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  Coming close on the heels of the withdrawn BATFE ammo ban we reported on last week, an unmistakable pattern of abuse is beginning to emerge, suggesting Obama’s last two years could prove the most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
Minnesota: "Assault Weapons" Ban Referred to the Committee on Public Safety Finance and Policy

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Minnesota: "Assault Weapons" Ban Referred to the Committee on Public Safety Finance and Policy

On Monday, House File 3570 was referred to the House Committee on Public Safety Finance and Policy and would ban so called “assault weapons” by expanding upon an existing statute used to define these firearms. The bill ...

Hawaii Justices “Declare War” on U.S. Supreme Court, to the Cheers of Anti-Gun Media

News  

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Hawaii Justices “Declare War” on U.S. Supreme Court, to the Cheers of Anti-Gun Media

In Hawaii, a man who was peacefully carrying a pistol for his own self-protection while on a nature hike was arrested and subject to felony prosecution under state laws that generally confine the possession of ...

Ontario Latest Province to Snub Trudeau’s Gun Grab – “Ontario Should Not Be Spending Taxpayers’ Money Towards the Program”

News  

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Ontario Latest Province to Snub Trudeau’s Gun Grab – “Ontario Should Not Be Spending Taxpayers’ Money Towards the Program”

The wheels are coming off the mandatory “assault weapon” gun ban and confiscation scheme that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau launched four years ago.

Louisiana: Senate Committee to Hear Constitutional Carry Today

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Louisiana: Senate Committee to Hear Constitutional Carry Today

Today, February 20th, at 9:00 AM, the Senate Judiciary C Committee will hear Senate Bill 1, the NRA-backed constitutional carry bill. Louisiana is currently in contention with South Carolina to become the 28th state to allow constitutional/permitless carry. Please ...

Colorado: Semi-Auto Ban Introduced in General Assembly

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Colorado: Semi-Auto Ban Introduced in General Assembly

Anti-Gun extremist State Reps. Tim Hernandez (D-04) and Elisabeth Epps (D-06) introduced House Bill 24-1292, a bill banning the manufacturing, importing, purchasing, selling, offering to sell, or transferring ownership of so called “assault weapons”. 

Louisiana: Senate Committee Passes Constitutional Carry – Take Action Now to Contact the Next Committee

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Louisiana: Senate Committee Passes Constitutional Carry – Take Action Now to Contact the Next Committee

Today, the Senate Judiciary C Committee passed constitutional carry legislation, Senate Bill 1, by a 6-1 vote. It will now head to the Senate Revenue and Fisal Affairs Committee for a hearing tomorrow, February 21, ...

Trump Rallies the 2A Faithful in Pennsylvania

News  

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Trump Rallies the 2A Faithful in Pennsylvania

On Friday, February 9, President Donald Trump took the stage at the NRA Presidential Forum held in Harrisburg, Penn., to the approving cheers of the thousands in attendance.  

Louisiana: NRA-Backed Constitutional Carry Prefiled for Upcoming Special Session

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Louisiana: NRA-Backed Constitutional Carry Prefiled for Upcoming Special Session

Today, Senator Blake Miguez (R-SD22) filed Senate Bill 1, the NRA-backed constitutional carry bill, for the upcoming special session beginning February 19. 

Virginia: Dozens of Anti-Gun Bills on the Move! Contact Lawmakers Today!

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Virginia: Dozens of Anti-Gun Bills on the Move! Contact Lawmakers Today!

This week was the crossover deadline in the Virginia General Assembly and more than 30 anti-gun bills have moved to the second chamber, continuing the legislative process. It's critical that NRA members and gun owners get ...

Tennessee: Numerous Anti-Gun Bills are Slated for Action

Monday, February 19, 2024

Tennessee: Numerous Anti-Gun Bills are Slated for Action

This week, numerous anti-gun bills are scheduled for committee hearings in the Volunteer State. NRA Members and Second Amendment supporters must stay engaged this legislative session to help protect your rights in the Volunteer State! 

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

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.