U.S. Customs has announced changes to the regulations on transporting guns on international hunts. Keep reading to see how this will affect you on your next hunt.
Under pressure from Republicans in Congress, U.S. Customs and Border Protection just announced that they are going to make changes to controversial new regulations on transporting guns out of the country for hunters.
Back in February, U.S. Customs began enforcing regulations requiring that hunters begin registering themselves and their guns using the Automated Export System (AES). In addition to the obvious privacy and Second Amendment issues created with registering guns as a part of a government computer database, it also presented a bureaucratic nightmare for hunters.
In order to use AES, hunters had to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service. However, the IRS was refusing to issue EINs to some hunters because they were not legitimate businesses, leaving the hunters between the proverbial rock and a hard place.
After meeting Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), and testifying before Representative Chris Stewart (R-UT), Customs chief R. Gil Kerlikowske agreed that the new regulations were an overly burdensome requirement on law-abiding citizens. He announced that U.S. Customs and Border Patrol will be changing their policies on this issue immediately.
Senator Hoeven stated:
Hunters should not have to register as a business with the IRS in order to bring their weapons and ammunition on international hunting trips. This is an unnecessary and burdensome requirement on law-abiding citizens. We appreciate that CBP has recognized this and will return to their original forms for international hunters, while they update their automated system to recognize the difference between a commercial exporter and asportsman traveling on a hunting trip to Canada or another country.
For the foreseeable future, hunters wishing to bring their firearms on overseas hunts will have to comply with the original requirement to fill out a US Customs form 4457 (registration of personal effects taken abroad) at their nearest U.S. Customs office.
Though hunters must still comply with all regulations regarding temporarily importing firearms at their destination country, the form 4457 is much easier to use than AES and does not require an employer identification number or registration in a government computer database.
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