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  1. #1
    anzac_usmc is offline Junior Member
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    Bringing firearms back to the US...not a standard importation.

    So here is the deal, please bear with me on this as I am new to this group.
    If there is info on this specific issue please feel free to direct me to the appropriate thread.

    I am a US and New Zealand citizen who has been here in NZ for the last year living with my family and reconnecting after being in the US for 20 years. New Zealand has some pretty liberal gun laws here which, quite frankly, is a breath of fresh air when considering places like the UK and Australia.
    I came down here after living in CA for 16 years and not knowing how long I was going to be here I decided to go ahead and bring some firearms with me. When I flew out of SFO on my way here I brough with me 1 Remington 870 express, 1 SA M1A Scout and 1 Sig P220. I tried to research what I needed to do when I left as they were to be used for hunting and sport shooting. The best info I got, well I thought it was good, was to declare these firearms at the airport and then customs would identify them and record that I was taking them. This didn't actually happen and now that I am coming home I can't find any info on the web to direct me to anyone who knows how it's done. I've called the ATF and they told me to call US Customs. They in turn told me to call the ATF.
    Now I went through a similar mess of unwillingness to help me when several local agencies refused to take down a report of a lost firearm a few years ago. This has left me scrambling as I am due to leave NZ in 3 weeks and the prospect of selling my firearms is not one that I really want to do.
    The Scout and the P220 were both bought in CA and the 870 was purchased in OR.
    So the question is do a risk getting on the plane with these 3 firearms or do I leave them here to avoid a massive amount red tape and paperwork when I arrive in CA? I am a legal resident of CA and to my knowledge the two that were purchased in CA should be registered with Cal DOJ.
    Any and I mean any help would be most welcome.
    Cheers fellas.

  2. #2
    MLB's Avatar
    MLB
    MLB is offline Supporting Member
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    You may find some useful info on the airlines websites. Not difinitive stuff, but usually accurate. The handgun will be probably more of interest than the rifles and shotguns I'd think.

  3. #3
    anzac_usmc is offline Junior Member
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    That's another thing I've tried. Air New Zealand was the carrier that took me to NZ and is also bringing me back and as far as they're concerned as long as I have the correct licenses and an Airline approved lockable case, then game on. It's just the getting through US customs that has me scratching my head.
    I mean, these are all US guns. Surely someone out there has taken their guns outside the US for sport or recreation. Why is hard to find credible information. Thanks for your input though.

  4. #4
    bruce333's Avatar
    bruce333 is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    Have you tried the US Embassy? Worth a call, seems like you have called everyone else.
    Bruce, Life Member: NRA, NCRPA, GRNC, GOA

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    "I personally think we developed language because of our deep inner need to complain."--Jane Wagner
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  5. #5
    anzac_usmc is offline Junior Member
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    Yeah mate. Embassy, Consulate the whole nine yards. They are unwilling to be party to any decisions made in regards to US citizens travelling with firearms. According to them it's a Customs/ATF thing.
    I just keep hitting these brick walls. Oh well, thanks for your thoughts.

  6. #6
    bruce333's Avatar
    bruce333 is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    this reg looks like it covers your situation, 478.115, seems to put it all on US Customs

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_20...cfr478.115.pdf
    Bruce, Life Member: NRA, NCRPA, GRNC, GOA

    Naval Air Museum Barbers Point

    "I personally think we developed language because of our deep inner need to complain."--Jane Wagner
    "The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom."
    -Isaac Asimov

  7. #7
    kg333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce333 View Post
    this reg looks like it covers your situation, 478.115, seems to put it all on US Customs

    http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_20...cfr478.115.pdf
    Yep, I agree with Bruce. Section a) states that if you have a bill of sale or other documents showing it was transferred to your possession in the US, that should be sufficient for Customs to release your firearms back to you.

    KG

  8. #8
    anzac_usmc is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the help fellas. I can more than likely dredge up at least two receipts. So i'll give that a go and see what happens.

  9. #9
    kg333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anzac_usmc View Post
    Thanks for the help fellas. I can more than likely dredge up at least two receipts. So i'll give that a go and see what happens.
    Before you go for it, you probably should give Customs a call, cite the reg, and make sure that's the right way to go. Don't let them punt this time, now that you know it's their problem.

    KG

  10. #10
    anzac_usmc is offline Junior Member
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    Good call. Cheers.

  11. #11
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    Would love to know how this turns out

    AFS

  12. #12
    anzac_usmc is offline Junior Member
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    I will post the results once I've made it back.

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