need I say more?

    Jerry Powers, Laurel Springs, North Carolina, United States
  • Strange, very strange. I really wonder how knowledgeable these “jerks” are? I am also wondering, what was their background to make them so suspicious? You had the proper paperwork & all that needed to be done was to check it out & see if, you were noted in the computer. I also, would not want to sleep in NY, those people are crazy! Some people just HAVE TO BE in charge & push their weight around. At least going home, it will be the Canadians checking you out, not the US.

    Mickey D Watson, Douglasville, GA, USA
  • Strange but I have concluded that how the wife has treated them affects how they treat travellers. Once Canadian Customs completely emptied my car(did not remove the engine nor gas tank) and left in on the ground for me to reload. I did not know the exact address of my friend as she had moved. I just knew the excact physical location. The info they requested was in the stuff removed from my trunk but they would not let me access it. Take all phone numbers on your person.

    John F. Morgan, Dalton, GA USA
  • Who gets “Border Patrol” jobs (same folks who get TSA jobs)! You’re not coming to shoot caravan folks, you’re here to avoid cold Canada weather by staying in Austin! (People “unaware” of the law just “make it up” or treat everybody as “guilty until proven innocent”.) Proper response: “Welcome back, Mr. Galganov”, but today they’re acting more like they work for the Gestapo! Avoid NY state in the future (way too many liberal “idiots” living there)! Safe travels to Texas- watch out for “wildlife”!

    Mollie Hejl, Austin TX
  • I’m sorry about the treatment you and Anne got this time. I would happily greet the two of you, personally, if I knew when you would cross the Red River into Texas again. It would be a comfort to think there was that extent of earnest inquiry into the collections of undocumented illegals that are entering Texas from other directions, but there aren’t that many hours to spend in a day. Welcome back to Texas, and we’re quite glad to have you both!

    Nancy Nelson, Whitesboro, TX, USA
  • I feel your pain. I just moved into a townhouse and applied for a permit to build a deck. It was approved by the HOA, I went and got the building permit. My brother and I drove in some stakes to mark the holes for the 4×4’s and the next day, the lady from the HOA who approved my deck, rang my doorbell with the HOA President (who’s my next door neighbor) and told me she “make a mistake” and that I couldn’t build my deck.

    George Myers, Pasadena, MD
  • Howard I used to travel quite frequently to the US over the years and have had mostly pleasant experience. Out of maybe 50 plus crossings I can remember having 3 bad experiences with US customs and that includes many trips by vehicle coming back from Mexico then to Canada. I have had a NEXUS card for a couple of those hassles and my trailer was pulled over for scanning. I put it down to Pressure by a station supervisor at a morning meeting as all of them at the crossings were in a bad mood.

    Oswald Ziesmann, Westbank, BC
  • Welcome back to your winter home in Texas. The Model A waits for a convenient time to take you for a ride.

    Jerry & Barbara Cowan
    San Antonio

    JERRY COWAN, San Antonio, Texas, United States
  • Nothing to do with the current situation. I have been treated rudely, yelled at, & 2 young children, left terrified sitting in the car alone. All because I misinterpreted the US agent waiving his hand – I thought to pull forward. I was wrong and he began yelling. They kept me over and hour. We had applied for green cards & I was also told they didn’t want me coming to take American jobs. Canadian immigration no better. My live-in nanny badly treated in Can. if I wasn’t there to protect her.

    Pam McDermott, Covington, Georgia
  • I am soooo sorry for you and Anne. Every group, be it one my students when I taught school on Naval Air Stations, PTA, working for United Airlines, or even my various tennis teams in Atlanta, all have at least one who NEEDS the power. It comes from their inferiority complex. My Mom used to say, “his Momma didn’t let him wear his sherrif’s badge enough when he was little”. These folks seek jobs where they CAN “feel the power” by lording it over others. Howard, you got one; they’re everywhere.

