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-   -   Emigrating to USA with personal firearms (https://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-57/emigrating-usa-personal-firearms-934704/)

Georgia Boy Sep 8th 2020 9:39 am

Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 
Hello,

I'm in the process of emigrating to the USA. I'm a keen shotgun and rifle shooter. I'm wondering how difficult or easy it is to take these with me when I emigrate. They are sporting shotguns and sporting bolt action rifles and as they are legal to possess in the UK will be no issue with USA gun laws. As they are personal possessions I don't need an export licence to ship them out of the UK but my question is what is involved in entering the USA on an immigrant visa with them.

Has anyone done this and have some advice to pass on?

The other option would be to sell them in the U.K. and buy again in the USA, but I'd rather avoid the financial loss I would incur on this route.

Boiler Sep 8th 2020 10:03 am

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 
Are you flying into the State you will be residing in and assuming so which State?

To keep things complicated every State has its own rules and flying into DIA should not be an issue but elsewhere do not know. Some ammo seems to be getting hard to find.

tom169 Sep 8th 2020 10:42 am

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 
Are you sure you'll incur a loss by selling and purchasing again in the USA? Generally firearms are far more expensive in the UK. Unless there was some big sentimental attachment that's the path I'd take.

civilservant Sep 8th 2020 11:25 am

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 

and as they are legal to possess in the UK will be no issue with USA gun laws.
You clearly have no idea here. While they may not be illegal, you cannot just waltz in with them like the ATF won't care.

Anyway. You cannot import firearms yourself, it must go through a dealer with a Federal Firearms License - basically because you still have to have your ATF NIC check to clear you to own a firearm. Best to contact one in your local area you will be moving too and see if they have experience with importing - they will charge a fee no doubt. They will have to be shipped of course.

I agree with Tom above, better to sell and repurchase.

If you care to look, there's a whole 104 page handbook here that the ATF produce that will tell you the rules and regulations:

https://www.atf.gov/firearms/docs/gu...s-war/download

Georgia Boy Sep 8th 2020 11:45 am

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 

Originally Posted by Boiler (Post 12907221)
Are you flying into the State you will be residing in and assuming so which State?

To keep things complicated every State has its own rules and flying into DIA should not be an issue but elsewhere do not know. Some ammo seems to be getting hard to find.

Thanks for your response​​​​​. I'd be moving to Georgia, if that helps. I wouldn't be complicating the issue any further by trying to bring in any ammo, or powder or primers.

Georgia Boy Sep 8th 2020 11:47 am

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 

Originally Posted by tom169 (Post 12907236)
Are you sure you'll incur a loss by selling and purchasing again in the USA? Generally firearms are far more expensive in the UK. Unless there was some big sentimental attachment that's the path I'd take.

Thanks. That's what I might end up doing. Hardware is cheaper in the US especially if sticking to American brands and American made hardware. I have a couple of rifles that I'd hate to see go, but may have to face up to that.

civilservant Sep 8th 2020 11:53 am

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 
Oh and to note, the only way you can carry a long gun in GA legally without a Georgia Weapons Carry License is to do so openly. You cannot conceal it in any way (such as putting a towel or something else over it while in a vehicle) You can conceal them if they are completely unloaded.

The GWCL is simple to get, and GA is a 'shall issue' state, but it usually takes 6 weeks or so for the FBI check to come back.

I would recommend that you familiarize yourself with GA weapons law before you arrive ;)

Georgia Boy Sep 8th 2020 11:55 am

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 

Originally Posted by civilservant (Post 12907253)
You clearly have no idea here. While they may not be illegal, you cannot just waltz in with them like the ATF won't care.

Anyway. You cannot import firearms yourself, it must go through a dealer with a Federal Firearms License - basically because you still have to have your ATF NIC check to clear you to own a firearm. Best to contact one in your local area you will be moving too and see if they have experience with importing - they will charge a fee no doubt. They will have to be shipped of course.

I agree with Tom above, better to sell and repurchase.

If you care to look, there's a whole 104 page handbook here that the ATF produce that will tell you the rules and regulations:

https://www.atf.gov/firearms/docs/gu...s-war/download

Yes I realise I just can't turn up with them at my point of entry and that I'd have to have them sent from the UK by an RFD to an FFL while I'm (hopefully) cleared through my ATF NIC check. A further complication is I use moderators (supressors) on my rifles (very common in the UK not so much in the US) so would need to pay the $200 tax stamp (Georgia) on each of these if I were to bring them over, again assuming these would be approved by ATF.

