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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jim Crandall

(202) 927-8500

February 21, 2002

New Requirements for Import Permits for Nonimmigrant
Aliens Bringing Firearms and Ammunition Into the United States

Washington, DC -- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and
the United States Customs Service (Customs) announce new regulations affecting
the purchase, possession, and importation of firearms and ammunition by
nonimmigrant aliens entering the United States. The rules serve to implement
the provisions of Public Law 105-277, passed by Congress in 1998 to amend
the Gun Control Act of 1968.

Among other provisions relating to domestic sales of firearms and ammunition,
the new regulations require nonimmigrant aliens who bring firearms or
ammunition into the United States for hunting or sporting purposes to
obtain an approved import permit from ATF prior to entering the U.S. The
regulations are effective February 19, 2002.

In order to obtain an import permit, a nonimmigrant alien must file an
ATF Form 6. The February 2002 revision of the form is currently available
on the ATF internet web site at: The form will also
be available from any ATF field office, and the ATF Imports Branch (650
Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20226) in the near future. Background
information and filing instructions are attached to each form. A nonimmigrant
alien applying for an import permit must submit the Form 6 accompanied
by documentation (such as a valid hunting license or permit lawfully issued
in the United States or an invitation to a shooting match) which establishes
that he falls within an exception to the general prohibition on nonimmigrant
aliens possessing or receiving firearms or ammunition.

Upon receiving the Form 6, ATF's Firearms Import Branch in Washington,
DC, examines it, and either approves the permit application or denies
it. If the contemplated importation is approved, the permit is valid for
12 months from the date of approval. ATF then returns the approved permit
and attached documentation to the applicant, along with a restriction
stating that the specified firearm or ammunition must be taken out of
the United States when the individual leave this country.

The ATF Form 6 and any other necessary documents must then be presented
to Customs at the time of entry into the U.S. The Customs officer handling
the importation will determine whether the entry is in order, and will
then allow the nonimmigrant alien to bring the firearms into the U.S.

For further information, contact the ATF web site for the full text of
TD-ATF-471 (the rule establishing the regulation changes), for Questions
and Answers on the new rules, and for copies of revised Forms 6. Interested
persons may also contact Customs at or your nearest port
of entry.