View Full Version : How to properly import a pistol from overseas?

08-27-2006, 7:46 AM
Here is a question. How do I import a pistol from another country? I already verified that the pistol is on the approved list and it won't be coming with any offending magazines. Do I just have it shipped to a local FFL so I can have it DROSed?
Is it just like any other shipped firearm within the US?

08-27-2006, 8:42 AM
Typed "A.T.F. importation of handgun" into google and found this.

"You will need to obtain an Import license from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Fire-arms (BATF). by completing the appropriate form (Form 6) that may be found on their website. It usually takes a few weeks to obtain their approval. Once we have a copy of the BATF approved Form 6, and a copy of the FFL from your local friendly firearms dealer, we will obtain a UK export license and ship the gun insured and properly packed by air freight to him. Please note that the name of the dealer who will receive the firearm, must be on the approved Form 6.

You can expect to pay about 4% duty on the Invoiced price as well as approximately $ 25 -40 to your local FFL dealer for receiving the gun on your behalf."



Looks less of a pain just to buy it from a local FFL or distributor and have it shipped to FFL.

08-27-2006, 9:53 AM
Might be easier to bring it in yourself. Back when I was in the Corps. coming in from Korea, we could bring in 10 pairs of tennis shoes, 9 blankets etc. for our own use.
I don't recall the specifics of the whynots and whatfors as I wasn't interested either way. Something about an import license.

Contact TSA, ICE and BATF&E and see what it takes to bring a gun into the USA in your baggage (not carry on). Then you would have to at a minimum file the paperwork for Ca. to inform them of your evil ways.

I would think if you bought a gun outside the USA, bringing it into Ca. is just a matter of paperwork. At least in the other 49 states.

If you have a C&R FFL and its a 50 year old gun, it ought to be a bit easier as you are already on record as "One of them subversives".


Mssr. Eleganté
08-27-2006, 10:56 AM
The info that Stanze posted pretty much covers it. One thing to clarify is that your local FFL will need to submit the Form 6 to ATF. Regular FFL's can "occasionally" import commercial sporting firearms using a Form 6. To import firearms "regularly", or to import military surplus firearms, you need to have a Type 08 (importer) FFL.

The wait time for an approved Form 6 can be around 2 months.

As to bringing the gun in yourself on a flight from another country, you would still have to get an approved Form 6 and Customs would hold the gun until the paperwork came through. They charge a storage fee for the time they hold it.

08-27-2006, 2:02 PM
You can NOT carry firearms into California and Customs will NOT hold them for you anymore (at least that's what they told me some months ago)

Unless you're moving into California from out of the country the handgun has to go through a FFL.

The FFL will have to send in the Form 6 and the foreign dealer will then have to get all the export paperwork on their side before shipping it here.

ATF takes 8-12 weeks to approve a Form 6. However, this is from when they receive it. All forms sent in has to go through Anthrax screening and crap and that will add a few more weeks to the total time.

If you get more than one gun make sure to get them all onto one form 6 or they will end up with different clerks.

I went through the whole import thing a few months ago when I moved here. PM me if you want more info.

08-27-2006, 5:33 PM
Can I submit the form 6 myself and find an FFL that agrees to receive the firearm or does an FFL have to submit it?

Mssr. Eleganté
08-27-2006, 6:12 PM
Can I submit the form 6 myself and find an FFL that agrees to receive the firearm or does an FFL have to submit it?

Your FFL has to submit the Form 6 to import a firearm. Unlicensed non-military resident American citizens can only use a Form 6 to import sporting ammunition and firearm parts, as long as they are for personal use and not for resale.