Thanks for the ATF documentation by the way.

tom169 Sep 8th 2020 11:59 am

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 

Originally Posted by Georgia Boy (Post 12907265)
Yes I realise I just can't turn up with them at my point of entry and that I'd have to have them sent from the UK by an RFD to an FFL while I'm (hopefully) cleared through my ATF NIC check. A further complication is I use moderators (supressors) on my rifles (very common in the UK not so much in the US) so would need to pay the $200 tax stamp (Georgia) on each of these if I were to bring them over, again assuming these would be approved by ATF.

Thanks for the ATF documentation by the way.

I was going to mention the suppressors issue. Relatively trivial to legally acquire in the UK, but that tax stamp here will take a long time.

Boiler Sep 8th 2020 12:00 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 
It can be done, I know somebody who did it to Colorado.

Not familiar with Georgia, do you know a FFL?

https://www.atf.gov/firearms/import-...fense-articles The official source to get them into the country, might take a few months.


civilservant Sep 8th 2020 12:00 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 
I don't think you can legally import suppressors. I believe they can only be supplied to dealers as samples, and as such an individual cannot buy them.

Georgia Boy Sep 8th 2020 12:05 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 

Originally Posted by civilservant (Post 12907262)
Oh and to note, the only way you can carry a long gun in GA legally without a Georgia Weapons Carry License is to do so openly. You cannot conceal it in any way (such as putting a towel or something else over it while in a vehicle) You can conceal them if they are completely unloaded.

The GWCL is simple to get, and GA is a 'shall issue' state, but it usually takes 6 weeks or so for the FBI check to come back.

I would recommend that you familiarize yourself with GA weapons law before you arrive ;)

Thanks for the advice. Is the GWCL the same as a Concealed Carry Permit or are they different things. I would want to carry my shotguns / rifles in a covered and secure way (we have to by law here in the U.K. that's what I am used to) so I would want to apply for a GWCL.

Yep familiarising my self with the GA gun laws is one of the things on my long and getting longer things to check out.

Georgia Boy Sep 8th 2020 12:09 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 

Originally Posted by tom169 (Post 12907268)
I was going to mention the suppressors issue. Relatively trivial to legally acquire in the UK, but that tax stamp here will take a long time.

Thanks, good to know. The supressors might be being sold before I leave as they sound like just too much hassle.

Georgia Boy Sep 8th 2020 12:12 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 

Originally Posted by civilservant (Post 12907270)
I don't think you can legally import suppressors. I believe they can only be supplied to dealers as samples, and as such an individual cannot buy them.

Thanks, yep the supressors look like to much hassle and I doubt they'll be making the trip.

Boiler Sep 8th 2020 12:12 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 

Originally Posted by Georgia Boy (Post 12907274)
Thanks, good to know. The suppressors might be being sold before I leave as they sound like just too much hassle.

Just noticed your user name duh, bit of a give away.

US is weird about suppressors you need a special Federal license, can be done but not cheap, my recollection is that the UK encourages them for obvious reasons.

civilservant Sep 8th 2020 12:14 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 

Originally Posted by Georgia Boy (Post 12907273)
Thanks for the advice. Is the GWCL the same as a Concealed Carry Permit or are they different things. I would want to carry my shotguns / rifles in a covered and secure way (we have to by law here in the U.K. that's what I am used to) so I would want to apply for a GWCL.

Yep familiarising my self with the GA gun laws is one of the things on my long and getting longer things to check out.

The GWCL is what other states would refer to as a 'CCP' - it basically gives you the right to carry anywhere except certain proscribed places (Schools/Church/Federal Buildings/Nuclear Power Plants)

Georgia Boy Sep 8th 2020 12:15 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 

Originally Posted by Boiler (Post 12907269)
It can be done, I know somebody who did it to Colorado.

Not familiar with Georgia, do you know a FFL?

https://www.atf.gov/firearms/import-...fense-articles The official source to get them into the country, might take a few months.

Thanks for the ATF link. I don't know any FFL in Georgia but I bet Google can find me one.

civilservant Sep 8th 2020 12:17 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 
Which part of GA will you be moving too?