    Marcia Cutter, Marietta, Georgia
  • Since Canada legalized Marijuana in October a lot of things have changed in how the US treats “All Canadians”
    The Over one hour delay sounds like a FiINCEN data base inquiry to determine if you have ever purchased MJ using a Credit Card or a Debit card or if you area principal in a Canadian MJ production company. (not kidding)

    David MacKAY, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
  • I AM a US citizen, 72, white female. Stopped at AZ border no of Yuma, AZ. Treated rudely, like a criinal, car searched top to bottom. EVERYTHING pulled out of my trunk and dumped on the ground. My car was filled with my camping gear as I have no garage. Two tents, propane stove lanterns, sleep bag, rugs, brooms, hammers, ice chest, shower bag and more. He told me to put it back and I told him, “you took it out, YOU put it back”! He DID. Can’t say I feel too sorry for ya!

    Judith Kay Ash, PRESCOTT VALLEY AZ
  • Can sympathize Howard. Have gone thru the same kind of routine (in both directions) when driving across and returning over the border. Basically since my wife was with me is a Belgian citizen. Kind of the “you look guilty” kind of treatment. Seems once those border people put on a uniform their psyche changes. The idiocy of it all is that going in by air entails nothing more than a passport check!!!

    Ken Oldfield, Hasselt, Limburg, Belgium
  • It seems to be always the same. People that are law abiding seem to be always looked at as the most vile criminals on the planet but illegal immigrants in either Canada or the U.S.A. are treated better than actual citizens. Tucker Carlson on Fox News discusses that often on his show and Brian Lilley, Nick Vandergragt do the same here in Canada. What the hell is wrong with some of our politicians not addressing this issue but making it even worse for us law abiding citizen.

    Robert Daigneault, Laval, Quebec Canada
  • You presented a somewhat complex situation to someone with the IQ of a low watt light bulb. What do you expect.

    Lawrence Alexander, Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
  • Are there any other border crossings outside NY State? Sounds like they were New Yorkers, more concerned with New York liberals than you.

    Bill McArthur, Broken Arrow OK
  • Sir, what you have experienced is a NY thing. A friend of mine is an avid hunter, he has a business associate in NY. They decided to hunt in up state NY. He was speeding as he entered NY and was pulled over. The officer was kind of friendly at first until he saw the rifle case in the back seat of the truck. Then things changed. He ended up being arrested (loaded weapons charge) for his permitted handgun, he has a concealed carry. Spent two nights in jail and still has not recovered guns.

    Donald Azevedo, Star, Idaho, United States
  • I cross regularly, 2x per week into NY State . I stopped using a Nexus card , they seem to be upset by the principle of “pre-approved travelers” fine at airports, not so good at ground entry points . Firearms in NY State are a problem, even for NY’ers. The State is anti-gun period. At one point I had a NY Carry permit and shot at a local club, not anymore and the privilege no longer exists. Add an Anti-Trump Can. Fed. Gov. and our latest MJ laws : I am surprised I am not stripped searched .

    Bruce Caskenette, Cornwall Ontario
  • Try coming on over to Detroit to enter the country. Realize it is out of the way but it is another way to head on down to Austin (have sons down there and have motored down to visit them so I know). We, Michiganers, tend to be a little more civil but I am sure we have our share of twits too – just nicer. Welcome home.

    Chester Przygoda, Rochester Hills, Michigan
  • FROM AUSTIN, TEXAS
    I AM SO SORRY FOR WHAT YOU AND YOURS WENT THRU COMING TO USA. REMEMBER THE GOLDEN RULE. “AS THEY HAVE DONE TO YOU IT SHALL BE DONE TO THEM”. ENJOY YOUR STAY AGAIN IN THIS USA, DON’T LET A FEW BAD APPLES RUIN YOUR JOY. I WELCOME YOU.
    P.S.>BY THE WAY I DO ENJOY YOUR EDITORIALS.

