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Exporting firearms from South Africa to USA

This is a discussion on Exporting firearms from South Africa to USA within the Firearms & Ammunition forums, part of the HUNTING EQUIPMENT, FIREARMS & AMMUNITION category; Hi All I recently moved to the U.S. but had to leave my firearms in the custody of a firearms ...

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    Mzungu's Avatar
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    Default Exporting firearms from South Africa to USA

    Hi All

    I recently moved to the U.S. but had to leave my firearms in the custody of a firearms dealer friend in South Africa. The reason for this being that with the new ridiculously restrictive laws imposed on firearm owners in South Africa (where my guns were licenced), I had no choice but to sign them over to the gundealer friend as he is allowed unlimited firearms due to the nature of his business.

    I still own them, but they are now licenced under his gunshop and no longer in my name. Even though there is absolute trust between us, I insisted on a detailed signed an dated document stating that I received no payment from him and that the firearms are still my property.

    My question is this: How do I go about permanently exporting these guns from SA, and importing them into the U.S? Technically it should be the same scenario as if a visiting US hunter strolls into a South African gunshop and buys 3 guns to export back to the U.S.

    Anyone?

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    Bushbuck's Avatar
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    Are you now a Citizen of the United States?

    If not the first thing I would check is if you are allowed to Own and Possess Firearms in This Country and also the State of Maine.

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    PHOENIX PHIL's Avatar
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    I don't know the answer to your question Mzungu, but I think I'd start my research with Customs and Border Patrol.

    You can access their website here to find an office : CBP.gov

    What are your long term plans with respect to citizenship? If you're planning on becoming a U.S. citizen but returning to RSA for safaris, I wonder if it wouldn't be worth leaving your guns there and buying new ones here once you become a citizen.

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    Thanks for the replies so far. I'm a lawful permanent resident of the U.S (greencard holder) which gives me the same basic rights as that of a U.S citizen with the exception that I can't vote yet.

    My plans are to remain in the U.S permanently but spend a good deal of time back in South Africa and Zim. Would be nice to have my guns here to take along on any trips to Africa instead of leaving them in the care of someone else back in SA. The other issue with that is that I would have to get "permission" from the current licenceholder (gundealer) to use my own guns! Not even sure if that is allowed anymore in SA these days, let alone taking them into Zim!

    I'll check out the CBP's webpage. Thanks for the tip Phoenix Phil. Also planning on stopping in at Cabela's up in Scarborough to have a chat with the guys in firearms. Any other suggestions?

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    BRICKBURN's Avatar
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    When I am importing firearms (temporarily) into the USA I have to go through the ATF. They have an excellent web site that may assist you with information on importation.
    ATF Online - Firearms

    Also, the other department that seems to have gained some interest in importation and trafficing of firearms is the State Department.

    Email: DDTCResponseTeam@state.gov
    "Stephen M. Geis
    DDTC Response Team
    Contractor, XL
    NOTE: Information in this message generally discusses controls and information contained in the Arms Export Control Act and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), both of which are authoritative on this matter. The Response Team fields basic process and status questions, and assists exporters in identifying how to get answers to more complex questions handled by the Directorate of Defense Trade Control's licensing and compliance offices."


    Two potential sources for you.

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    I know it is difficult the amount of stuff you guys have to go thru to possess firearms in Africa. I am just wondering, if you are still a citizen there and lets say you get your firearms back here into the U.S. and you decide to travel back to Africa. Would you have addl problems trying to enter the country as a citizen with firearms differently than we would? That would be terrible to go thru all that trouble and have a problem going hunting there with your own guns. I know when I have talked to guys here traveling from Africa they said it was not easy for them to import firearms. I do not know if it is correct, but they said they could not just fly into the country with them.

    BTW, if you need a firearm now and You are allowed to own one, there are a lot of good private sale deals right now due to the economy. many folks are selling there stuff to help pay the bills. It is a buyers market for just about everything.

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    Looks like the way for me to go is through the ATF as BRICKBURN suggested (Thanks mate!). This is the link if anyone else ever needs to import firearms into the U.S:
    ATF Online - Firearms - How To - Import Firearms, Ammunition, and Implements of War

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    Remington is offline New Member
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    Mzungu, I find myself in the same position as you except that a .22 rifle which belonged to my grandfather is the weapon I would like to import. Can you please update me on your endevour.

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    saeng101 is offline AH Veteran
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    First thing is that Mzungu can not legally use his guns to hunt in SA now. You must be in possesion of a license or temporary to have a firearm in your possesion. The license is with the gun shop. He is much better off getting them here and taking them back for a hunt. A temporary import is easy at JNB. You will find that SAPS Pretoria will issue an export permit on guns easily. After that follow Brickburn's lead with Customs.

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