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Alert For Visiting Shooters, Hunters And Related Businesspeople

Tuesday, February 12, 2002

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) this week announced restrictive new rules on possession of firearms by visitors to the United States.

The new rules implement a 1998 law that prohibits possession or purchase of firearms by most non-immigrant aliens such as tourists, students and temporary workers. There are exemptions for licensed hunters, law enforcement officers on official business and certain other foreign officials.

However, when the rules go into effect on February 19, 2002, all foreign visitors (other than law enforcement officers and foreign government officials) seeking to bring a firearm into the United States will be required to apply for an import permit from BATF’s Imports Branch. Since approval of import permits can take several months, anyone planning to visit the United States to shoot, hunt, or attend sporting trade shows should contact BATF’s Imports Branch immediately to ask about this procedure. You may call the Imports Branch at 202-927-8320.

To read the new rules, see pages 5422-5429 of the Federal Register for Tuesday, February 5, available online at http://www.atf.treas.gov/regulations/td471.pdf

While the rules are going into effect on a “temporary” basis in less than two weeks, they are also subject to a public comment period. Make sure your comments refer to “Notice No. 935” and that they are received at BATF on or before May 6, 2002.

Your signed comments up to three pages long may be sent by fax to: (202)-927-8602. Comments may also be e-mailed to:nprm@atfhq.atf.treas.gov ; e-mailed comments must contain your name, mailing address and e-mail address and must be no more than three pages long when printed. More detailed comments may be mailed to:

Chief,Regulations Division
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
P.O. Box 50221
Washington, DC 20091-0221

Attn: Notice No. 935

The National Rifle Association of America will work with the Administration and the Congress in an effort to ensure that the implementation of this law does not burden law-abiding visitors to the U.S. and the businesses that depend on them. If your visit to the United States is obstructed by these new regulations, please contact the NRA’s Office of Legislative Counsel at 703-267-1160.

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