Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News Gun Laws Hunting

Rule Change May Devastate International Travel for Hunters and Shooters

Friday, March 20, 2015

Rule Change May Devastate International Travel for Hunters and Shooters

The Obama administration’s relentless assault on the Second Amendment continues as the State Department implements a new rule which catches American hunters and sport shooters in a web of bureaucratic red-tape when traveling outside the United States.  Coming close on the heels of the withdrawn BATFE ammo ban we reported on last week, an unmistakable pattern of abuse is beginning to emerge, suggesting Obama’s last two years could prove the most challenging period in history for America’s gun owners. 

Exporting firearms and ammunition from the U.S. normally requires a license--from the State Department for rifles, handguns, and rifle or handgun ammunition, and from the Commerce Department for shotguns and shotshells.  But for many years, the State Department’s International Trafficking in Arms Regulations (ITAR) have allowed Americans to temporarily export up to three non-automatic firearms and up to 1,000 rounds of ammunition without a permit, as long as the firearms were declared and presented to a Customs officer.  This was done by bringing the firearms to a Customs office at some point before the trip and completing Customs Form 4457--a form that can be completed for any personal property and that is normally used to prove that the traveler owned the property before going abroad, thus protecting the traveler from paying import duties on items already owned.  The traveler would retain the form and present it upon reentry if needed.

But a 2012 State Department rule change added an important new requirement that the traveler declare rifles or handguns “upon each departure” by presenting documentation generated through the Commerce Department’s “Automated Export System” (AES)--an online reporting tool designed for use by businesses.  (Non-“combat” shotguns are not regulated by the State Department, so the AES requirement does not apply to temporary shotgun exports.)  The rule change was buried in a Federal Register notice aimed at authorizing the temporary export of gas masks by government employees and contractors.

Fortunately, the change was never enforced—until now.  In postings on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website and in internal ICE documents obtained by NRA-ILA, ICE makes clear that it has begun enforcing the rule change.  Form 4457 may no longer be used for firearms, and electronic declarations will be the norm.

However, ICE’s internal documents implicitly acknowledge that individuals are currently unable to use the AES because the system requires entry of an Employer Identification Number.  Those numbers are normally only obtained by businesses, and the Internal Revenue Service says they should only be used for tax purposes. 

Fortunately for travelers who are unaware of these requirements or unable to use the AES, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has,for the moment, implemented a stopgap plan under which Customs officers at airports can manually enter identifying information about the traveler and the firearm.  While this may prevent travel plans from being ruined, it also raises questions about how long the information will be kept and how it might be used.  It is unclear how long this alternative will be available.  It is also unclear how the new rules may be enforced in non-airport situations--for example, hunters who drive to Canada for the upcoming spring bear season.

The NRA, along with other groups representing hunters and sport shooters, are working on an emergency rule change to solve these problems.  If necessary, the NRA will also pursue shorter-term administrative changes to prevent immediate headaches, and will also consider the potential need for a long-term solution through federal legislation.

In anticipation of the need for a legislative fix, NRA members are urged to contact their U.S. Representative and Senators and voice their opposition to the State Department’s new implementation scheme.  American law-abiding gun owners traveling to hunt or shoot competitively are not “exporters” under any reasonable understanding of what that term is intended to mean.

You can contact your U.S. Representative or Senators by using our "Write Your Lawmakers" tool at www.NRAILA.org, or by phone at (202) 224-3121.

IN THIS ARTICLE
Hunting/Conservation
TRENDING NOW
Maryland: Pro-Carry Legislation Pending Final Vote on House Floor

Monday, March 20, 2017

Maryland: Pro-Carry Legislation Pending Final Vote on House Floor

Today, the Maryland House of Delegates passed House Bill 1036 on second reading.

Ohio: Critical Self-Defense Law Takes Effect Today!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ohio: Critical Self-Defense Law Takes Effect Today!

Today, March 21, the provisions of the critical self-defense legislation, Sub. Senate Bill 199, go into effect.  Thanks to your active involvement last session, this bill was signed by Governor Kasich last December.  This law ...

Maryland: House Passes Pro-Carry Legislation

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Maryland: House Passes Pro-Carry Legislation

Yesterday, the Maryland House of Delegates passed House Bill 1036 by a 97-41 vote.

Illinois: Gun Seizure Bill Could be Heard by House at Any Time

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Illinois: Gun Seizure Bill Could be Heard by House at Any Time

The Illinois House of Representatives could consider House Bill 2354 at any time.

Are Ear Plugs Better Than a Suppressor?

Hunting  

News  

Friday, March 17, 2017

Are Ear Plugs Better Than a Suppressor?

On March 13, the gun control group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, posted a tweet claiming:  “FACT:  Silencers do not protect your hearing.”  An infographic accompanied the tweet with the additional claim “You know what protects ...

Idaho: Senate Passes Concealed Carry Amendment

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Idaho: Senate Passes Concealed Carry Amendment

Yesterday, March 20, the Idaho Senate passed House Bill 93 by a 35-0 vote.  Introduced by state Representative Don Cheatham (R-3B) and sponsored on the floor by state Senator Marv Hagedorn (R-14), HB 93 would amend current law ...

Arkansas Action Needed: Anti-Gun Bill Which Undermines Concealed Carry Headed to House

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Arkansas Action Needed: Anti-Gun Bill Which Undermines Concealed Carry Headed to House

Today, the Arkansas Senate passed Senate Bill 724, an anti-gun bill which undermines some of the key advancements made with the passage and enactment of House Bill 1249.  SB 724 is now headed to the ...

Nevada: Senate Passes Anti-Gun SB 115

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Nevada: Senate Passes Anti-Gun SB 115

Yesterday, March 21, the Senate passed anti-gun Senate Bill 115 with a 12-9 vote.  SB 115 was sent to the Assembly for further consideration.  Sponsored by state Senator Moises Denis (D-2), SB 115 would expand the list ...

European Parliament Passes Stringent New Gun Controls

News  

Friday, March 17, 2017

European Parliament Passes Stringent New Gun Controls

On March 14, the European Union completed one of the final steps in imposing stringent new gun controls across the political bloc, when the European Parliament approved legislation to alter the EU Firearms Directive by ...

North Dakota: Constitutional/Permitless Carry Bill Passes Committee and Headed to Senate Floor

Monday, March 20, 2017

North Dakota: Constitutional/Permitless Carry Bill Passes Committee and Headed to Senate Floor

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee recommended do-pass to House Bill 1169 by a 4-2 vote.  HB 1169 could go to the Senate floor as early as tomorrow.  Please contact your state Senator and politely urge them to ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.