Authorization to buy firearm abroad, government document?

Discussion in 'Main Message Board' started by DRNewcomb, Jan 23, 2019.

  1. DRNewcomb

    DRNewcomb

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    This is a largely hypothetical question but I've been curious about the procedure for an American to buy a firearm when abroad. For the sake of argument, let's keep it simple and say it's a bolt-action .22 rifle. Assume that the country involved is fairly permissive, like Switzerland or Norway. Many countries require that a foreigner produce a document from their home country that says they are allowed to buy a firearm. I remember reading an article years ago that mentioned first getting a letter from your state saying you were OK then having the US Dept. of State endorsing the state's letter. Is the procedure for getting the US statement of ability to purchase anything like this?

    Let's also assume that getting the gun back to the US is a separate problem.
     
  2. savagedasher

    savagedasher

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    It is not a problem it must be sent to a international fire arm distributor
    And they
    will ship it to a local dealer
    Works the same when shipping firearms and parts to another country
    That is the reason scope aren’t
    made with all the parts made in one country
     
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  3. TIMO

    TIMO Working on it??? Silver $$ Contributor

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    Donald,
    I know this some dated info, but in the mid 90's as a service member I brought back several firearms I purchased while stationed in Germany. At that time 3 long guns could be brought back with no paperwork, or more than 3 or a handgun or combination required an ATF Form 6 listing all firearms with an authorization number. Customs checked the paperwork. The only freebie was I didn't have to pay any tax on them at customs. The form had to be filled out and sent to the ATF in D.C. and it was sent back with the authorization. All purchases were for personal use and not resale once back in the states. I am sure the laws have changed since then. Should be able to query the ATF for current regulations. Might give Simpson Ltd a call, as they import a large number of firearms.

    One last caveat, do not fly into or through any unfriendly states (USA) or countries. Don't ask me how I know. It makes for a very long day and missed connection flights even back in the 90's.

    Hope this helps a little.

    Tim
     
  4. DRNewcomb

    DRNewcomb

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    Thanks for the replies but they don't address the question. Just assume I'm not interested in bringing the gun back, only in the process of purchasing it. In '84 I was told by a gun store in Norway that they could sell me a rifle that day. I think things have changed since then. When a foreigner buys a gun in the US he has to produce a document from his government saying it's OK. EU citizens have a firearms ID that acts as a sort of firearms passport and can be used for the same purpose in various places in Europe. What I'd like to know is does the US have a document that serves the same purpose: saying that you're allowed to own a gun in the US?

    BTW, I once bought a shotgun in Canada and had the receiver shipped back to a dealer who did the import form for it. This was easier because it was bought from a guy at the Naval Facility at Argentia, NL and shipped back via US registered mail. Customs didn't eve open it.
     
  5. spclark

    spclark Gold $$ Contributor

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    That how it works if you’re buying a part, not, say, a complete action?

    Few years back I wanted to buy a magnum-face bolt for an action I have (legally imported then purchased here in the US in 2010) that’s only available in Australia.

    Asked some folks there about this (one a forum member here) but was so discouraged by what they uniformly reported back that I abandoned that quest.
     
  6. SGK

    SGK Silver $$ Contributor

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    Everything is on the Dept of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms website. Basically if you are resident (in the US) you have to use a licensed firearms dealer that is registered to import. (If you are a citizen returning from living abroad or a non-resident alien moving to the US you do not need to use the intermediary. I used the exemption to bring in my rifles and shotguns when moving here. Stupidly I was not allowed to bring my moderators.) ATF Form 6 if I remember rightly. You don't need to use a licensee to import certain parts ("other than frames, receivers or actions" - not sure what a "frame" is). You can always just call DoATF. They were very helpful on the phone when I did.

    https://www.atf.gov/file/11381/download
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  7. SGK

    SGK Silver $$ Contributor

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    I should have read this more carefully before the reply above. It will depend on the laws in the country you visit. For example, if you were to go down to NZ you can obtain a visitor's firearms license (I can't remember if it is valid for 6 or 12 months). It allows you to purchase ammo and firearms (in NZ). Now, the coppers in NZ normally will want to see a copy of your foreign firearm's license prior to issuing you a visitor's license. I went through a somewhat peculiar exercise year before last with them. On leaving the UK I had to notify the UK coppers that I had left the country and taken my firearms with me. At that moment my UK firearms certificate was voided. The NZ coppers were fine to issue a NZ visitor's license on site of copies of my then expired UK license. I purchased a rifle and ammunition in NZ, shot a few deer with it and eventually imported the rifle into the US when I moved here permanently. (I just got the authorised ATF Form 6 Part 1 and carried it in. I did not have to use a licensed importer intermediary for the reasons mentioned above.)

    Now Florida doesn't require a firearms license. I want to head back to NZ for the red rut. I'm about to try to get a visitor's license (and approval to fly in with a firearm) when I don't have a domestic license to show them. I've even wondered if I need to get a concealed carry license so I have something to show them...
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  8. DRNewcomb

    DRNewcomb

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    I've been told that in the case of Switzerland (which I offered as a hypothetical example) a letter from your local police, stating that you are under no legal prohibition, will suffice for the most common firearms purchases.
     
  9. holstil

    holstil Silver $$ Contributor

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    Such as a handgun permit?
     

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