Things continue to change regarding traveling with firearms OUT of this country. I don’t mean to cry “WOLF!” inappropriately, and I am very hopeful things will change, but you need to be aware of what is going on right now, so that if you are planning to travel you don’t get caught in problem not of your own making.
US Changes – The most important change is that April 3 you will be required to have gotten an ITN number and associated paperwork to take your gun out of the country. This is from our government deciding to enforce a ruling from 2012. While we are hopeful this stupidity will be overturned, being in the know is better than being in the dark. The following is from the offices of SCI, who are working to challenge it, but it doesn’t change things at the moment.
Any time a person departs the United States by any means or method of transportation, and is traveling with firearms and/or ammunition in their possession, the person must comply with all applicable laws and regulations governing the lawful exportation of these controlled items.
All persons who intend to travel from the United States to a foreign country with firearms and/or ammunition are reminded that both the permanent and temporary exportation of these items are subject to federal export licensing regulations. The export regulations for handguns, rifles, associated parts and components, and related ammunition are found in the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) administered by the Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC). The export regulations for sporting shotguns (barrel length of 18 inches or more), muzzle loading firearms, associated parts and components, and related ammunition are found in the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) administered by the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS).
Export regulations require that prior to traveling outside the United States with firearms and/or ammunition all departing persons must obtain a valid and appropriate DDTC or BIS export license or qualify for a valid DDTC license exemption under 22 C.F.R. 123.17 – 123.18 or a valid BIS license exception under 15 C.F.R. 740.14(e).
Before exporting any firearms and/or ammunition with a valid DDTC or BIS export license or a qualifying license exemption, the traveler, or an agent acting on the traveler’s behalf, must file the Electronic Export Information (EEI) using the Automated Export System (AES) or the Internet-based system AESDirectwhich is publicly availableand free of charge. In addition to filing the EEI in AES or AESDirect prior to export, all firearms, ammunition and additional mandatory documentation (e.g., certifications, foreign import permits, proof of AES filing; such as the Internal Transaction Number) must be presented to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) authorities for visual inspection at the port of departure from the United States.
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is the primary federal law enforcement agency responsible for investigating international smuggling operations and enforcing U.S. export control laws. Failure to comply with the federal regulations governing the temporary and permanent export of firearms and/or ammunition from the United States (including the proper filing of EEI) may result in the detention, seizure, and forfeiture of improperly declared firearms and ammunition and could further subject the traveler to arrest and criminal prosecution by HSI special agents for violation of federal export and/or arms smuggling laws.
The bottom line to all this is, either you go to AESDirect (see above) and go through a lot of time and effort (I did it, and I have an EIN) to register yourself, or you get a Customs Broker to do it for you. Gil Ash of OSP and I have been working on this and Gil found a great Customs Broker who can handle your gun paperwork for $50. You will need to contact Coppersmith Inc. Global Logistics. Contact Jackie O’Connor, JOconner@coppersmith.com, and she will provide you, in an email, the information forms she needs and handle it for you.
Those of us who are going to Argentina late next month are hoping that legislation will transpire this month to avoid having to do this, but $50 isn’t much to make sure you get your favorite firearm on the plane the day you plan are leaving and you don’t have a hassle with CBP at the airport. Just so you understand both Gil and I have been working this issue, I drove to Raleigh, about 1 1/2 hours to locate Customs and Border Patrol and talk to them about this. They were very nice; they did know about it; it was a measure to stop people from taking guns to Mexico and selling them; said this was all new to them too; said they inherited it from Homeland Security; said the weren’t sure exactly how it would be handled; and most importantly, “Yes, you would need the appropriate papers.”
Okay, on a more energetic note, Argentina has dropped the requirement of registering you Over and Unders with the Consulate. We are still hoping for some change to the semi auto requirement, but I haven’t heard anything positive yet. I will keep everyone informed.