    Carmen O Landin, Austin, Texas, United States
  • I have never had a problem traveling from South Carolina to Manitoba and back for hunting trips. When I arrived by air to Winnipeg I picked up my guns and bag and proceeded to the check station with all my completed paperwork. The agent was friendly and we chatted and he asked a few questions. Never once did he ask to look in my bag or locked gun case. He wished me well and good hunting. It was the same way heading home. Not sure why things can vary. Maybe the Canadians are just friendlier.

    Pat Neuhaus, Mt Pleasant, SC
  • I would think after 5 times both your names would be in a data base and you could enter with minimal hassle.

    Raymond Hansen, Luverne, Minnesota, United States
  • Anything I say regarding my opinion on your treatment will be construed as racist, but oh well. First I wonder if the same treatment is given to people that don’t Google as conservative? Or to people of middle eastern origin? This (IMO) is blatent discrimination. Seriously, how many people with bad intentions are going to cross at a legal gate with Nexus papers and the lot? The treatment you received is outrageous and I don’t blame you for being upset and disenchanted. Anyway, enjoy your stay!

    Mark Hall, Seattle,WA
  • As the issue at the border has been commented/apologized for (& you may have been at the mercy of relatively new border agents, or just NY’s attitude), I will address where you stayed the night. Endless Caverns in WV are something to behold; perhaps you will take a tour before you depart. Lots of mountains in western VA & nearly all of WV, so wondering why you would take that route. But then it is much more pleasant travel. Sorry the leaves haven’t really turned yet or would be truly awesome.

    Patricia Robinson, Waynesboro, VA
  • SO SORRY, YOU BOTH were treated so RUDELY…..I can understand WHY you BOTH were “PUT OUT”! It’s not like this was your “FIRST TRIP”!! Maybe the “border guards” were having a “bad day” as well? Oh well, just chalk it up to a “really bad experience”, & I’m sorry you had to be exposed to these “jerks”! Continue safely to your “winter home” in Texas!!

    Geri Lyons, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, United States
  • The boarder agent ? was raised in NY State and A Democrat and probably did NOT know what he was doing except to be an official PAIN in the sitter!

    Bob Gerry, Sussex, New Jersey, United States
  • Howard, that was NEW YORK. their governor has pushed the anti-gun program so hard that the agent was only telling the truth. Stay out of NJ too. You don’t even need to sleep there. Just be there and admit to a gun. They’ll throw you in jail, even if you’re there by accident. Come to Texas. We understand guns.

    Jeff Chasalow, Galveston, Texas
  • Howard that is why I haven’t traveled to the US for many years. Love the US especially with Trump as President but every time going to the US as a landed immigrant in Canada with my Dutch passport always had to go through all kinds of hoops and questioning etc etc. not really feeling welcome so finally we decided that there are many other places to go and enjoy. Still believe it is one of the greatest countries. MAGA and we all over the world benefit. Love living in Canada,Trudeau has to go.

    John Loosdrecht, Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada
  • HG…….sorry to hear about the treatment you received when crossing the border. Wishing you, Anne, Stryker and April the cat a SAFE TRIP to Texas. Welcome back to the U. S. Just think about it……you’ll all be here for the ELECTION RESULTS! AMEN!

    PAULINE M DEMERS, Woonsocket, RI - USA
  • handgunlawdotorg has great info about all the states. You will arrested if you violate any particle of NY’s or NJ’s draconian law. As for the demeanor of the agents….they are bureaucrats not required to be pleasant and all that goes with that. In some respect it sounds like a good idea that you were reminded of the nastiness in NY state. They called to update their knowledge of the law in NY. This was not a welcome to America, but to NY. Welcome to the rest of America. Enjoy.

    Jack Inyart, Jack R MD, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, United States
  • Howard, my apologies for your treatment. Just realize that INS, Border Patrol Ice etc. are under intense pressure at at this time. l to note that all federal agencies are under intense pressure to hire minorities, even if they are unqualified. To echo another reader, those who never had any authority tend to have a desire to lord it over the rest of us mere mortals. As a federal employee for 34 years, I met many of them.

    Van Kleiner, Corinth, Texas, United States

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