Georgia Boy Sep 8th 2020 12:18 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 

Originally Posted by civilservant (Post 12907280)
The GWCL is what other states would refer to as a 'CCP' - it basically gives you the right to carry anywhere except certain proscribed places (Schools/Church/Federal Buildings/Nuclear Power Plants)

Thanks, that's useful.

Boiler Sep 8th 2020 12:29 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 
Here you need Hunters Ed as well as CCP, and even where I am very few people open carry outside of hunting, which is coming up fast. What happened to the summer?

Hunters Ed was a one day course and the Forestry guy who did it knew me for some reason and was quite educative, mixture of ages and genders. CCP I was lucky somebody I knew did a really good one, you can get them done at gun shows but that is basically enough to sign you off.

civilservant Sep 8th 2020 12:32 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 

CCP I was lucky somebody I knew did a really good one, you can get them done at gun shows but that is basically enough to sign you off.
In GA there is no requirement for you to even know one end of a firearm from the other, let alone be proficient in it's use, to be issued with a Weapons Carry License,

Boiler Sep 8th 2020 12:39 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 

Originally Posted by civilservant (Post 12907294)
In GA there is no requirement for you to even know one end of a firearm from the other, let alone be proficient in it's use, to be issued with a Weapons Carry License,

Did not occur to me that Georgia would require such a license. Interesting, is that theoretical or something people have? Not a CCP I take it.

civilservant Sep 8th 2020 12:47 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 

Not a CCP I take it.
It sure is. It is the GA equivalent of a CCP. Allows concealed and open carry.

There are zero requirements to have had any training, nor to demonstrate proficiency, to acquire it though.

I hold one myself. All it took was fill out a form at the courthouse, then go get fingerprints at the Sheriffs Office. It arrived in the mail 6 weeks later.

GA is kind of strange in this though. There is no central database of GWCL holders. Such a database is illegal under GA law. Records are held at the individual county level. There is also no registration for gun owners at time of purchase, nor requirement to do so after the fact.

Boiler Sep 8th 2020 12:55 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 
Presumably you have to go through the background check when you purchase?

In Colorado you do not need anything else unless you are going to hunt or concealed carry.

civilservant Sep 8th 2020 12:56 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 

Originally Posted by Boiler (Post 12907312)
Presumably you have to go through the background check when you purchase?

In Colorado you do not need anything else unless you are going to hunt or concealed carry.

Yes, the Federal NIC check still applies.

Georgia Boy Sep 8th 2020 3:14 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 

Originally Posted by civilservant (Post 12907285)
Which part of GA will you be moving too?

Almost certainly around Lawrenceville or within half an hours Drive of there.

Georgia Boy Sep 8th 2020 3:19 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 

Originally Posted by Boiler (Post 12907292)
Here you need Hunters Ed as well as CCP, and even where I am very few people open carry outside of hunting, which is coming up fast. What happened to the summer?

Hunters Ed was a one day course and the Forestry guy who did it knew me for some reason and was quite educative, mixture of ages and genders. CCP I was lucky somebody I knew did a really good one, you can get them done at gun shows but that is basically enough to sign you off.

I have done the equivalent course here in the UK but will do the Hunters Ed course in the US as I know hunting laws, seasons and styles are different between the two countries. I'm getting a lot from the Georgia Wildlife and Natural Resouces websites and I subscribe to the GON forum. There's a lot to take on board.

Pulaski Sep 8th 2020 4:27 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 

Originally Posted by Georgia Boy (Post 12907282)
Thanks for the ATF link. I don't know any FFL in Georgia but I bet Google can find me one.

They're two-a-penny, but you should contact any that you're interested in as not all FFL holders are willing to handle all business - for example a gunsmith may have an FFL but have no interest in receiving firearms. I suspect that there will be additional complexity for imported firearms, so you might need to find an FFL holder with experience, and/or to do the addtional work.

tom169 Sep 8th 2020 7:46 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 

Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 12907413)
They're two-a-penny, but you should contact any that you're interested in as not all FFL holders are willing to handle all business - for example a gunsmith may have an FFL but have no interest in receiving firearms. I suspect that there will be additional complexity for imported firearms, so you might need to find an FFL holder with experience, and/or to do the addtional work.

I'd agree with this. The international aspect probably means working with a large FFL. I would assume there to be a few within Atlanta capable of it. I can think of only one within Charlotte that would probably be bothered enough to deal with this.

