Gun rights advocates are urging the Canadian government to drop charges against a retired U.S. soldier who says he mistakenly brought a gun into the country due to a faulty GPS directions during a weekend getaway.
Louis DiNatale, the former Army soldier, says he forgot the gun was inside his wife's car, so when he was asked by a Canadian border agent when the last time he had a weapon on him, he responded, "Earlier that week," The Los Angeles Times reported. The border agent searched his wife's car and located a .380 handgun.
"It was an honest mistake," DiNatale, told Postmedia News Wednesday from Louisville, Ky., where he works as a paralegal. "There's not even a traffic ticket in my background. Why would I come to Canada to bring a small weapon to smuggle in?"
He was handcuffed, jailed for four days and posted bail. His court date is set for June.
DiNatale says he and his wife were on a road trip in September to Vermont when they took the wrong turn in New York.
Bruce Engel, his Canadian lawyer, says DiNatale, 46, is being used by Canada to make a statement not to mess with the borders, the report said. Nearly 1,400 firearms were reportedly seized at Canadian entry points over the past three years.
"They could have done their homework and looked at his background and seen he's a professional," Engel told the paper. "They could have accepted the word of his wife and released him on his own recognizance."
Some gun enthusiasts have called on the country to either reduce or drop charges.
"Why did they not just turn him around at the border? Or take the gun and allow him to turn around and go back," wrote one person reportedly wrote on the website guns.com.
In 2012, a Marine combat veteran who spent four months in a Mexican prison was released after he was arrested at the border after attempting to declare an antique shotgun.