If you are traveling internationally with a firearm in checked baggage, please review the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website for information and requirements prior to travel. Many countries will not allow you to enter with a firearm even if you are only traveling through the country on the way to your final destination. Each year, hundreds of U.S. citizens face arrest in other countries because they are carrying firearms or ammunition, much of which they could legally possess in the United States. If you plan to take your firearms or ammunition to another country, you should contact officials at that country’s embassy to learn about its regulations.
If you find that you can legally take your handgun with you, be sure to:
Contact TSA Customer Service with any questions you may have.
Per U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), firearms are considered restricted items, meaning that special licenses or permits are required from a federal agency before they are allowed to enter the United States. However, you do not need an ATF permit if you can demonstrate that you are returning with the same firearms or ammunition that you took out of the United States. To prevent problems when returning, you should register your firearms and related equipment by taking them to any CBP office before you leave the United States. The CBP officer will register them on the same CBP Form-4457 used to register cameras or computers.
Per the U.S. State Department traveling internationally with firearms webpage, the penalties for carrying firearms or ammunition that are illegal in other countries can be severe: steep fines, having firearms (and vehicles, if traveling by car) confiscated, prison time and/or being banned for life from that country.
No one is exempt from penalties for violating another country’s gun laws. With a little thought and research ahead of time, you can avoid running into trouble if you decide to travel with your gun abroad.