LegalEagleTX Sep 8th 2020 9:00 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 
In Texas a course and demonstration of proficiency is required for a License to Carry, which includes both open and concealed carry. We are non-immigrant aliens and so are required to hold a Texas Hunting License in addition to completing the course before we can be issued a LTC permit. Interestingly U.S. citizen Texans can avoid the course by applying for a LTC from Virginia (I think) as they issue them to non-residents and Texas has reprocity with Virginia. My wife and I are doing our courses next week. 5 hours long with a written and proficiency test - should be fun, can't wait!

tom169 Sep 9th 2020 12:41 am

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 

Originally Posted by LegalEagleTX (Post 12907494)
In Texas a course and demonstration of proficiency is required for a License to Carry, which includes both open and concealed carry. We are non-immigrant aliens and so are required to hold a Texas Hunting License in addition to completing the course before we can be issued a LTC permit. Interestingly U.S. citizen Texans can avoid the course by applying for a LTC from Virginia (I think) as they issue them to non-residents and Texas has reprocity with Virginia. My wife and I are doing our courses next week. 5 hours long with a written and proficiency test - should be fun, can't wait!

The pros and cons of the VA non resident licence depends on the state. E.g. in NC you can use it to conceal carry, but not to purchase a hand gun (which you can do on an NC conceal carry).

civilservant Sep 9th 2020 12:14 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 

E.g. in NC you can use it to conceal carry, but not to purchase a hand gun (which you can do on an NC conceal carry).
You need a license to purchase a handgun in NC? That surprises me.

Pulaski Sep 9th 2020 1:23 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 

Originally Posted by civilservant (Post 12907728)
You need a license to purchase a handgun in NC? ....

I think he meant ".... without a background check".

tom169 Sep 9th 2020 6:37 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 

Originally Posted by civilservant (Post 12907728)
You need a license to purchase a handgun in NC? That surprises me.

You need a permit to purchase a handgun if you don't have a conceal carry. It's issued by the sheriff Dept of where you live. It's a pain really, requires two in person visits.

​​​​​

Georgia Boy Sep 10th 2020 8:35 am

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 

Originally Posted by LegalEagleTX (Post 12907494)
In Texas a course and demonstration of proficiency is required for a License to Carry, which includes both open and concealed carry. We are non-immigrant aliens and so are required to hold a Texas Hunting License in addition to completing the course before we can be issued a LTC permit. Interestingly U.S. citizen Texans can avoid the course by applying for a LTC from Virginia (I think) as they issue them to non-residents and Texas has reprocity with Virginia. My wife and I are doing our courses next week. 5 hours long with a written and proficiency test - should be fun, can't wait!

Good luck with the test.

LegalEagleTX Sep 17th 2020 2:07 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 
We both passed! Very useful course, especially when it came to the law. The range test was fun, and not too hard. I am just waiting on my Texas Hunting License and then I can legally purchase a handgun, meanwhile we will apply for our LTC which will allow us to conceal or open carry. An LTC is not necessary in Texas for carrying a handgun in your vehicle providing it is not in plain view.

Boiler Sep 17th 2020 4:06 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 

Originally Posted by LegalEagleTX (Post 12911173)
We both passed! Very useful course, especially when it came to the law. The range test was fun, and not too hard. I am just waiting on my Texas Hunting License and then I can legally purchase a handgun, meanwhile we will apply for our LTC which will allow us to conceal or open carry. An LTC is not necessary in Texas for carrying a handgun in your vehicle providing it is not in plain view.

Congrats, any idea what you are looking at getting?

LegalEagleTX Sep 17th 2020 4:18 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 
Thanks, we have our name down for a Glock 43x which can take up to 15 rounds. We looked at a Glock 43 but its lower capacity is a negative, especially if it was ever needed. The 43 is in short supply at the moment, as is 9mm ammunition. 9mm has doubled in price over the last few months and is still flying off the shelves.

civilservant Sep 17th 2020 4:24 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 
I have been carrying a 43 for 4 years now, it's very easy to conceal and it doesn't interfere with daily activities as all. Honestly if you need more than 6+1 you don't need to be using your weapon anyway, you need to be calling the cavalry.

One thing I would say is practice with your carry ammo. Practice practice practice. No point being able to put 7 on target with a FMJ round (because they;re so much cheaper) while practicing if you can't do it with you hollowpoint defense round.

LegalEagleTX Sep 17th 2020 4:28 pm

Re: Emigrating to USA with personal firearms
 
You'll be in my prayers if you ever needed that 8th round.


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